PROCEEDINGS OF THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES
LOCKWOOD SCHOOL DISTRICT #26
YELLOWSTONE COUNTY, BILLINGS, MT
Combined Work Session
Lockwood School Board and the Future Growth Committee


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January 25 , 2005

CALL TO ORDER

Chairman Trafford called the meeting to order at 6:10 p.m.  He led those present in the pledge of allegiance.

Those present were as follows: Tim Trafford, Teresa Stroebe, Gayle Walker, Eileen Johnson, Mike Bowman, Mike Sullivan, Pam Richau, Darlene Hess, Charles Harvey, Jennifer Riehl, Carrie Schmidt, Nancy Eby, Denise McGough, and Tim Cramer.

Tim:

“One of the visions of the board is the facility.  However, we really don’t know where we are going and what we are going to accomplish or what the growth committee is going to deal with.

The public has the right to speak.  This is a work session.  There will be neither votes taken, nor any decisions made.  The meeting will last until approximately 7:50, and then Teresa will give a legislative update at 7:50. 

In a sense, this is the second or third meeting.  The vision of this committee is to get our hands around the situation and what it needs in order to proceed.  We need documentation and statistics to know where are we going. 

Eileen has information and statistics, which give us information.  Input from the Facilities Director is necessary.  What needs to be repaired?  We need staff and teacher and student input.  We need community buy-in. 

How will we get the community involved?  It is easy to say we need the numbers but what are the numbers?  Without community buy-in, we won’t have the support we need. “

At that point, Tim asked Nancy paraphrased the letter she wrote to the board, expressing her opinion that we need a new middle school.

Tim encouraged the audience to express their opinions, as he didn’t way to be the one to say, “This is what we need to do.” He went on to say, “It’s not easy to predict the numbers of students down the road.  There are new subdivisions and roads.  The definition of Lockwood has been defined by the boundaries of the school district.”

Teresa: 

“The first growth committee’s idea of a middle school came to the cost of $11 million and then was scaled down.  Then the idea was dropped. 

In the meantime, I have read that some districts are not moving toward a middle school concept, but instead a K-8 configuration.  I believe splitting the school into two campuses will be brought up.  We have to expect it.  We need a really good

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reason to keep the campus together, but we also need a good reason to split it.  There are many possibilities for the configuration of the school.  We need to put all the ideas down and explore them completely.  There are so many different ideas.  We need knowledge based decisions.” 

Tim

“We need knowledge based decisions.  We need to get this done.  Establish a time line to accomplish this. “

Teresa

“We need a good demographic idea…we need the numbers.  Population growth expectancies are not valid.”

Tim

“Subdivisions are platted and roads built.  We are talking real houses.  It’s probably not a guessing game.  We need the numbers.”

Teresa

We have all these different options.  We need to explore the options.” 

Tim

“We need existing population and projected population.  We need a list of what we need right now with zero growth.  We need to know what we need to enhance student achievement.” If we knew we weren’t going to grow, what would we ask for?” 

Darlene Hess

“The growth of special programs and extra staff has increased our staff and the need for space. “

Tim

“So we need to have a list of those programs and how much space is needed.”

Eileen Johnson

“I have some of the answers.  Since 1990 we have grown 9%.  In the next school year, we were projected to have 1110 students (1995), but we already have 1,205.  We are well over the projections.  We have over 130 home sites being developed; they are planned, marked, and being built”

Tim

“Without eating up farm land, there is room for more than 2000 homes in Lockwood.”

Teresa

“Do we have the number of children per household? “

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Eileen

We don’t have the statistics, because we aren’t incorporated.  The fire department has some of the information.  We have an estimate of that number, but not exact”

Teresa

“Can we get that information?  What do they approximate?”

Eileen,

“I can get that information for you.”

Tim

‘What else do we need to know?            ‘

Eileen

“We have classes over state accreditation numbers.  If all-day kindergarten becomes a law, we would need double the space.”

Mike Sullivan

“We have a classroom that does not meet ADA requirements and no where to put it, if we have to move it.  We have different programs that use the same space, such as PE and Music.”

Tim

“What about facilities in terms of maintenance?  We have to be certain that we have the money to take care of what we have now, in addition to what we build.  We have plans for new roofs and boiler updates.  We have to demolish a gymnasium”

Eileen

“We don’t have to demolish the gym yet.   We have at least ten years, if not more, now that we have made repairs. “

Teresa

“With the new subdivisions, would our tax base come up?”

Tim

“Yes, but wouldn’t make a difference in the funding from the State.”

Mike Bowman

“What would we need to change before the infrastructure wears out? Repairs are expensive.”

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Tim

“We have things we can work on that will save money long-term, although we may need to spend some money up-front.  We need that on the list.  Each thing on the list requires justification and needs to be prioritized.   An example would be a campus-wide storage shed.  Would it be cost-effective to build one central storage shed and eliminate all the small ones?”  Everything we do needs to guide what we are doing and where we are going in the next five years.  I also want to guide where the money is spent.  If we get the money, we have to spend it where it was designated to go.”

Teresa

“In the scope of this committee, we need to examine sources of money and all the options.  We need to look at levies, bonds, and other sources of money.”

Tim

“Once again, we need to put our arms around what we need to know.”

What programs are wedged into an unacceptable area as far as space? How many classes are over accreditation?  What mandates may come down, such as all day kindergarten?  What about the classroom that isn’t ADA compliant? What about programs overlapping other programs in terms of space usage, such as PE and music?”

Pam Richau

“We have an ever growing technology infrastructure with a supporting superintendent and board that keeps us “here” for growth.  But we don’t have a line item that gives us that money.  We need to make sure we are always planning for the growth.  We have to get well wired and keep the wires in place.   It’s part of what we do…we can’t exist without technology.  The teachers and staff depend on it to do their jobs every single day.  Add it to the list!”

Tim

“I have, and I imagine Nancy has also.”

Pam

“I would have to gather all the needed information.”

Tim

“We need a target.You need to tell me what I need to know so you can tell me what you need.  You need to know some things before you come back and talk about it”

Pam

“In addition, we need the numbers to sustain what we have.”

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Eileen

“In addition to technology, we would have to remodel the rest of the campus, if a new middle school was built so that we could accommodate the transition of the existing structures” 

Tim

“When we talk about the possibilities, we need to have the numbers to talk creatively.”

Teresa          

“We need to go back to the beginning and talk about the needs of 1800 kids.  We are being proactive instead of reactive. “

Tim

“From a sales position, we are still crowded.  That will give us a boost in the “selling” of a new facility. “

Eileen

There are just so many bodies we can put in one place at one time.  In our current cafeteria, we cannot accommodate any more students between the hours of 11:00 and 1:00.  We have to find more space.  We need to consider the fact that we will have to move students out of the cafeteria area.  We just don’t have the space to feed any more.   “Also, if we have two campuses, would we have one nurse or two nurses traveling? “

Teresa

“We need to know when the time is right to split the campus.”

Eileen

“The cost of land would be an issue.”

Teresa

“There is only so much that can be placed on the land we have. Let’s start at the top. Our population is now 1264.            We need to know what it will be in five years.   We need to work with the city-county planning group.  We need to extrapolate.  I thought the city-county planning knew the numbers.”

Eileen

“It changes from week to week.  Each week someone comes in and mentions a new development.”

Tim

“We need to know the projection.”

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Member of Audience

“Rick Russell (Lockwood Water and Sewer) has a good number.  He knows the numbers so they can plan where future water lines are going to be placed. “

Eileen Johnson

“The school district goes outside of the water district.”

Member:

“The water district plan is going outside the water district, even if it doesn’t expand to that.”

Tim

We need numbers for the years 2010 and 2015.  We have our current numbers.  We need our projected numbers.”  What would it take to solve the overlap of facilities problem?”

Mike S

“ An auxiliary gym with a stage and a place to put chairs, so we don’t bump kids out of class for concerts. “

Tim

“Could the current gym be remodeled so there would be both?”

Eileen Johnson

“Where would the athletic program be in the afternoon?”

Tim

“I don’t know.”

Mike S

“There is a multi-purpose room at Eagle Cliffs  Elementary that serves three purposes.  We could consider something like that.  We have another 

problem with our move since the new addition was opened.  Vicki Balgua has to bounce back and forth between two different classrooms for health.  We need a health room for each grade level.  The computer classroom is upstairs…a long narrow staircase.  If kids in wheelchairs want to take computer applications, we can’t get them up there.” 

Tim

The choice between desktop and mobile computers isn’t hard.”

Nancy Eby

“But this is a computer applications class.  It isn’t the same as teachers using the mobile labs in their classrooms.”

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Mike

“No matter what is up there, you can’t a wheelchair up there. We have two middle school classes in 4th grade wing.  We have a classroom off the lunchroom

We have a classroom in the new addition.  We have people calling all the time complaining that middle school students are in the wrong part of the school, but the kids are where they are supposed to be. “

Tim

“With all of the things described, how big would the building be?  If the middle school were vacated, what would go there?  How many classrooms do you have now, and how many do you want?  Your conference room is not a good place.  If you took you existing number of scattered rooms, what does it mean?”

Mike

“Six per grade…”

Tim

“I want a list with numbers.  How many per grade, special Ed, specialists, conference room, secretary, office, etc.  Each principal needs to do the same thing.  Include all day kindergarten classes – how many classes would we need? If we expand pre-kindergarten, what will we need to know in terms of space?

Talk about gyms, music programs.   Know that we won’t get everything we want because we don’t have the funds, but plan big and then we will prioritize>”

Eileen,

“Mobile computer labs are ideal.  However, that would increase the number of people working in the technology department.  Mobile labs need to be set up and a troubleshooter needs to be available.   Mobile labs are wonderful, but more people are needed for them.”

Tim

“Eileen, from your perspective, there are universal needs such as the SRO, the co-op and the cafeteria. “

Pam

“Where does the Boys’ and Girls’ Club fit into this?  Do we project space for them and our collaboration with them? 

Teresa

“What is working?  What works well and why does it work?”

Tim

“What about teacher disconnect?  Is it a problem K-8 or just in the middle school?”

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Nancy

“It’s not an important issue district-wide.  It’s always been that way.  It’s only a problem in the middle school because of the distance between people.”

Jennifer Riehl

We are disconnected because we can’t collaborate with our colleagues.  Teachers within the same departments are not close enough to work with each other, and it takes six or seven minutes to get from one room to the next.”

Teresa

“The vision of K-8 gives the older kids a place to go to work with younger kids.” 

Nancy

“We don’t want to change our philosophy”

Mike S

“We have a K-8 structure.  We just have three buildings.”

Teresa

“Others are talking about a middle school off campus.

Nancy

“Are there groups talking about that?  I guess I’m out of the loop on that one.

Teresa

“I don’t know, but I think there probably are.”

Tim

“If somebody were to bring it up, there are pros and cons and we could argue the issues and be done with it.”

Teresa

“Change is painful.  The ones that have been here the longest are the hardest to change.  We don’t necessarily stay in our comfort zone.” 

 Nancy

“On the topic of other needs, we need more playground area.” 

Teresa

“We will become three big schools.”

Tim

“Maybe we’ll be four big schools”

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Teresa

“Write that down.  We might be four schools instead of three. 

There may be another way to do the same thing.”

Tim

“I am trying to assign tasks.  I want the statistics for the next meeting.  I want the projected numbers and the projected needs for those numbers.  We know we’ll miss in some areas, but we’ll have a number that is closer than guessing at all.  Art, you are included in that.  What the buildings need in substantial repairs, such as a 20-year roof plan.  Those might not be in your mind, but they need to be, so we need to look at long-term plans.  As Mike pointed out, there are things that will become obsolete.  Principals need to put together a list of all these items. Include conference space, storage room, nurse, co-op, The Boys’ and Girls’ Club will grow as we grow.  There need to be technology discussions – mobile vs. fixed labs.  Between now and whenever the next meeting occurs, we need all those lists and numbers.  We’ll adopt them as ours and project them out.  Then we’ll decide what to do….expand, divide, disband, etc.  If discussion involves expanding campus, would it physically expand acreage and how would we do that?  It would not be too far-fetched to e consider buying the two pieces of property where the houses are located, or even part of the trailer court. “

Teresa

“Isn’t there state land dedicated for schools?”

Eileen

“You would have to get a lawyer, draw up a plan, and go to the body to ask for what you want.  Right now the state is involved in a controversy about giving up state lands.  I don’t know if the state or county would be willing to part with any right now.”

Tim

“These are just kicking around ideas that we might consider.

Between now and the end of February, I want to know where we are going.  I think we can do that. “

Gayle

“We need a mult-purpose room.  We need to look at expanding.  At first I was opposed to a high school out here, but I am looking at it differently now.  However, I would like to see more than just Lockwood students at a high school out here.”

Mike

“Our kids need to branch out and make new friends and explore their horizons in high school.  They need friends who don’t know about their grade school exploits.”

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Nancy

“I agree.  My own two daughters got a great education at Lockwood, but they expanded their friends and activities in high school, and it was the best thing for them.”

Teresa

“The overcrowding in the high school is an issue makes a difference. It’s our kids that are creating the over crowding. The boundaries are not enforced.  They are not enforceable.  With Senior not meeting AYP, it makes it more unenforceable.  There are so many kids where they shouldn’t be.  There needs to be a solution to the over crowding.”

Nancy

“ Overcrowding is not an excuse to keep our kids from expanding.  Kids are more resilient than adults.”

Teresa

“Some kids aren’t.” 

Tim

“A high school is a School District #2 issue, and we can’t really discuss that issue here.  We all have the opportunity to tell them what we think.  This meeting has to address Lockwood School District #26.   We need to discuss our issues. We have our own crowded conditions.  That’s where the discussion needs to focus.”

Mike Sullivan

“Hallways built in the 50’s.  The hallways are crowded.  There are lockers on two sides of the hall, and there isn’t room. “

Tim

“Include safety concerns including fire issues on that part of your list.

Also, you have to include the playground”

Mike

“You can’t put all three grade levels (6-7-8) together on the playground.  We don’t have enough adults to supervise all the kids if they are all in the same area.”

Eileen

“To have a peaceful, enjoyable lunch, we need more space.”

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Tim

“In the fall and spring, the buildings are way too hot.  We probably have six weeks of uncomfortable rooms.  With the new addition, we do have some leverage for that.  You need to mention that.  You need to prioritize for the next meeting.  Does everyone know what he or she need to do?”

Eileen,

“We need to know which classrooms are too small for certain areas and grades.”

Tim

“Maybe we could look at remodeling some of the classrooms by combining classes.  But we want smaller classrooms, so that will be more money with more staff.  In conjunction with this, the board will be working on the ideal size for a classroom.  That’s what we’ll be doing in February.   We need to put our arms around the situation.”

Eileen

I’ll take care of the population projections.”

Tim

“Use the City-County planning, fire, and water to help with that.”

Denise McGough

“What about security?”

Tim

“We have dkfferent types:

We have security when school is in session, when the kids are leaving after activities, and when the building is empty.”

Teresa

“My first idea was video cameras.   But you have to have someone watching those cameras.

Eileen Johnson

“But you don’t have to have someone watching all the time.  You just need someone to check them if there is an incident reported.”

Tim

“Security is an issue”

Nancy

“Kids in the front of the middle school after school hours are becoming an issue.”

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Tim

“They aren’t just Lockwood students.  They might be Lockwood kids, but not students enrolled at our school right now.”

 Eileen Johnson

“Skateboarding and roller blading are not allowed.  Our insurance company will not allow it, because of liability.”

Mike S

“We’ve heard from the fire department.  Is it truly official that we cannot add on anymore?  Common sense tells us that, but is it a for sure?

Time

“I hope someone would tell us that.”

Eileen,

“It is official.  We cannot add on in that maze.  We have to something away from the maze.”

Tim

“Besides, here is a chance to do something unique.  We can get the ideas, throw them out there, and whatever it is, it will be.”

Mike

“When people ask why don’t we add on, we can say we can’t.”

Tim

“From a cost perspective, we can’t add just enough for now, because in five or ten years, we’ll really be in trouble.   If we come up with numbers, we will have to validate them”

Pam

“Is there some kind of data that reflects the cause for the drop or rise in enrollment during some years? “

Denise

“Did we restrict our out-of-district students?”

Member

“Rick said that it had to do with the economy at that time.  There wasn’t anything that can be attributed to it.”

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Eileen

“Stories in the news media that talked about the contaminated water didn’t explain that it only affected people who were not Lockwood Water Company water…just the people who had wells.”

Pam

I feel that the mobiles that move in and out reflect the transiency more.  This is a harder nut to crack.  Housing sites are one thing.  But we do have more trouble dealing with people that come and go.”

Mike S

“The transiency population stays stable.  People move in and out evenly.”

Pam

“Kids come and go. I leave the kids in Power School and Star, because they often return.”

Tim

“Is that because they move from mom’s to dad’s?”

Eileen

“The cost of housing is growing.  The people in our community can’t afford houses, so they stay in mobile homes.  They move from here to Shepherd to Huntley Project to School Dist #2. “

Teresa

“We should only have to count the kids who have been here for at least two years for AYP.”

Eileen Johnson

“Now the entire state is required to do the same thing, so it should be better.  It should be better if they stay in the state.” 

Tim

“We have assignments passed out.  We need to schedule the next meeting. “

The next meeting will be held on Thursday, February 24th from 6:00-8:00 PM in the Board Room.

Tim

“Any other ideas?  I hope I didn’t shut anybody down.  We need to get some facts and then do some brainstorming”

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Teresa

“Sometimes brainstorming isn’t knowledge based.  You risk putting things out.”

Eileen

“Are you going to see another goal-setting meeting for the board?  You said you would do that for the February meeting.”

Teresa

“Goal setting and vision are not the same as our brainstorming, but our brainstorming will lead to our goals and vision.”

Tim

“This is a public meeting.  Does anyone have anything else to add?”

Carrie Schmidt

“If schools are separated, it is much more difficult to meet with teachers from other levels.  We blamed the other levels too easily.  I worked in a small community, and the middle school was across town from the grade school.  We tended to blame each other for the problems.”

Teresa

“That issue could be the reason for not separating the schools.”

Carrie

“My own personal experience was in a smaller community.”

Tim

“That would be a thing that would point to negative school achievement.”

Carrie

“There was no collaboration so there was a lot of blame.”

Eileen

“It’s easy to blame when you the other person isn’t accessible.” 

Teresa’s Legislative Update

Teresa attended a conference sponsored by the Wheeler Center.  There was discussion there about legislation that would break the barriers for consolidation, such as monetary issues.  They talked about doing what’s best for kids.

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Senate Bill 152 – Definition of a quality education.

Courts told the legislators that the state has to define quality, so Ryan said he want to define and then decide how to fund it.

The MSBA is in favor of approaching the funding issue in that matter. 

Another issue – MSBA – trying to do some legislation on distance learning tying it to ANB money.  We need to keep a handle on distance learning and including those kids in our ANB.

Another bill coming up – Ryan is going to ask them to redefine the funding formula.

Teresa would like to see removing the high school moratorium, so school s can do what’s best for kids.

Everyone should follow the emails that come out.

Teresa had copies of Kirk Miller’s presentation on the history of funding.  He put all the summaries of funding recommendations in the packet of information. 

The meeting was adjourned at 7:55 PM.

 

 

__________________________________           ________________________________

         Timothy Trafford, Chairman                            Diane M. Brook, District Clerk

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