PROCEEDINGS OF THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES
LOCKWOOD SCHOOL DISTRICT #26
YELLOWSTONE COUNTY, BILLINGS, MT
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October 12, 2004
CALL TO ORDER
Chairperson Tim Trafford led those present in the pledge of allegiance.
The following trustees and officers were present: Trustees: Teresa Stroebe, Tim Trafford, Thomas Jones, Gayle Walker, Barbara Forrester Frank, and Jim Painter, District Clerk Diane Brook and Superintendent Eileen Johnson. Trustee Greg Bochy was absent.
Staff members present were: Mike Bowman, Dave DeBoer, Mike Sullivan, Stephanie Miller, Darlene Hess, Diane Slagsvold, Susan Andersen, Pam Richau, Andrea Hofmann, Randall Rice, Rob Osborne, Vicki Balgua, Denise Wulff, Mary Kay Rottrup, Carrie Schmidt and Art Anderson.
The registered guest present was Evelyn Pyburn.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES AND PAYMENT OF BILLS AND WAGES
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.
Teresa Stroebe moved to approve the September 14, 2004 regular board meeting minutes as presented and the payment of all bills and wages and extracurricular bills. Jim Painter seconded the motion. Tim Trafford, Barbara Forrester Frank, Gayle Walker, Thomas Jones, Jim Painter and Teresa Stroebe voted aye; the motion passed six to zero.
PUBLIC WRITTEN REQUEST TO BE PLACED ON THE AGENDA
A. Letter of Resignation from Tamra Covington
Tamra Covington has been working as a paraprofessional in the special education program of the Middle School. She is a certified teacher and has been offered a teaching job in Billings Public Schools.
Superintendent Johnson recommended accepting her resignation. Teresa Stroebe read aloud Ms. Covington’s letter.
Trustee Stroebe moved to accept the resignation of Tamra Covington and wished her well. Gayle Walker seconded the motion. Tim Trafford, Barbara Forrester Frank, Gayle Walker, Thomas Jones, Jim Painter and Teresa Stroebe voted aye; the motion passed six to zero.
EDUCATION AND BUSINESS
Each of the principals provided materials regarding tests and assessments and gave a brief report to summarize the assessments and test results for their respective buildings. The principals and staff had put together the analyses. Lockwood has no curriculum director, so tests and measurement have become part of the principals’ jobs.
Eileen advised the state has not yet decided what the cut off point will be for making Average Yearly Progress. Under NCLB, schools have to compare within their state. Montana has been consistently higher than the national levels. With regard to measured progress, Lockwood did pretty well in relation to what other schools in the state did.
Trustee Jim Painter commented that math scores for girls were lower than those of the boys.
It was noted that student transiency is an issue in our school district. Eileen said the test norms are supposed to take that into consideration.
Mr. Bowman said they try not to “over test” our younger students. He provided a snapshot of Star Test data.
Dave DeBoer advised that he is still learning about Criterion Referenced Tests, which are tests that are made to measure the curriculum you are teaching. The intermediate students did well on reading, but not as well on math. Lockwood fourth graders are doing extremely well in comparison with other students in Montana on the Iowa tests. They scored over 80 percent proficient and advanced in all areas, which is very good. Mr. DeBoer advised that the staff met as a group to build next year’s goals
Mike Sullivan handed out reports. He advised that CRT is a snapshot of the data. It is a report on last year’s eighth grade. This year’s eighth grade group has to compare to last year’s group. The goal is to move kids into proficient and advanced categories; we want
Chairman Trafford asked whether they find themselves teaching to the test. Mike said it is possible, but it should not happen. Curriculum is built and aligned with the goals, so those skills that are tested should be taught within the curriculum.
Eileen distributed a packet entitled Understanding Public School Accountability. She advised this is not our report card; this is just the first working information.
B. Request for Out-of-District Attendance
Mrs. Johnson advised that student HO would be attending Yellowstone Academy. The tuition fees will be paid from the Tuition Fund. This student had been attending there previously and this is a continuation.
Trustee Gayle Walker moved to approve the out-of-district placement for student HO. Thomas Jones seconded the motion. Tim Trafford, Barbara Forrester Frank, Gayle Walker, Thomas Jones, Jim Painter and Teresa Stroebe voted yes; the motion passed six to zero.
Mrs. Walker asked about the test scores for the students that attend Yellowstone Academy. Eileen advised Yellowstone Academy is a school, so they test these students and report their results. New Day students are Lockwood School students, and they are tested and reported by Lockwood.
C. Kindergarten Early Entry for the Two-Year Program
Mr. Bowman addressed the issue of early kindergarten entry with the trustees.
He advised that four additional students need to be enrolled in the school
district by special permission since they were not five years old by September
Tim asked if we had a waiting list for this Pre-Kindergarten program because we do not have budget and facility capacity. Mike and Eileen said yes. Mike said if we could provide one more class, we could probably take care of the waiting list.
Trustee Teresa Stroebe thinks students benefit greatly by early education and would like Lockwood Schools to provide as many early education classes as possible.
D. Concerns from the Heath Enhancement Teachers of the Middle School
The Health Enhancement teachers from the Middle School were present to voice some concerns.
Supt. Johnson apologized to the Board that this situation was not handled at the management level, and it has now come before the Board.
Chairman Trafford explained that board members did not respond to the e-mail sent out due to following proper procedures of the open meeting laws.
The teachers said they would like to have more physical activity time for kids; the problem is getting enough time when three teachers are sharing one gym. They are proposing an every other week program for physical activity rather than every third week. To implement this situation, it would be necessary to use the primary gym. It was noted that the primary teachers are currently using the gym with their classes.
The health enhancement teachers commented that music programs are a concern because they use the gym and this cuts back on the time available for physical education activities.
Rob Osborne said he has some ideas on they how can increase PE time. He advised that he didn’t feel students were getting enough physical activity time in the winter, because they could not go outside and there wasn’t enough gym time available.
Options discussed were implementing a split schedule or moving third grade physical education classes to the primary gym.
Superintendent Johnson pointed out that it does not make much sense that we added a third health enhancement teacher and the students are getting less physical education time. She asked the teachers if they had actually calculated the total number of days that physical activity is provided during the school year. They responded no.
Vicki Balgua indicated they wanted more consistency during the year, rather than the majority of the physical activity classes being held in fall and spring and fewer during the winter months due to lack of gym space.
Principal Mike Sullivan said Laurel schedules one semester of health and one semester PE. Mr. Sullivan advised that he counted total days of PE and health under the current schedule and PE averaged more days than health. Mike suggested team teaching and being clever with what you teach when as solutions.
Tim Trafford and Teresa Stroebe both expressed that physical education is a priority and they feel it is very important. They care about the whole student.
Trustee Painter asked if it would be possible for them to try the 1-2-3 daily rotation for the months of December and January. They could report back to the Board after the trial. That way they would be getting more consistency.
Principal Dave DeBoer said it solved many more problems than he thought it would with scheduling for the specialists. He noted the students were able to manage the schedule very well.
Tim Trafford suggested that the health enhancement teachers meet with Middle School Principal Sullivan to put the schedule on a calendar and see how it works out. It was advised that they try the rotation schedule for November, December, and January, and report back to the Board.
The updated list of substitutes was attached to the agenda for approval. Tim read aloud the names.
Trustee Jim Painter moved to approve hiring Artis Brandt, Robin Nelsen, and Tara Poor as substitute teachers, and Cyndi Bendt, Margaret Kenaston, and Connie Olsen as support staff substitutes. Gayle Walker seconded the motion. Teresa Stroebe asked if they had been fingerprint background checked; Eileen said yes. Tim asked if there is some momentum toward providing formal training for substitutes. Eileen said she and the principals will be working on the training materials this spring, so they can provide training next fall. Tim Trafford, Barbara Forrester Frank, Gayle Walker, Thomas Jones, Jim Painter and Teresa Stroebe voted affirmatively; the motion passed six to zero.
B. Hiring a Payroll Assistant
Superintendent Johnson recommended Robyn Dietz be hired to work approximately four to five days per month in our business office as a payroll assistant. She advised that DeLana Bauer had been trained as the payroll assistant, but she has decided to work part- time this year. With reduced hours, DeLana is unable to work in the business office and complete her other duties with the Gifted and Talented program.
Mrs. Johnson advised that it is important to have someone who will be a backup in payroll. It was noted that it is important for that person to have monthly contact with the payroll process to stay current. Robyn Dietz is the clerk to the Eastern Yellowstone Cooperative. She does payroll for the cooperative, so she is familiar with retirement and other payroll issues.
Trustee Gayle Walker moved to hire Robyn Dietz as a part-time payroll assistant in the business office. Trustee Thomas Jones seconded the motion. Tim Trafford, Barbara Forrester Frank, Gayle Walker, Thomas Jones, Jim Painter and Teresa Stroebe voted yes; the motion passed six to zero.
C. Food Service Hiring
Supt. Johnson recommended the hiring of Theresa Schock, who had previously been a support staff substitute, as a food service assistant.
Trustee Thomas Jones moved to hire Theresa Schock as a food service assistant. Trustee Gayle Walker seconded the motion. Tim Trafford, Barbara Forrester Frank, Gayle Walker, Thomas Jones, Jim Painter and Teresa Stroebe voted yes; the motion passed six to zero.
Mrs. Johnson noted that there had been a small change to the wording since first reading.
Trustee Teresa Stroebe moved to approve Policy No. 1420 on second reading. Barbara Forrester Frank seconded the motion. All agreed that the wording looked good. Tim Trafford, Barbara Forrester Frank, Gayle Walker, Thomas Jones, Jim Painter and Teresa Stroebe voted aye; the motion passed six to zero.
B. Policy No. 8230 - Nutrition
Trustee Teresa Stroebe moved to approve Policy No. 8230 on third and final reading. Barbara Forrester Frank seconded the motion. Tim said improper wording could have unnecessarily bound a future board, but he is comfortable with this wording. Teresa said she likes the new policy. She noted if a future board has problems, the policy can be changed. Thomas Jones expressed concerns about the wording “harmful additives.” He said many people have different ideas about what constitutes harmful additives. Eileen said the food service department is developing a disclaimer for publishing that the school is not responsible for additives in food to which someone may have an allergic reaction.
Jim Painter expressed appreciation to the students and Mrs. Gopp for their work on this issue.
Tim Trafford, Barbara Forrester Frank, Gayle Walker, Thomas Jones, Greg Bochy, Jim Painter and Teresa Stroebe voted aye; the motion passed unanimously
C. Policy No. 2311A - Selection, Adoption/Removal of Textbooks/Instructional
Trustee Teresa Stroebe moved to approve Policy No. 2311A on second reading with changes noted in red or strikethrough text. Gayle Walker seconded the motion.
Teresa Stroebe asked if these curricular committee meetings are noticed. Eileen responded yes.
Tim Trafford, Barbara Forrester Frank, Gayle Walker, Thomas Jones, Jim Painter and Teresa Stroebe voted affirmatively; the motion passed six to zero.
D. Policy No. 3122 - Attendance Policy
Trustee Teresa Stroebe moved to approve Policy No. 3122 on second reading noting that changes were shown with strikethrough or red text. Thomas Jones seconded the motion. Tim Trafford, Barbara Forrester Frank, Gayle Walker, Thomas Jones, Jim Painter and Teresa Stroebe voted yes; the motion passed unanimously
E. Policy No. - 5321 Classified Personnel Leaves of Absence
Trustee Teresa Stroebe moved to approve Policy No. 5321 on third and final
reading. Gayle Walker seconded the motion. Tim noted this policy applies
to classified personnel
F. Policy No. - 2421 Promotion and Retention
Eileen advised that this is a very important policy change. Under the laws that exist a free and appropriate public education is the responsibility of schools regardless of what a parent wants. Eileen said when a group of professionals make a recommendation, we should support them. Eileen said most of the wording was recommended by the Montana School Board’s Association.
Eileen said she recently attended a workshop about this issue. A parent cannot give away a child’s rights.
Trustee Painter said he would like to spend more time on it; he suggested having the MTSBA lawyers review the policy wording.
Eileen responded that she could mail the suggested policy changes to MTSBA for review. They will provide their response to each board member.
Chairman Trafford advised that the board has time to address these concerns. He suggested approving the revised policy on first reading, then having Eileen e-mail it to MTSBA for review and response to each trustee.
Trustee Teresa Stroebe moved to approve Policy No. 2421 as amended on first reading. Gayle Walker seconded the motion. Tim Trafford, Barbara Forrester Frank, Gayle Walker, Thomas Jones, Jim Painter and Teresa Stroebe voted yes; the motion passed six to zero.
Trustee Thomas Jones asked if there are actually requests received from parents for non-retention of their child. Eileen responded yes.
Tim Trafford noted that the policy provides for recourse for parents via the Uniform Grievance Procedure as stated in Policy No. 4310.
REPORTS AND MISCELLANEOUS
A. Technology Report
Pam Richau said she did not have anything to add to the written report she provided. She noted that the district is still participating in E-rate. Pam gave a brief explanation about e-rate and advised that reimbursements and credits are coming in. Mrs. Richau said Jack Sterling, the specialist with whom we contract for completing the E-rate paperwork, is well worth it.
B. Facilities Report
Facilities Director Art Anderson reported that the construction project is moving along well; Fisher Construction is projecting that it may be completed within six weeks or at the latest in mid-December. It is covered now so work can progress even in winter weather conditions.
They needed to replace the entire bottom of one boiler. That work was finished today, and they plan to fire it shortly. The rest of the boilers are ready to go.
There is a problem with the pavement in the new turnaround area. The asphalt contractor did not complete the work to specifications. Art is working with them to get it fixed. He advised that he won’t accept it until it gets repaired properly.
Mr. Anderson noted that the maintenance department has processed 296 work requests so far this year; that is about double the number completed at this time last year.
Art discussed how he and the teacher coordinated a math project where students used math formulas measuring the turnaround and calculating square footage, etc. He noted that it helped the students see a practical use for math.
C. Activities Report
Mr. Osborne provided a written report that was in the packets.
D. Principals’ Reports
Middle School Principal Mike Sullivan said he had nothing further to add to his report. He did note that science teacher, Charles Harvey, has put together a website that is connected to the school site.
Intermediate School Principal Dave DeBoer said he had nothing to add to his report.
Primary School Principal Mike Bowman provided a copy of an article from Education Week regarding retention. He said the Open House was wonderful for the school district. Mr. Bowman thanked Eileen for providing the Beatrix Potter program; the kids loved it. He also noted the pictures of the Native American Dancers and said that it had been a very good assembly.
E. Superintendent’s Report
Eileen said she had nothing to add to her written report. She advised that on October 18 from 8:00-9:00 a.m. will be the first meeting of Lockwood Community Citizens Counsel in Cindy Gopp’s room.
Teresa said she appreciates Eileen’s report; she is amazed at all Eileen does.
OLD BUSINESS OR FOLLOW UP INFORMATION
Tim suggested that trustees provide their information in writing whenever possible so it can be provided with the packet.
A. Future Growth Committee
Barbara Frank gave the report on the first meeting of the Future Growth Committee.
Eileen and Barbara will compile the prioritized list from the survey to bring to the next meeting, which is scheduled for Tuesday, November 30, 2004 at 7:00 p.m.
It was noted that MCEL is in Billings on October 20-22. Teresa reminded everyone of the District 9 meeting to be held during MCEL.
Trustee Stroebe also advised that attorney Elizabeth Kaleva is resigning from MTSBA.
Teresa said that financial projections and the preliminary budget outlook for MTSBA are provided on their website.
Superintendent Johnson attached a list of some offerings that Becky Conner has booked for our Community Education Program for review by the trustees.
These businesses donated to the Family Baskets for the Family Resource Center drawings during the Open House:
Sweetheart Bakery, River Rags Outlet, Arby’s @ Town Pump, The Dollar Variety Store, Dairy Queen, Subway, Klip Korner, The Blue Basket, Lockwood Veterinarian Services, Lockwood IGA, and Lockwood Exxon.
PUBLIC COMMENT ON SCHOOL ISSUES
The next regular meeting will be held on Tuesday, November 9, 2004, at 7:00 p.m.
Thomas Jones moved to adjourn the meeting at 9:45 p.m. Teresa Stroebe seconded
the motion. Teresa Stroebe, Barbara Forrester Frank, Jim Painter, Gayle Walker,
Thomas Jones, and Tim Trafford voted aye; the motion passed unanimously.
Timothy Trafford, Chairman Diane M. Brook, District Clerk