Regular Meeting

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September 9, 2003

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The session was closed to discuss matters of litigation regarding the McCracken lawsuit, since an open meeting would have a detrimental effect on the litigating position of the school district.

CALL TO ORDER    7:05 P.M.

The regular meeting of the Board of Trustees of School District No. 26, Lockwood Schools, Yellowstone County, was duly held at the Lockwood Board Room, 1932 U.S. Highway 87, Billings, Montana, on Tuesday, September 9, 2003, at 7:05 p.m.

Chairperson Tim Trafford presided. He led those present in the pledge of allegiance.

The following trustees and officers were present: Trustees: Gayle Walker, Tim Trafford, Teresa Stroebe, Becky Webber, Robert Guenther, Greg Bochy and Jim Painter, Superintendent Eileen Johnson, and District Clerk Diane Brook.

Registered staff members were: Mike Bowman, Dave DeBoer, Mike Sullivan, Stephanie Miller, Kim Johnson, Heather Richard, Carrie Schmidt, Carie Hess, and Loni Woodard.

Registered guests were: Thomas Jones, Evelyn Pyburn, David Rak, Holly Sather, Kristin Kunnemann and Jeryl MaCauley.


Becky Webber moved to approve the minutes of the August 12, 2003, regular board meeting with a correction requested by Gayle Walker to the last line on Page 6 as noted below and the August 19, 2003, special board meeting as presented.

Correction Note: Mike Bowman asked if he could speak. He said Eileen is very well respected by the other administrators in her group and is a as a leader.

Teresa Stroebe seconded the motion. Tim Trafford, Gayle Walker, Jim Painter, Becky Webber, Robert Guenther, Greg Bochy, and Teresa Stroebe voted aye; the motion passed seven to zero.

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The Board received a copy of the summary of paid bills by account. The summary included a detailed statement of all expenditures of money with the name of the person or business to which payment is made, showing the service rendered or goods furnished.

A motion was introduced by Becky Webber and seconded by Teresa Stroebe to approve the payment of all bills and wages and extracurricular bills. Tim Trafford, Teresa Stroebe, Becky Webber, Robert Guenther, Jim Painter, Greg Bochy, and Gayle Walker voted yes; the motion passed seven to zero.


None was received.


Chairperson Trafford said any person, who wishes to do so at this point in the agenda, may address the board or raise any questions about public school district matters or governing policies. No discussion of personnel is permitted at this time. A limit of three minutes is placed on each speaker.

Persons wishing more time may make arrangements to be placed on a future agenda.

No one spoke.


Intermediate Principal Dave DeBoer introduced two new staff members, Heather Richard and Kimberly Johnson and two student teachers, Kristin Kunnemann and Jeryl MaCauley. Mr. DeBoer noted that there are two other student teachers in the Intermediate School also, Brynn Wilcutt and Nicole Boudette.

Middle School Principal Mike Sullivan introduced Loni Woodard and Carrie Schmidt.

Katie Notis and Randall Rice were not able to attend the meeting.

Eileen introduced Carie Hess, Crossing Guard.

Eileen commented on their strong academic backgrounds and how lucky we are to have them at Lockwood.

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Chairman Trafford read aloud Lori Schmitt’s request for a leave of absence for the remainder of the 2003-04 school year. Greg Bochy moved to grant the leave for Lori Schmitt for one year. Teresa Stroebe seconded the motion. Becky Webber said she was glad to have Lori as a teacher at Lockwood Schools and Greg Bochy said Lori was an asset to the staff. Tim Trafford, Teresa Stroebe, Becky Webber, Robert Guenther, Jim Painter, Greg Bochy, and Gayle Walker voted yes; the motion passed seven to zero.


  A. Report from Mr. Sullivan on the Bridges Program

Mr. Sullivan presented a report on the Bridges Program and provided a packet of information about the program. Mike said Bridges is a District 2 program that was started several years ago. The county schools were given a choice whether or not to participate, and Lockwood School chose to participate. Bridges is mandatory for eighth graders who did not have a successful year. Eighth graders that meet specific criteria involving GPA, number of F’s, attendance, and team recommendation, are referred to the Bridges Program. Mr. Sullivan discussed how parents are notified and provided examples of letters that are sent out. He said there are no outs; students have to go and complete Bridges successfully. If not, they are required to attend Crossroads, which is an alternative high school. Mr. Sullivan noted that failure of Bridges usually only happens from non-attendance. He said a student could not have more than two absences; they are dropped from Bridges if they do.

Chairman Trafford asked if District 2 does the same things with their Middle School students. Mr. Sullivan responded yes.

Principal Sullivan advised that he would track the students from Lockwood Schools that have attended Bridges and provide a report to the Board regarding their progress in high school and whether or not they graduated.

Mike also said they are trying to track high school information on all Lockwood School students. They have received some statistical information from District 2, and they are going to try to put the information into a report.

  B. Kindergarten early entry for the two-year program

Primary Principal Bowman provided an updated list of students for whom he is
requesting early entry for the two-year kindergarten program. He noted that enrollments

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have changed since he had provided the information in the packet. He has added four more names to the request.

Mr. Bowman said he has some very happy parents, as these kids are receiving good help.

Trustees asked how these students were chosen. Mr. Bowman said some are from the pre-school screening and from teacher recommendation.

Gayle Walker asked who teaches the readiness kindergarten classes. Mike Bowman responded that Mrs. Sumner and Mrs. Miller are the teachers. Mr. Bowman said he tries to cap the enrollment in these classes at less than the 20 that is allowed by accreditation.

Teresa Stroebe moved to accept the students on the updated list provided by Mr. Bowman (attachment to the minutes) for early enrollment for the two-year kindergarten program. Greg Bochy seconded the motion. Tim Trafford, Teresa Stroebe, Becky Webber, Robert Guenther, Jim Painter, Greg Bochy, and Gayle Walker voted yes; the motion passed seven to zero.

Eileen advised that on opening day we had 60 more students than we had last year on opening day.


  A. Updated list of substitutes – For Board Approval

Eileen noted that these people have completed the application process since the last board meeting. Chairman Trafford read aloud the names of the new substitutes. Gayle Walker moved to hire the substitute teachers listed on the attachment. Jim Painter seconded the motion. Teresa Stroebe asked if they all have completed the background check. Eileen said yes.

Eileen advised that our fingerprinting process is going well; substitutes are coming here to sign up and get fingerprinted, as we are one of the few schools that have the process in place.

  B. Coach for Cross Country – Shaun Jones

Becky Webber moved to hire Shaun Jones as Cross Country Coach. Teresa Stroebe seconded the motion. Tim Trafford, Teresa Stroebe, Becky Webber, Robert Guenther, Jim Painter, Greg Bochy, and Gayle Walker voted yes; the motion passed unanimously.

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  C. Food Service – Helen Ruff

Greg Bochy moved to hire Helen Ruff to work as a food service assistant. Teresa Stroebe seconded the motion. Gayle Walker asked what Helen’s duties would be. Supt. Johnson said she would be doing some of everything. Eileen advised that Mrs. Ruff had worked as a substitute in the kitchen in the past. Tim Trafford, Teresa Stroebe, Becky Webber, Robert Guenther, Jim Painter, Greg Bochy, and Gayle Walker voted yes; the motion passed unanimously.

Supt. Johnson advised that she had some additions to the hiring. She recommended that the follow people be hired:

Carrie Schmidt (Middle School) as a Paraprofessional
Anita Ness (Intermediate School) as a Paraprofessional
Mindy Kohn (Intermediate) Teacher (Lori Schmitt’s position)

Becky Webber moved to hire the above-mentioned people. Greg Bochy seconded the motion. Gayle Walker asked about Mindy Kohn. Eileen said Mindy had been a long-term substitute last year also; she subbed for Anne Marie Hanson during her family leave.

Tim Trafford, Teresa Stroebe, Becky Webber, Robert Guenther, Jim Painter, Greg Bochy, and Gayle Walker voted yes; the motion passed unanimously.


Third reading on #8220 Meal Charges

The policy on meal charges is attached for your consideration. This would be the third and final reading if you approve.

Tim Trafford read aloud Policy No. 8220.

Teresa Stroebe made a motion to adopt Policy No. 8220 as written for third and final reading. Robert Guenther seconded the motion.

Chairman Trafford asked if there was any discussion. Mrs. Johnson noted that procedures have been determined for tracking the alternate meals and providing them in an unobtrusive way.

Eileen advised that there had been some issues come to light when developing administrative procedures for the policy. She provided the trustees with a spreadsheet

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detailing the pros and cons of whether or not students should be charged for the alternate sack lunches. The trustees reviewed the information.

Trustee Becky Webber said in her opinion, the district needs to charge an amount that covers the cost of providing the alternate meals.

Eileen Johnson said the School Nutrition Program is the closest thing we have to running a business, and it should be self-supporting. She reported that we had nearly $1,500 that was not collected from lunch charges last school year. We are continuing to bill and trying to collect this money. We definitely need to reduce the amounts of our charges and outstanding accounts.

The trustees were in agreement that a report should be provided to them as to how the new policy is working and whether it is reducing the outstanding charges. Chairman Trafford said it is important for the Board of Trustees to receive reports so they can continue the process of data-driven decision-making.

Teresa Stroebe asked Supt. Johnson if she had gotten feedback from Debra Silk at MTSBA regarding this issue. Eileen said Debra had responded and she said the policy was legal.

The trustees noted that the State of Montana Office of Public Instruction required that the Board have this policy in place.

Tim Trafford, Teresa Stroebe, Becky Webber, Robert Guenther, Jim Painter, Greg Bochy, and Gayle Walker voted yes; the motion passed unanimously.


  A. Principals’ Reports

Mr. Bowman said he did not have much to add to his report. He said that many out-of-district requests had been turned down. The Primary School just did not have room for them.

Chairman Trafford said he liked the report provided by Mr. Bowman.

Teresa Stroebe asked Mike what the Montana Accreditation Standards require for classroom limits.

Mr. Bowman replied that Grades K-2 have limits of 20 students per classroom; Grades 3-4 have limits of 28 students per classroom; Grade 5 has a limit of 30 per classroom.

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Teresa asked what happens if those limits are exceeded. Mr. Bowman replied that we then put extra aides in the rooms to help meet the standards. Eileen advised that we currently have extra teachers tutoring in the primary grades, so we exceed the standards required for accreditation.

Trustees asked how many students had been turned away. Mike Bowman said about 12.

Eileen said district-wide there were many more than that. She said many people had called, and they were very upset that we couldn’t take their children.

Dave DeBoer provided updated information on committee assignments and enrollment.

Mike Sullivan said he had nothing to add to his report. He said he provided the trustees with his class counts in a new format to give them a glimpse into a middle school teacher’s day. Mr. Sullivan said teachers have full permission to complete any schedule changes that they believe would be in the best interests of kids. He explained what the course numbers mean and talked about having extra help with aides and extra teachers when student numbers are high in a classroom.

Mr. Sullivan said the teachers are doing a very good job. They are not complaining and they have a tough day right now because of the large number of students.

  B. Report on No Child Left Behind and District Test Results

Supt. Eileen Johnson gave a power point presentation on “No Child Left Behind” and the results of the District testing. She noted that this same information was presented to the staff on opening day, August 22, 2003. A copy of the presentation is attached to the minutes.

Mrs. Johnson discussed the possibility of applying to become a K-8 school district for accreditation purposes. Currently we have four different entities for accreditation reporting: Administration, Grades K-2, Grades 3-5, and Grades 6-8. This change would not affect funding; it would be a matter of filing different paperwork. Becoming a K-8 district would allow us more flexibility in the placement of our teachers with the new standards set by NCLB. Supt. Johnson advised that she would wait to see if the federal government approves Montana’s plan under NCLB before making a final decision regarding applying for the change in accreditation status.

After the presentation, it was the consensus of the group that certain parts of the NCLB law need to be changed. Eileen said we are working on that, but for now we just do the best we can and try to improve as best we can.

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Mrs. Johnson commented that the news reporting was very discouraging to everyone who is working so hard. Lockwood School did not meet Average Yearly Progress due to the test results of our students with disabilities. This does not mean failure; it means one sub-group that is measured did not meet AYP. Under NCLB standards, if one group fails to meet AYP; the whole school fails to meet Adequate Yearly Progress.

A sub-group must have at least 20 students; some schools do not even have 20 special needs students within a grade, so they do not have to measure them. These issues and many others, make meeting the requirements of NCLB extremely difficult

Eileen advised that she would provide the NCLB Power Point presentation at a PTA meeting and a community meeting. One of the requirements of the law is that the public be educated about NCLB.


Robert commended Eileen for the article in the Billings Gazette about the Boys’ and Girls’ Club at Lockwood Schools. Eileen reported that the club had 190 kids yesterday. They are hiring two more people. She said that the new District 2 superintendent is coming out to look at the program, also.

Chairman Trafford asked Eileen about the traffic light at Johnson Lane. Eileen said that the state has the traffic light; but the state has to give it to the city, because the city has the contract. The city has not completed a work order for the project yet.

Trustee Guenther suggested that a rotation system be used, so they do not have to put in an additional lane. Eileen said she would check with them again.

Trustee Walker asked Eileen whom she had contacted. Eileen responded that she had talked with people at the city, the county, and the state.


Teresa Stroebe reported on the MTSBA Director’s Meeting. She said three directors are on the renewal commission. She noted that they streamlined the resolution process. They plan to have a united front with clear, concise and fewer resolutions at the 2005 Legislature.

Greg Bochy reported on the delegate assembly that was held on August 23, 2003. He said the discussion was very well followed through, and they covered everything. He thought it was good to be part of it. Teresa distributed notes from the delegate assembly. She said she would provide the director’s meeting minutes for anyone wanting them.

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It was noted that MCEL would be held October 16-17, 2003, in Bozeman.

Tim Trafford reported on the Education Committee meeting that was held at 3:30 p.m. today. He said eight teachers’ lane changes for additional education had been approved.


No donations were noted.


The next regular meeting will be Tuesday, October 14, 2003, at 7:00 p.m.


Greg Bochy moved to adjourn the meeting at 9:11 p.m. Teresa Stroebe seconded the motion. Robert Guenther, Teresa Stroebe, Jim Painter, Becky Webber, Greg Bochy, Tim Trafford, and Gayle Walker voted yes; the motion passed unanimously.


__________________________________           ________________________________

         Timothy Trafford, Chairman                            Diane M. Brook, District Clerk

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