PROCEEDINGS OF THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES
LOCKWOOD SCHOOL DISTRICT #26
YELLOWSTONE COUNTY, BILLINGS, MT
Regular Meeting


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December 14, 2004

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|CALL TO ORDER

The Lockwood Board of Trustees met at 6:00 p.m. in the new addition to tour the new rooms with the Boys and Girls Club Board.

CALL TO ORDER DECEMBER 14, 2004

The regular meeting of the Board of Trustees of School District No. 26, Lockwood Schools, Yellowstone County, was duly held in the Board Room, 1932 U.S. Highway 87, Billings, Montana, on Tuesday, December 14, 2004, at 7:00 p.m.

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, Barbara Forrester Frank, Jim Painter, and Greg Bochy, District Clerk Diane Brook and Superintendent Eileen Johnson. Trustee Gayle Walker was absent.

Staff members present were: Dave DeBoer, Mike Sullivan, Susan Andersen, Stephanie S. Miller, Pam Richau, and Art Anderson.

The registered guests present were Evelyn Pyburn, Robert Guenther, Pam Malek, Sandra Hopkins, and Susan Rose.

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.

Greg Bochy moved to approve the November 9, 2004 regular board meeting minutes as presented and the payment of all bills and wages and extracurricular bills. Barbara Forrester Frank seconded the motion. Tim Trafford, Jim Painter, Barbara Forrester Frank, Thomas Jones, Greg Bochy, and Teresa Stroebe voted aye; the motion passed six to zero.

PUBLIC WRITTEN REQUEST TO BE PLACED ON THE AGENDA

None received.

BUSINESS

   A. School audit report from Galusha Higgins & Galusha PC. This is early on the agenda to accommodate our auditor.

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Susan Rose from Galusha, Higgins & Galusha was present to discuss the 2003-2004 audit report and how GASB 34 fits into the schools in Montana.

Susan gave an overview of how they conduct the audit. She briefly discussed materiality and risk, and getting third party confirmation from Yellowstone County. She advised that there were several changes in the reports created by their firm due to GASB 34. Mrs. Rose then reviewed the audit report with those present. She advised that the district was in good shape and the Management Discussion and Analysis Report written by the business manager in conjunction with the superintendent was acknowledged as well-done by OPI and will be placed on their GASB 34 website as an example for other school districts.

CORRESPONDENCE

   A. Letter of Resignation for Coaching Position

Chairman Tim Trafford read aloud the letter of resignation written by Dwight Von Schriltz for the Seventh Grade Boys’ Basketball Coach.

   B. Letter of Resignation for Crossing Guard

Chairman Trafford read aloud the letter of resignation as crossing guard written by Carie Hess. It was noted that the resignation will be effective December 22, 2004.

Supt. Johnson recommended accepting both resignations with appreciation for their work with our students.

Trustee Teresa Stroebe moved to accept the two above-mentioned resignations. Thomas Jones seconded the motion. Trustees expressed thanks for their services. Thomas asked if they had a new crossing guard in mind. Eileen said not yet; they will use para-professionals until the position is filled.

Trustee Jim Painter said Dwight was a good coach.

Tim Trafford, Jim Painter, Barbara Forrester Frank, Thomas Jones, Greg Bochy, and Teresa Stroebe voted aye; the motion passed six to zero.

   C. Letter from Lockwood PTA Board

Chairman Tim Trafford read the letter out loud.

Superintendent Eileen Johnson reported that she talked with the PTA president the day before. Eileen said that two businesses were mentioned by the PTA president that had expressed concern about Lockwood Schools purchasing from them. Mrs. Johnson had Kay Becker, accounts payable clerk, research the purchasing records for these two

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businesses. The first business had an increase in purchases made of 50%; we buy everything for the FACS classes and the Board Luncheon from that business. Mrs. Johnson advised that the school foods program purchases in bulk grocery houses.

Supt. Johnson also noted that bidding and awarding contracts are regulated by state law, and Lockwood Schools follow those legal guidelines.

The purchasing records for the other business that had expressed concern also showed an increase. Eileen advised that fewer trips are being made to this business since Art Anderson became facilities manager, but the money is still being spent there.

Eileen advised she informed the PTA of this information.

Mrs. Johnson commented we try to support local businesses and be fiscally responsible.

Eileen told trustees she could compose a letter to the PTA with the above-mentioned information and copy it to the two businesses. The board agreed to this strategy.

Tim read aloud the letter from the Montana Dental Association regarding soda pop and nutrition in public schools.

Supt. Johnson said we have already limited the availability of soda pop and increased the availability of water and milk for our students.

Trustee Greg Bochy said, “Like normal, we are way ahead of the game.”

EDUCATION AND BUSINESS

   A. Results of Measured Progress Spring Testing

The results of last spring’s Measured Progress tests for our fourth and eighth grades were attached to the agenda. The principals and superintendent answered questions about Measured Progress Test results and provided some of the plans to overcome the status of not making Adequate Yearly Progress.

   B. Eileen summarized the reports. Lockwood Schools did not meet AYP (Average Yearly Progress) in math; as a sub-group the economically disadvantaged did not make it. Eileen feels this is a very narrow measurement of what we do here. If one sub-group does not make it, the whole school does not make it. The Intermediate School did extremely well in reading. Middle School made AYP in reading and math.

Mrs. Johnson advised that 4th grade and 8th grade are added together for district wide measurement of AYP. For district wide measurement the sub-groups were bigger, and they must be counted. District-wide children with disabilities did not make AYP. We are working on this. Teachers are working to modify curriculum and studying what

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skills are needed to answer the questions. An example of this would be: Geometry is tested in March, we did not teach it until April. We will now teach geometry earlier in the year.

Schools must make AYP two years in a row in order to get off the needs improvement list.

The state requires schools that do not make AYP to take Title 1 funds, which will decrease next year, to bring in training providers that are approved on the state list. Eileen shared the list the state has put out, noting that most of them are out of state. There is only one in Billings and one in Lewistown.

We can provide tutors, but they must be for students in the educationally disadvantaged group.

Principal Dave DeBoer said the fourth grade teachers analyzed all the test questions, and then shared them with third and fifth grade teachers. Then they met with K-2 teachers to share the test questions with them.

He said it is a quantum leap from Iowa tests to Measured Progress tests. There is much more reading, inferences, open ended questions, graphing, and work must be shown for Measured Progress.

Mike Sullivan said the middle school math department got together and did a math analysis. He advised that we need to teach math vocabulary and equations, how to use reference materials, and how to take a test. The new math book is heavy in “story problems” which will help.

Mr. Sullivan said after the holidays the communication arts teachers will do the same things that the math teachers had done.

Eileen said the teachers are all working together at all levels to see how they can help each other.

Eileen said we are almost at a point of needing a curriculum coordinator. Counselors and principals are spending a great deal of time on curriculum and assessment issues. It is required when you have 100 certified staff. Mrs. Johnson said it is something we will need to look at in the near future.

Middle School Principal Mike Sullivan commented that alignment is huge, and it must start at lower levels. We need someone that can tackle this for curriculum at all grade levels.

Chairman Trafford asked if it is possible for Lockwood Schools to make AYP. Eileen said it is possible; we need to re-focus what we are doing.

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Trustee Stroebe said we are not testing the same kids; we have a very transient society. Teresa expressed concern that we are teaching to the test.

Eileen said this test is directing our educational system. It is mandated.

Trustee Barbara Forrester Frank commented the federal government believes if every school is achieving the way they should be, it wouldn’t matter what school a student attends or if they move.

Mrs. Johnson noted that the hardest part is losing face. It is depressing and stressful when teachers work so hard, and then do not to meet AYP. Lockwood falls into the large group. Smaller schools were allowed to average the last three years of their Iowa tests.

This information regarding AYP will be made public in January.

Evelyn asked when we would have to hire tutors. Eileen said that is an option we can offer to parents. Details have not yet been worked out, since no one has had to do it yet.

Tim asked about communication between districts; Eileen said they talk at meetings, etc. Large districts have more difficulty, because of the numbers in the sub-groups.

   C. Detailed Cash Investment Report

Attached is the October 31, 2004 Investment Report. This report is prepared monthly by Scott Turner, who manages the investments for Yellowstone County, all school districts in Yellowstone County, as well as various fire districts, irrigation districts, and other taxing entities. This report illustrates the breakdown of the investments, average cash balances and interest distribution. Lockwood Schools is fortunate to be a member of this investment pool. Scott Turner, Yellowstone County Finance Director, does an excellent job of handling this investment program. We also get some benefits from Wells Fargo Bank, as all accounts are housed there.

In 2003-04 Lockwood Schools earned interest totaling $32,711.46, including $9,993.13 posted to the General Fund and $13,772.89 posted to the Building Reserve Fund. Interest earned from July-October this year totals $10,202.18.

The above-mentioned information was provided to the trustees by business manager, Diane Brook.

PERSONNEL

   A. Updated list of substitutes

The updated list of substitutes was attached to the agenda for board approval. Supt. Johnson noted that there was an addendum to support staff, Vern Dilulo.

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Greg Bochy moved to hire Verna Uffelman as a substitute teacher, Kate Ayers and Vern Dilulo as substitute support staff. Thomas Jones seconded the motion.

The trustees asked if all substitutes had completed a fingerprint background check. Superintendent Johnson answered affirmatively.

Tim Trafford, Jim Painter, Barbara Forrester Frank, Thomas Jones, Greg Bochy, and Teresa Stroebe voted aye; the motion passed six to zero.

   B. Coaches for basketball

Supt. Johnson recommended Maja Archer and Chris Peterson as basketball coaches. Maja has already been working with the girls, and Chris is starting with the 7th grade boys.

Teresa Stroebe moved to hire Maja Archer and Chris Peterson as basketball coaches. Barbara Forrester Frank seconded the motion. Tim Trafford, Jim Painter, Barbara Forrester Frank, Thomas Jones, Greg Bochy, and Teresa Stroebe voted yes; the motion passed six to zero.

   C. Paraprofessional for Middle School

Mrs. Johnson recommended Dustin Herbert as a paraprofessional for the Middle School. He replaces one of the paraprofessionals who resigned previously.

Teresa Stroebe moved to hire Dustin Herbert. Greg Bochy seconded the motion. Teresa asked if Mr. Herbert had completed a fingerprint background check. Eileen said yes.
Tim Trafford, Jim Painter, Barbara Forrester Frank, Thomas Jones, Greg Bochy, and Teresa Stroebe voted affirmatively; the motion passed six to zero.

   D. Teachers for second semester

Mrs. Johnson advised the board as follows: After the discussion at the work session on November 30, I advertised for a variety of teachers. It appears that the greatest need is having more teachers in the lower grades. We also have a high caseload in Special Education in grade three. We are open to any suggestions from the Board. The principals and I will review the applications and have final staff recommendations in January.

Eileen said we can bring in another third or second grade teacher; also requested PE and special education.

Eileen noted that they are trying to be creative in using the money and staffing where the greatest needs are. She advised that she will have staffing recommendations in January.

Trustee Thomas Jones asked if they anticipate hiring three for just the next semester. Eileen said yes, because they don’t know what next year will look like.

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POLICY

   A. Policy No. 2421 Promotion and Retention

This is the third and final reading of Policy No. 2421 Promotion and Retention.

Eileen had some statistics on retention. She advised in Grades 3-5 at current time we have 54 students who at one point had been retained. She commented that there is much less retention in the higher grades. She summarized the statistics for the board.

It was noted that most retentions in the primary grades were in kindergarten.

Greg Bochy moved to adopt Policy No. 2421 as presented on third and final reading as Jim Painter seconded the motion.

Mrs. Johnson advised that it is important to do something different for the student the second year and the teaching staff works on that.

Greg Bochy said mentoring is very important to students.

It was noted that Trustee Thomas Jones had sent an e-mail to the entire board with a commentary that the parents’ feelings should be given weight by the retention committee.

Eileen said the parents are involved every step of the way.

There was discussion to clarify the meaning of pre-referral.

Chairman Trafford called for the vote. Tim Trafford, Jim Painter, Barbara Forrester Frank, Thomas Jones, Greg Bochy, and Teresa Stroebe voted affirmatively; the motion passed six to zero.

REPORTS AND MISCELLANEOUS

   A. Principals’ Reports

Intermediate Principal Dave DeBoer reviewed a graph showing results of the IOWA tests of third graders through the intermediate grades. It shows the Lockwood is a blue ribbon school.

Middle School Principal Mike Sullivan said he had nothing to add to his report.

Mrs. Johnson commented that she likes the information the teams provided on his report.

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   B. Superintendent’s Report

Supt. Johnson advised that she had nothing to add to her written report.

Chairman Trafford said he appreciates her community involvement. Eileen responded that she feels it is part of a superintendent’s. job.

The emergency kits that the students in the Gifted and Talented Program are putting together through the Homeland Security Grant were briefly discussed. Mrs. Johnson noted that the students will be distributing to the rest homes and other places in January.

   C. Technology Report

Mrs. Richau described the GIS training provided to the students in the board room today. University of Montana personnel provided the training in conjunction with the Homeland Security Grant. They showed them how the satellites got up there and how they collect remote data. This was great technology and it showed the kids jobs of the future.

As part of their Homeland Security Grant work, the students are also reviewing the crisis manual and making suggestions to improve it.

   D. Athletic Report

Jim Painter noted that the students from Lockwood School who are now wrestlers on Senior’s team did very well.

Chairman Trafford asked Eileen to report on the VFW writing contest. Eileen said awards were given Friday. In Yellowstone County, Lockwood students took first, second, and third places and at the district level they took second and third. Tim said there will be some scholarships awarded to these students.

   E. Facilities Report

Trustee Bochy thanked Art Anderson for all the time he has been putting in.

Eileen said Art is pulling pieces together that needed to be handled.

Art said they met Thursday morning with all architects, contractors and all the entities that had to make a final approval. On Thursday they had to be substantially complete and compliant, and they were.

Art said they had a problem with getting the handrail done. He said it will be worth the wait, and it will be very attractive.

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Mr. Anderson advised that there are a number of improvements that are occurring district wide due to this addition. There are updates and improvements to the cable distribution, water and sewer lines, heating, and the intercom and telephones.

Tim Trafford asked about the fire alarm system.

Art responded that it will be remote. He and Pam Richau are working on it, so there will be off-site monitoring. Some panels will need to be updated or replaced.

Tim asked about tying burglar and fire alarms together.

Art said there would be problems with intrusion alarms, due to staff having to sign in and out. They are planning to get some security cameras.

OLD BUSINESS OR FOLLOW UP INFORMATION

Chairman Trafford mentioned the superintendent’s evaluation. Supt. Johnson’s contract is renewable in February 1, 2005. It would be normal to have the evaluation prior to that. The next regular meeting is January 11, 2005. He advised that the trustees could complete the evaluation prior to the meeting, as we have in the past. He noted last year each member filled out an evaluation form; then the results were compiled.

Eileen said she would like the evaluation presented at an open meeting in January or February. It was the general consensus that the board would meet at 6:00 p.m. on January 11, 2005, for purpose of evaluation of the superintendent.

Tim reported that the Best of MCEL workshop had a portion dedicated to the evaluation process. Chairman Trafford will get this information to the trustees, as well as the evaluation forms.

TRUSTEE REPORTS

Barbara Forrester Frank reported on the November 30, 2004, Future Growth Committee meeting. She said the meeting was mostly about staffing.

Eileen provided the trustees with a book entitled The Key Work of School Boards Guidebook. She said she would like to set another work session meeting to start talking about the processes in the book.

Mr. Trafford said he agrees with goal setting, etc. However, he wants the growth committee to get its arms around what is going on in Lockwood. He wants numbers and some concrete information about the growth. He said, “We don’t have a lot of time.”

Tim said he believes the work in the guidebook, goal setting, etc., is separate from the work of the Growth Committee.

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Trustee Stroebe advised that the Growth Committee needs all previous gathered facts and information from other committees.

The trustees decided to set a Work Session for Thursday, January 20, 2005. The agenda topic of discussion will be Board goals and vision. The meeting will be held from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. in the Board Room.

It was the consensus of the trustees to set up a date and time for the next Growth Committee meeting when they meet on January 11, 2005, for the regular board meeting.

PUBLIC COMMENT ON SCHOOL ISSUES

None

NEXT MEETING

The next regular board meeting will be held on Tuesday, January 11, 2005, at 6:00 p.m. The superintendent’s evaluation will be conducted during open session beginning at
6:00 p.m.

ADJOURN

Teresa Stroebe moved to adjourn the meeting at 9:50 p.m. Thomas Jones seconded the motion. Tim Trafford, Jim Painter, Barbara Forrester Frank, Thomas Jones, Greg Bochy, and Teresa Stroebe voted yes; the motion passed six to zero.


__________________________________           ________________________________

         Timothy Trafford, Chairman                            Diane M. Brook, District Clerk

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