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


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May 10, 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, May 10, 2005. Chairman Trafford called the meeting to order at 7:09 p.m.

The following trustees and officers were present: Trustees: Tim Trafford, Thomas Jones, Barbara Forrester Frank, Greg Bochy, and Teresa Stroebe, District Clerk Diane Brook and Superintendent Eileen Johnson. Trustee Gayle Walker was absent. Jim Painter arrived at 7:20 p.m.

Staff members present were: Dave DeBoer, Mike Bowman, Mike Sullivan, Art Anderson, Sharon Harris, Linda Engdahl, Amanda Miller, Lynette Larson, Sandra Hopkins, Hank Yasenak, Michelle Black, Pam Richau, Stephanie Smith-Miller, Denise Lemke, and Susan Stahley.

The registered guests present were: Sue Vinton, Diane Bomar, Pam Malek, Tamara Spillum, and from Yellowstone County News, 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.

Greg Bochy moved to approve the April 12, 2005 regular board meeting minutes and the April 18, 2005 special board meeting minutes as presented and the payment of all bills and wages and extracurricular bills. Thomas Jones seconded the motion. Tim Trafford, Thomas Jones, Barbara Forrester Frank, Greg Bochy, and Teresa Stroebe voted aye; the motion passed five to zero.

CERTIFICATION OF MILL LEVY ELECTION RESULTS

After review of the official results provided by the Yellowstone County Election Department, Thomas Jones moved to certify the official General Fund Levy Election results as follows:
General Fund Levy

For the Additional Levy 171**
Against the Additional Levy 94

Teresa Stroebe seconded the motion. Teresa Stroebe, Greg Bochy, Barbara Forrester Frank, Thomas Jones and Tim Trafford voted yes; the motion passed five to zero.

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Regular Meeting
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Teresa Stroebe expressed gratitude that the levy passed, and Thomas Jones said he was impressed that it passed by such a good margin.

CERTIFICATION OF TRUSTEE ELECTION RESULTS

Thomas Jones moved to certify that Greg Bochy and Teresa Stroebe were elected as trustees per the following official Trustee Election results:

Three-Year Trustee Positions

Greg Bochy 215**
Teresa Dahl Stroebe 191**

Teresa Stroebe seconded the motion. Teresa Stroebe, Greg Bochy, Barbara Forrester Frank, Thomas Jones and Tim Trafford voted yes; the motion passed five to zero.

RE-ORGANIZATION OF THE BOARD

Diane Brook administered the Oath of Office to trustees Teresa Stroebe and Greg Bochy.

Election of Officers:

Thomas Jones nominated Tim Trafford for Chairman for another year. Tim Trafford declined the nomination. Barbara Forrester Frank nominated Teresa Stroebe for Chairman of the Board. Tim Trafford nominated Thomas Jones for the Chair position. The vote was called. Thomas Jones, Barbara Forrester Frank, Teresa Stroebe, and Greg Bochy voted for Teresa Stroebe. Tim Trafford voted for Thomas Jones. Teresa Stroebe was elected as Board Chair by a vote of four to one.

Tim Trafford passed the gavel to Teresa Stroebe.

Thomas Jones nominated Greg Bochy for Vice-Chair. Greg Bochy nominated Barbara Forrester Frank for the position of vice-chair. Tim Trafford and Thomas Jones voted for Greg Bochy: Greg Bochy, Barbara Forrester Frank and Teresa Stroebe voted for Barbara Forrester Frank. Barbara was elected as Board Vice-Chair by a vote of three to two.

Appointment of the Clerk to the Board

Superintendent Johnson advised that the Trustees are required to appoint a Clerk to the Board, and she recommended reappointment of Diane Brook.

Tim Trafford moved to appoint Diane Brook as Clerk of the Board of Trustees. Thomas Jones seconded the motion. Teresa Stroebe, Greg Bochy, Barbara Forrester Frank, Thomas Jones and Tim Trafford voted yes; the motion passed five to zero.

The meeting was recessed for approximately 15 minutes in honor of leaving trustee, Jim Painter. The Board expressed their appreciation to Jim for his service. Cake was served and Jim was given an appreciation gift.

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Regular Meeting
May 10, 2005

Appointment of Authorized Representatives

Barbara Forrester Frank moved to appoint Superintendent Eileen Johnson and District Clerk/Business Manager Diane Brook as authorized representatives for 2005-06. Tim Trafford seconded the motion. Teresa Stroebe, Greg Bochy, Barbara Forrester Frank, Thomas Jones and Tim Trafford voted yes; the motion passed five to zero.

Appointment of Activities Fund Custodian

Thomas Jones moved to have Debbie Strizich continue as the Activity Fund custodian. Tim Trafford seconded the motion. Teresa Stroebe, Greg Bochy, Barbara Forrester Frank, Thomas Jones and Tim Trafford voted yes; the motion passed five to zero.

PUBLIC WRITTEN REQUEST TO BE PLACED ON THE AGENDA

None received.

CORRESPONDENCE

   A. Letters of resignation from Karry Megerth, Vickie Jury, Rene Johnson, Kelly McCann and Loni Fox.

Supt. Johnson recommended acceptance of these resignations.

Chairperson Teresa Stroebe read aloud all of the above-mentioned letters of resignation. Tim Trafford moved to accept the resignations of Karry Megerth, Vickie Jury, Rene Johnson, Kelly McCann and Loni Fox. Greg Bochy seconded the motion. Teresa wished all of them well and good luck in their future endeavors.

Teresa Stroebe, Greg Bochy, Barbara Forrester Frank, Thomas Jones and Tim Trafford voted yes; the motion passed five to zero.

Teresa read aloud a thank-you note that had been received from the Stewarts and a letter from the Yellowstone County Commissioners thanking Lockwood Schools for hosting their meeting.

Mrs. Stroebe advised that one letter of application for trustee had been received. She noted that these letters will be addressed at the June 7, 2005, special meeting.

EDUCATION AND BUSINESS

   A. Grade 5 Report on Departmentalization this Year

Fifth grade teachers were present to give a report on the progress of departmentalization this year. When departmentalization of fifth grade was approved last year, the board asked for a report at the end of the school year

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This topic was turned over to Intermediate Principal Dave DeBoer for comment. Mr. DeBoer said he had included results of the student survey at the last meeting. He had included the results from the parent survey with this agenda. Dave said the fifth grade teachers were present to answer questions, share thoughts, and desires for next year; they had no prepared statements.

Mr. DeBoer distributed IOWA test results comparing results of the fourth grade group last year to their results as fifth graders this year. The results showed marked improvement.

Trustee Trafford said the parents were overwhelmingly in favor of the fifth-grade departmentalization.

There was a brief discussion of how departmentalization could be done even better. So that 100 percent of students and parents would be in favor of it.

Sharon Harris said having a longer period for science is better; there is not as much class time lost for getting books out, etc.

Hank Yasenak discussed the improvement of his class on the IOWA tests. He was very impressed with the results. He said the teachers put out extraordinary effort this year and they worked hard at parent communication also.

Greg Bochy asked about parent-teacher conferences. The teachers responded that they had team conferences with parents of children with concerns. They had conferences for other children if their parents called and requested one.

Denise Lemke said they used e-mail a lot to communicate with parents, also.

Sharon Harris advised that if one teacher receives an e-mail from a parent, it is forwarded to all fifth grade teachers.

The group also discussed these issues: Does departmentalization work better for all kids, including those with special needs; how to deal with a student forgetting his paper or homework; allowing modified assistance for the transition.

Thomas Jones commented that he felt the cohesiveness and collaboration of the fifth grade teachers is great.

Intermediate Principal DeBoer advised that he did not receive one phone call about a child that could not keep up the pace. He said if you are reasonable and use common sense, it is very successful.

Tim Trafford said in light of the overwhelming success of departmentalization, he moved to make it permanent in fifth grade. Thomas Jones seconded the motion. Teresa Stroebe, Greg Bochy, Barbara Forrester Frank, Thomas Jones and Tim Trafford voted yes; the motion passed five to zero.

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   B. Contract with Custer to Share Special Education Service

Supt. Johnson advised the following: Custer School needs a special education teacher for only a short period of time each year. If the agreement is approved Sandra Maloughney, who is currently assigned to New Day, would go to Custer for 16 days during the school year. Other certified teachers at New Day will take her duties while she assists Custer. This is a repeat of the agreement that we had last year.

Tim Trafford moved to approve the agreement with Custer. Greg Bochy seconded the motion. Chairperson Stroebe asked for discussion, seeing none she called for the vote. Teresa Stroebe, Greg Bochy, Barbara Forrester Frank, Thomas Jones and Tim Trafford voted yes; the motion passed five to zero.

   C. Bus Routes for Next School Year

Eileen advised that Diane Bomar had worked very hard on the routes for next year. Diane brought copies of the proposed revised bus routes for 2005-06 to the meeting.

Mrs. Johnson said she had observed Shepherd’s system of bussing students, in which all ages are transported together. She said Lockwood was one of the few schools that did not bus by neighborhood and transported younger and older students separately. The proposed new routes established to accommodate the longer school day, are set up by neighborhood, not by age group.

It was noted that there will be videos with peripheral on buses and bus rules are in the handbook.

Diane Bomar said she is experienced with hauling all ages together. They always put the younger students at the front of the bus. She said the video cameras will be a big help if there are any discipline problems. Each bus will have them, and they will run continually every day every route. They are locked in a box and the driver does not have a key or any control over the video.

The routes will be shorter and the buses will be pretty full.

Eileen advised that the bus routes will be published in the August newsletter and posted on the website.

Mrs. Bomar advised that some small changes may be implemented when the new routes are first run to get them running smoothly. Diane Bomar said they will run 12 buses.

Trustee Greg Bochy asked about the training they receive to handle disciplinary problems. Mrs. Bomar responded that the drivers receive discipline training, and they have a safety officer to assist with problems. The principals also ride the buses on occasion. The cameras will also help. The video tapes loop or rewind after about six hours. They will need to be notified within one or two days if a tape needs to be viewed.

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Thomas asked how a parent makes contact if there is a problem. Eileen responded that they contact the building principal.

Chair Teresa Stroebe asked about seating siblings together. Diane Bomar commented that seating siblings together does not necessarily work well.

Tim Trafford moved to accept bus routes as presented. Thomas Jones seconded the motion. Teresa Stroebe, Greg Bochy, Barbara Forrester Frank, Thomas Jones and Tim Trafford voted yes; the motion passed five to zero.

   D. Compass Data System Purchase

Mrs. Johnson provided the following information: Pam Richau prepared requests for the purchase of a data system and more computers. Previously, we had discussed the possibility of using general fund reserves for the data system. The General Fund Reserve is currently at $530,000. We are hoping to have the opportunity to use the data/curriculum system during the four weeks of summer school.

Eileen advised that they have been reviewing data systems. After the review, the recommendation is Compass. Mrs. Johnson distributed a copy of an article from Education Week about schools purchasing assessment software.

Technology Coordinator Pam Richau said she had spent a lot of time during the 30-day trial watching students and teachers using the Compass Program. She said it is not the most perfect in the world, but she felt it was the best they had seen.

Thomas Jones asked which grade levels would use the Compass Learning System. The response was: Pre-K through Grade 8. Pam said the curriculum is ours for as long as we want to use it. She was advised that Compass is constantly improving, developing and distributing many major releases. The program has become much more interactive since it has become web based. Pam advised that Compass is working on a spelling component.

Trustees asked how our students would be served. The response was as follows:

Kindergarteners would receive one-half hour per week for math and one-half hour per week for reading in the Compass lab.

Grades 1 and 2 will receive one-half hour twice per week for math and one-half hour twice per week for reading.

Grades 3-5 will use the labs during the school day.

Grades 6-8 will use the program as scheduled by the principal.

All students may have access after school, during lunch break, before school, at the Boys and Girls Club.

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Mrs. Johnson advised that they have plans to use the program to its fullest extent. There are plans for a summer school pilot this year if the system is purchased.

Mrs. Richau said the strengths are: is all one package (curriculum and assessment); it has strong professional development to assist with integration and support for the curriculum; it provides good data and reports.

She identified the negatives as: There are still some flat curriculum components; it is a huge undertaking; there is no spelling component at this time.

This system will help provide historical data on students. Teachers [on a need to know basis] can access their students’ previous records.

It is a wonderful assessment tool and it will be used in place of some current testing. We are phasing out IOWAS except for Grades 4 and 8, which are required. Star is another barometer and we will probably keep it.

Superintendent Johnson advised that Compass is assessment and curriculum. She provided the following example as a comparison to gauge cost: The Compass Learning System costs about $100,000; replacing reading and language textbooks costs about $120,000.

Trustee Bochy asked about grading daily work versus the learning lab. Pam said the learning lab will compliment what is being taught. Pam said it is adaptive and will allow students to move forward. The children will each be served at their learning level.

Pam noted that upgrades are included in the package, because we pay an annual support fee.

Trustee Trafford asked if Compass guarantees the price of support for the next three years. Mrs. Richau said at this time she only knew the price for next year. Tim advised that the district should ask for a price guarantee that the annual fees would not raise beyond a fixed percentage.

Greg asked about when the improvements would be available and will they continue. Pam said she believes they will.

Tim asked Pam to re-check the cost of the license fees.

Barbara asked how many schools they had visited that use this. Pam said just one, Powell.

Pam reported that the research base is still not as solid as we would like to see, because the system is too new.

Eileen said there are many other schools in the United States in the process of purchasing these types of systems.

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Barbara said she would like to hear reports from some other schools

Greg said he is not comfortable making a decision until some of these questions are answered.

Tim Trafford moved to direct Eileen Johnson to continue communications with Compass to get answers to the questions and to purchase the system right away. Thomas Jones seconded the motion.

Chair Stroebe asked for discussion. She said she knows the summer program is coming up, but wondered if we should we jump in so quickly. Teresa said it looks a little pricey.

Mr. Trafford advised that the areas he touched on were nitpicky, and he believes Eileen will get it nailed down. Tim said he thought for this type of system; it is cheap. Tim said he feels if Eileen and Pam have concerns, they will come back to the board.

Trustee Frank said perhaps we could get answers to these questions and decide next week.

Tim Trafford amended his motion to table the decision on purchasing the Compass System until the next meeting, which is May 16, 2005. Thomas Jones seconded this amended motion. Teresa Stroebe, Greg Bochy, Barbara Forrester Frank, Thomas Jones and Tim Trafford voted yes; the motion passed five to zero.

Tim reminded everyone to communicate exactly what questions need to be answered.

   E. Computer Purchases

Supt. Johnson provided the following information: It is necessary to increase our computer inventory to accommodate the student and teacher needs for data and curriculum development. We also have annual recurring costs with software. There is no regular mechanism for funding these costs except for General Fund or Building Reserves since our technology levy did not pass. Computers can be purchased from Building Reserve Fund as technology was a part of that levy.

Tim Trafford moved to table this item until the May 16, 2005 meeting. Thomas Jones seconded the motion. Teresa Stroebe, Greg Bochy, Barbara Forrester Frank, Thomas Jones and Tim Trafford voted yes; the motion passed five to zero.

Annual fees charged for many different software systems were discussed. Mrs. Johnson asked approval to use Building Reserves for these annual fees; she said it is part of technology which was originally included in the Building Reserve levy rationale.

Greg Bochy moved to pay all projected re-occurring technology costs from Building Reserve Funds. Tim Trafford seconded the motion. Teresa Stroebe, Greg Bochy, Barbara Forrester Frank, Thomas Jones and Tim Trafford voted yes; the motion passed five to zero.

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Mr. Trafford noted that the Building Reserve is finite; these software support fees are ongoing. He said he is concerned about that.

Reconsidering a Technology Levy was briefly discussed.

   F. Master Agreement Change

Mrs. Johnson recommended some new wording for next school year because of the extension of the K-3 school day and its impact on the agreement with LEA. She has been talking with the LEA president to come to this resolution. On Page 27 the third paragraph under K is no longer valid. We will change the preparation periods for K-5 to be the same. The last paragraph will be for K-5.

Supt. Johnson said if this change is approved by the board, then the teachers will vote on it. Tim Trafford moved to accept the change as listed on Page 27. Greg Bochy seconded the motion. Teresa Stroebe, Greg Bochy, Barbara Forrester Frank, Thomas Jones and Tim Trafford voted yes; the motion passed five to zero.

PERSONNEL

   A. Updated List of Substitutes

Tim Trafford moved to hire Janice Blansett and Stacy Thomas as substitute teachers. Thomas Jones seconded the motion. Tim asked if a fingerprint background check had been done. Eileen said yes. Teresa Stroebe, Greg Bochy, Barbara Forrester Frank, Thomas Jones and Tim Trafford voted yes; the motion passed five to zero.

   B. Hiring of Certified and Classified Staff

Lists of staff recommendations for the next school year were attached to the agenda.

Trustee Tim Trafford moved to re-hire administrators, coordinators, tenured certified staff, and non-tenured certified as listed on the two pages attached to the agenda. Thomas Jones seconded the motion. Teresa commented that Lockwood has a fine staff.

Teresa Stroebe, Greg Bochy, Barbara Forrester Frank, Thomas Jones and Tim Trafford voted yes; the motion passed five to zero.

Tim Trafford moved to re-hire the classified staff listed on the attachment. Greg Bochy seconded the motion. Teresa commented that Lockwood has a fine staff.

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

Mrs. Johnson said the Master Agreement will be open for negotiation next year. She recommended that a board committee meet to discuss salary issues with the classified and administrative staff next year. She thinks it would be very beneficial for a committee to listen to all groups; instead of her being the liaison and spokesman for those groups

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Eileen advised that during one of the June meetings there would be some discussion of classified employees’ contract language and flex plans and cafeteria plans. She noted that the current benefit package may not be fair and equal for all employees.

Supt. Johnson briefly summarized her salary recommendations. Tim Trafford moved to approve the salary recommendations as presented for 2005-06. Thomas Jones seconded the motion. Teresa Stroebe, Greg Bochy, Barbara Forrester Frank, Thomas Jones and Tim Trafford voted yes; the motion passed five to zero.

   C. Contract for School Nurse

The contract with the Yellowstone City-County Health Department for nursing services for 2005-2006 was attached for Board consideration. Supt. Johnson recommended this contract be renewed.

Greg Bochy moved to approve the 2005-06 contract with the Yellowstone City-County Health Department for the school nurse program. Tim Trafford seconded the motion. Teresa said the nurse does an awesome job serving 1,250 students. Teresa Stroebe, Greg Bochy, Barbara Forrester Frank, Thomas Jones and Tim Trafford voted yes; the motion passed five to zero.

   D. Contracts for Long-Term Substitutes for Remainder of 2004-2005

Maja Archer and Amber Parisien are long-term substitutes who have covered family leaves this spring. Per contract law after 35 days of continuous employment, long-term substitute teachers must be offered a contract.

Barbara Forrester Frank moved to contract Maja Archer and Amber Parisien for the remainder of the 2004-05 school year. Greg Bochy seconded the motion. Teresa Stroebe, Greg Bochy, Barbara Forrester Frank, Thomas Jones and Tim Trafford voted yes; the motion passed five to zero.

   E. Non-Renewal of Contracts for 2005-2006 School Year

Maja Archer, Amber Parisien and Susan Stahley were recommended for non-renewal without cause for the 2005-2006 school year.

A motion was made by Tim Trafford for non-renewal of contracts without cause for Maja Archer, Amber Parisien, and Susan Stahley. Thomas Jones seconded the motion. Teresa Stroebe, Greg Bochy, Barbara Forrester Frank, Thomas Jones and Tim Trafford voted yes; the motion passed five to zero.

Eileen advised that we will know in August if our Homeland Security Grant will be renewed.

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POLICY

   A. Policy No. 5441 Communication with Parents

Barbara Forrester Frank moved to adopt Policy No. 5441 on third and final reading. Tim Trafford seconded the motion. Teresa Stroebe, Greg Bochy, Barbara Forrester Frank, Thomas Jones and Tim Trafford voted yes; the motion passed five to zero.

REPORTS AND MISCELLANEOUS

Principals

Intermediate Principal Dave DeBoer said he had nothing to add to this report.

Primary Principal Mike Bowman talked about celebrating learning and referred to pictures denoting that. He said the spring music programs had wonderful turnouts. There had been field trips to the Special Olympics and Alberta Bair. Ninety-five students had registered during kindergarten roundup. Mrs. Levang was chosen as WalMart teacher of the year and she received $1,000 for the school. Mike thanked the Board for keeping the additional teaching positions that had been hired at semester.

Middle School Principal Mike Sullivan said he had nothing to add to his report. He invited Trustees to participate in graduation on Thursday, May 25, 2005 at 10:00 a.m.

Technology

Pam talked about the University of Montana providing training on GPS and GIS to students. She said tomorrow the students will complete an exercise in finding all fire extinguishers and updating the data base. A lot of practical skills are going on in relation to the Homeland Security Grant.

Facilities

Mr. Anderson distributed his Facilities Report and briefly discussed it. He advised that his goal is to have a planned set of actions instead of being reactive.

Teresa said she was glad the tree trimming had been done, because we would have lost more trees and had more problems during the recent storm had it not been completed. She said this was a good example of being pro-active instead of reactive.

Tim Trafford asked about turning the outside area by the new addition into an outdoor learning site. Art responded that there had been a fairly elaborate plan at one time, but it was very expensive. He said that drainage in this area has to be addressed first.

Activities

There was no comment on this report.

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   A. Superintendent

Supt. Johnson advised that the principals have sent letters to all out-of-district parents informing them that we might not be able to accommodate their student next year. They probably won’t know for sure until after Labor Day.

At the present time we are allowing out-of-district children of staff members, and we believe that will continue next year. She noted that we have always had some restricted grades because they are full.

OLD BUSINESS OR FOLLOW UP INFORMATION

Tim wanted to make sure where we were with the state easement. Eileen advised that they are in the process of getting the state easement, but it takes time.

The environmental department is getting ready to permit the mine. They will try to include as many of our conditions as possible in their permit.

Eileen brought a job description for the curriculum/assessment/coach position.

TRUSTEE REPORTS

It was noted that there is a MTSBA workshop on May 19.

PUBLIC COMMENT ON SCHOOL ISSUES

None

NEXT MEETINGS

Chair Teresa Stroebe mentioned the meeting dates listed below.

Special meeting: May 16, 2005 from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. (Facilities)
Special meeting: June 7, 2005 at 7:00 p.m. (Interview Trustee Candidates)
Regular meeting: June 14, 2005 at 7:00 p.m. (Thomas Jones will be absent.)

ADJOURN

Tim Trafford moved to adjourn the meeting at 9:54 p.m. Barbara Forrester Frank seconded the motion. Teresa Stroebe, Greg Bochy, Barbara Forrester Frank, Thomas Jones and Tim Trafford voted yes; the motion passed five to zero.

 

__________________________________           ________________________________

         Timothy Trafford, Chairman                            Diane M. Brook, District Clerk

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