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


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March 8, 2005

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CALL TO ORDER

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, March 8, 2005.  Chairman Trafford called the meeting to order at 7:02 p.m.

Chairperson Tim Traffordled those present in the pledge of allegiance.

The following trustees and officers were present: Trustees:  Tim Trafford, Thomas Jones, Jim Painter, Greg Bochy, Teresa Stroebe, Barbara Forrester Frank,  District Clerk Diane Brook and Superintendent Eileen JohnsonTrusteeGayle Walker was absent.

Staff members present were:  Dave DeBoer, Mike Bowman, Mike Sullivan, Art Anderson, Sharon Harris, Melinda Hartmann, Kay Reynolds, Tina Muller, Becky Conner, Denise McGough, Stephanie Miller, Sue Robertson, Whitney DiFronzo, Marie Anderson, Diane Slagsvold, Cathy Bakker, Mary Kay Rottrup, Darlene Hess, and Pam Richau. 

The registered guests present were Robert Guenther, Perry Price, Libby Hellekson, Ron Bakker, Pam Malek, Leonard Orth, Mitch Hoff, and Cha Hess. Evelyn Pyburn from Yellowstone County News was also present.  

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.

Jim Painter moved to approve the February 8, 2005 regular board meeting minutes and the February 24, 2005 special board meeting minutes as presented and the payment of all bills and wages and extracurricular bills.  Greg Bochy seconded the motion.

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

PUBLIC WRITTEN REQUEST TO BE PLACED ON THE AGENDA.

None received.

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CORRESPONDENCE

            A. Letter of Resignation from Dustin Herbert

Chairman Trafford read aloud the letter of resignation from paraprofessional Dustin Herbert.  Supt. Johnson recommended accepting his resignation and sending him best wishes for the future.

Thomas Jones moved to accept Dustin Herbert’s resignation effective March 11, 2005.  Greg Bochy seconded the motion.  Tim Trafford, Jim Painter, Barbara Forrester Frank, Teresa Stroebe, Greg Bochy and Thomas Jones voted aye; the motion passed six to zero.

EDUCATION AND BUSINESS

            A. Individual Transportation Contract

Mrs. Doney requested an individual transportation contract. The District and the East Cooperative will share the cost of the transportation.  The approved rate for the transportation contract will be $.25 per day; the Co-op will pay the remainder.  Supt. Johnson explained that the Board had approved an individual transportation contract in previous school years for Nancie Doney and she recommended the same at this time.

Teresa Stroebe moved to approve the individual transportation contract for Nancie Doney for the second semester of 2004-05.  Barbara Forrester Frank seconded the motion.  Tim Trafford, Jim Painter, Barbara Forrester Frank, Teresa Stroebe, Greg Bochy and Thomas Jones voted aye; the motion passed six to zero.

            B. Amendments to our Flex/Section 125 plan

A packet of information is included on the changes to the Flex/Section 125 plan for employees. Diane gave a brief explanation of the changes.

Greg Bochy moved to adopt the amendments as recommended by Employee Benefit Resources to the flex plan.  Thomas Jones seconded the motion.

Chairman Trafford noted that the documents were received late; he asked that Diane Brook express his concern about the documents being received after the flexible benefits year had begun.  Diane said she would note it on her evaluation of their services.

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

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            C. Community Education Annual Report

Community Education Coordinator Becky Conner presented the annual report. There were proposed new procedures and two policies related to Community Education and Facilities included in the board packets. Supt. Johnson recommended approval of the procedures and fees as well as the policies.

Eileen explained that they have been working on the new procedures and policies since last summer. Eileen said Becky is new to the position, and she has done a very good job. She noted that procedures do not need to be a part of policy.

Becky is trying to develop new programs for Community Ed. Her goal was to develop one new program per month. She advised that there had been a polar fleece blanket- making class and two jewelry-making classes. She started the Book Club, which has eight or nine members; Diane Slagsvold has helped with this project. She has started the Senior Coffee Klatch with a guest speaker for each meeting. The Craft Bazaar was quite successful this year, and she hopes to have it as an annual event. She has plans with the Red Cross to host a blood drive.

Mrs. Conner noted that each day after school there are at least fourteen rooms in use including the Boys’ and Girls’ Club. This is a 50 percent increase from last year. Eighteen scout troops are using Lockwood School as a meeting place this year; there were only four or five scout troops last year.

Mrs. Johnson and Mrs. Conner reviewed the procedures for charging for facility use with the board. Becky said she explains to users that the charge is to recoup school costs for utilities and bathroom supplies, not to make a profit.

Becky, Art, and Eileen have met to try to streamline the contracts.

Chairman Tim Trafford asked about liability insurance. Becky said all teams have liability insurance or any activity that is beyond just basic classroom use is required to provide proof of liability insurance. She keeps that information on file.

There was some discussion of how to give Lockwood residents priority in building use, but also be able to maintain a first come first serve policy. Tim suggested that Becky monitor this. If it becomes a problem she could bring it back to the board, and the policy could be modified.

Thomas Jones moved to approve the procedures, guidelines, fees, and contracts for rental as provided in their packet. Barbara Forrester Frank seconded the motion. Tim Trafford, Jim Painter, Barbara Forrester Frank, Teresa Stroebe, Greg Bochy and Thomas Jones voted aye; the motion passed six to zero.

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            D. Family Resource Center annual report from Tina Muller

Family Resource Center Coordinator Tina Muller presented a report of Family Resource Center activities. The report is attached.

Tina said it is her first year as facilitator; she worked in the center for several years as an assistant. She noted that it has really grown since its inception.

            E. Calendar

The calendar and PIR days for 2005-2006 were attached to the agenda. Mrs. Johnson recommended approval.

This year the calendar chosen by the staff was created by teachers in the intermediate building. The later start date was chosen due to the heat in August.

Jim Painter moved to adopt the calendar as presented; he noted that it has 180 pupil instruction (PI) days plus 7 pupil instruction related (PIR) days. Thomas Jones seconded the motion.

Eileen pointed out the difference from past practice for the November PIR day. There will be school wide conferences; then there will be no school the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.

Teresa Stroebe said that she would like Martin Luther King Day as a school holiday.

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

            F. Changes in duties for next year with request for additional staff &
            G. Request to extend the school day for K-3

Items F and G were considered together.

Supt. Johnson advised the following: Attached are two pages of changes I am recommending for the next school year. These recommendations, along with Mr. Bowman’s, are part of some system changes that we see as necessary to improve achievement for our students. Teachers and administrators have been studying and visiting about how to achieve on the level prescribed by the NCLB (No Child Left Behind Law). Here at Lockwood we have wonderfully talented and competent teachers. Many of the recommendations before you tonight are to assist them in their role as instructors. Much has changed on the education scene in recent years. The teachers need

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tools and support to keep them from spinning their wheels, so they can get a grip on the task. I know they will make good use of the data system and support we hope to give them. I am asking your assistance with this chore. It will be costly and I ask that you find the resources to provide the additional staff and tools to accomplish this. The changes in administrative assignments will help to bring cohesiveness within the staff and an opportunity to work closer together. The request to extend the school day for K-3 will allow us to return some programs to these Primary grades without losing the valuable time for core subjects, which is needed to stabilize the early interventions in reading and math that challenge us all so severely these days.

Eileen said that nationally, statewide, and in the district we are at a crossroads now. Two of our schools did not make AYP. We have a very talented staff and the scores do not reflect that, and she does not feel the scores reflect what happens here. Nonetheless we are affected by AYP. She knows one board goal is to make AYP and so is hers.

She thinks it is important to get more cohesiveness within the school. She believes that it is her job at the direction of the Board to implement a plan to meet the goal of meeting Average Yearly Progress.

Mrs. Johnson said she wanted to clarify the issue of principals’ duties. The building designations will not change, but some of their duties would change. K-5 would be a unit and in that unit she wants to implement MBI. The 6-8 MBI Program is in the infant stage, but is progressing.

Superintendent Johnson said none of this is drastically new; it is just more defined.

Eileen reviewed the attachment entitled, Changes to Satisfy the NCLB and to make AYP, with the trustees. She advised the principal load is quite high at Lockwood. Pulling all data together for a “picture” of a student will be very important. Pam Richau, technology coordinator, will be helping in this endeavor.

Chairman Trafford asked about budget concerns. It was noted that we won’t know if we will be able to hire additional staff until we get final budget figures.

Supt. Johnson informed trustees that the new data system would probably cost $60,000-$100,000. Tim asked if it would be possible to use general fund reserves for this purpose. Eileen said legally yes. She also advised that it may be possible to use some end of year funds, since this was a relatively warm winter there should be money left in utility line items.

Mrs. Johnson said using reserves is a one-time solution for a “rainy day”, not a long-term source of funds. She feels that it is now a rainy day. She commented that a few years ago the legislature reduced general fund reserve levels from 35 percent down to ten percent. Eileen advised how the board could use reserve funds with a budget amendment.

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Supt. Johnson informed trustees that passing a levy in the Technology Fund could also provide a money source for the student data collection system.

Chairman Trafford asked the other trustees, “Do these changes reflect the goals they have discussed?”

Vice-Chairperson Teresa Stroebe responded yes. She said the board goals of making AYP and data driven decision making are integrated with the proposed changes.

Trustee Jim Painter expressed the opinion that it is very important for the principals to maintain their contact with the students.

Middle School Principal Mike Sullivan remarked that he wants to have the time to be an educational leader.

Trustee Barbara Forrester Frank said her priority is getting teachers in the classroom. She wanted to know if there are options that would cost less than hiring another administrator.

Trustee Greg Bochy commented that it is important for principals to have time to be with teachers.

Trustee Thomas Jones said he would like to see more teachers hired.

There was a brief discussion about transportation. Mrs. Johnson said bus routes will have to be changed whether or not the school day length changes, because of population changes. Eileen advised that she will be asking for looping cameras on all buses next year also.

Chairman Trafford remarked the trick is to turn data into information. If you act without information, you are a fool. Tim said the many more things that can be accomplished with the same effort, when decisions are data driven.

Eileen advised that when we reach 100 certified staff, we will be required [by state accreditation standards] to have a Curriculum Director. Principals will need help as we add staff and programs. That may not be the first priority, but it is important.

Teresa said it is important to get the most for our money and work to meet AYP.

Space issues were also discussed.

Eileen advised that changes in IDEA will allow use of federal funds to finance assisting students who are not yet identified. The federal government wants schools to accomplish skill work in the early years. The current model is to wait for failure. The proposed model would divide students into skill levels and teach at that level.

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Barbara wants to see different scenarios for an assistant or administrator. She asked how that position would fit into a salary schedule. She requested a census with ratios of principals in area schools and a prioritized list and where cuts would happen should the estimated funding level not materialize.

Teresa Stroebe asked for a role and job description of the proposed assistant administrator.

Thomas Jones said, “Aren’t we putting the cart before the horse, since we don’t know funding.”

Jim Painter said, “Such is school board; that is the way it always is.”

Tim Trafford said the timeline for purchasing the data system should include dates for formal presentations and final decision date. The system should empower the teachers and the administrators.

Mr. Trafford asked, “What in all of this [the proposals] went to smaller class size?” He would like to see a clearer picture of that.

Supt. Johnson requested direction from the Board.

The trustees decided to meet again on Wednesday, March 30 at 7:00 p.m. with the proposed Changes to Satisfy the NCLB and to make AYP and Principals’ Duties for 2005-06 as the agenda topics.

The Board of Trustees decided to meet Monday, March 14, 2005 for facilities planning from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.

        H. Call for Trustee Election and Levy Election

After a brief discussion, Thomas Jones moved to adopt the attached resolution to call for a Trustee Election for three trustee positions and a possible Mill Levy Election. Barbara Forrester Frank seconded the motion. Tim Trafford, Jim Painter, Barbara Forrester Frank, Teresa Stroebe, Greg Bochy and Thomas Jones voted aye; the motion passed six to zero.

Supt. Johnson noted: As in the past during legislative years, we may not have the exact mill levy figure for several more weeks.

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PERSONNEL

        A. Updated List of Substitutes and Track Coach

Teresa Stroebe moved to hire Rob Osborne as Track Coach, Crystal Arneson, Jessica Gage-Wanamaker, Nila Mulford, and Barbara Murphy as substitute teachers, and Ted Welch and Kerry Pantoja as support staff substitutes. Thomas Jones seconded the motion. Trustee Stroebe asked if these people had completed a fingerprint background check. Supt. Johnson responded yes. Tim Trafford, Jim Painter, Barbara Forrester Frank, Thomas Jones, Greg Bochy, and Teresa Stroebe voted yes; the motion passed six to zero.

POLICIES

Eileen advised that all policies were related to a law requirement or change except Policy No.5441.

Chairman Trafford reminded trustees that if the law requires the policy change, then it can be adopted with one reading.

#2250 Community Education - First Reading
#4330 Community Use of School Facilities - First Reading

Mrs. Johnson suggested adding this sentence to the Policy No. 4330: Lockwood residents will be given preference for use of school facilities within limits of contract law.

Tim advised that there would need to be procedures in place to provide for the above-mentioned preference. Eileen said she will sign every contract as an authorized representative and contract law must be followed.

#2105 Grade Organization - First Reading
#3120 Compulsory Attendance - First Reading
#3608 Receipt of Confidential Records - First Reading
#5240 Resolution of Staff Complaints/Problem-Solving - First Reading

Thomas Jones moved to adopt Policy Nos. 2250, 2105, 3120, 3608, and 5240 as presented and Policy No. 4330 with the above-mentioned amendment on first and final reading. Teresa Stroebe seconded the motion. Tim Trafford, Jim Painter, Barbara Forrester Frank, Teresa Stroebe, Greg Bochy and Thomas Jones voted aye; the motion passed six to zero.

Policy No. 1610 Goals and Objectives - Second Reading

Barbara Forrester Frank moved to approve Policy No. 1610 on second reading. Greg Bochy seconded the motion.

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

#5441 Communication with Parents First Reading

Barbara Forrester Frank moved to adopt Policy 5441 on first reading. Jim Painter seconded the motion.

The following wording changes were requested: Paragraph 1, line 1: should approve changed to shall approve and Paragraph 2, line 2: may not be sent changed to will not be sent.

Thomas Jones asked if this policy will cause a workload issue. Chairman Trafford responded, “No, it is the standard now; we are just putting it into a policy.”

Trustee Forrester Frank amended her motion to approve Policy No. 5441 with the above-mentioned wording changes. Chairman Trafford asked if there was any dissention to the amendment. Seeing none he called for the vote. Tim Trafford, Jim Painter, Barbara Forrester Frank, Teresa Stroebe, Greg Bochy and Thomas Jones voted aye; the motion passed six to zero.

REPORTS AND MISCELLANEOUS

            A. Principals

Primary Principal Mike Bowman discussed 2005-06 plans for kindergarten per his report.

Thomas Jones asked about looping. Mike said he recommends that teachers have just one year of curriculum to master rather than two, so that would eliminate looping.

Teacher Sue Robertson spoke. She feels sad about the changes being made because of NCLB, because she thinks the focus is not on the child. She said she realizes that it isn’t anyone’s fault in this room.

Tim said this whole thing is forcing us to look at some things in different ways and some of these things can be good.

Intermediate Principal Dave DeBoer said he doesn’t think you can ever go wrong with data drive decision making. He is going back to Powell and taking two librarians and other teachers to observe their program. The children in Powell are not unhappy because they are working at a level where they are always successful.

Middle School Principal Mike Sullivan did not have a report in the agenda packet. He said he would mail it out the following day. He invited trustees to the “Ikidarod” to be

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held Tuesday March 15, 2005. He said the students have a team and musher. They answer questions from curriculum along their route. Mr. Sullivan said it is a fun and interesting event.

        B. Technology Coordinator Report

Pam Richau advised that she did not have much to add to her report. She commented that technology may be the key to help this change be more successful. She said we want it to be engaging for the kids and very usable for the teachers. Mrs. Richau briefly mentioned the Boys and Girls Club Conference she attended. She said hopefully we can tap into more of the resources they have to offer.

        C. Facility Director Report

Art Anderson said he is continuing with reorganization efforts, trying to better control costs, and looking into purchasing a large storage shed.

Greg Bochy suggested putting some painted arrows on drive-way to indicate one-way. He thought that would help traffic flow, as some people are still turning around.

        D. Activities Director Report

This report was attached to the agenda.

        E. Superintendent Report

Supt. Johnson said she had nothing to add to her report. She commented that working with our fine staff as an assistant would be an excellent way for someone to learn to be an administrator.

OLD BUSINESS OR FOLLOW UP INFORMATION

Easements: Supt. Johnson informed trustees that the Quit Claim Deed from Yellowstone County has been received, and the one from the State of Montana is in process.

TRUSTEE REPORTS

Trustees were reminded of the Day of Advocacy in Helena on March 21 and 22, 2005.

PUBLIC COMMENT ON SCHOOL ISSUES

One member of the public said he likes the idea of child assessment and re-assignment according to their skills.

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Chairman Tim Trafford reminded everyone present that Petitions of Nomination for Trustee are due by March 24, 2005.

NEXT MEETING

The next regular board meeting will be held on Tuesday, April 12, 2005, at 7:00 p.m.
There will be two special meetings prior to that date. The Facilities Planning meeting will be held Monday, March 14, 2005, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. The Goals Setting Meeting will be Wednesday, March 30, 2005, at 7:00 p.m. The agenda will include discussion and possible decisions regarding the proposals submitted by Supt. Johnson entitled: “Changes to Satisfy the NCLB and to make AYP.”

ADJOURN

Teresa Stroebe moved to adjourn the meeting at 10:31 p.m. Greg Bochy 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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