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, January 9, 2007.
The following trustees and officers were present: Trustees: Teresa Stroebe, Becky Malenowsky, Tim Trafford, Sue Vinton and Superintendent Eileen Johnson.
Chairperson Stroebe called the meeting to order at 6:20 p.m. Mrs. Stroebe determined that the individual’s right to privacy exceeded the public’s right to know, and she closed the meeting for the annual evaluation of Superintendent Eileen Johnson.
The closed session ended at 7:00 p.m.
CALL TO ORDER - OPEN SESSION - REGULAR MEETING
Chairperson Stroebe opened the regular meeting, called it to order at 7:05 p.m., and led those present in the Pledge of Allegiance.
The following trustees and officers were present: Trustees: Teresa Stroebe, Becky Malenowsky, Tim Trafford, Greg Bochy, Sue Vinton, and Thomas Jones (arrived at 7:15), Superintendent Eileen Johnson and District Clerk Diane Brook. Trustee Barbara Forrester Frank was absent.
Staff members present were: Art Anderson, Mike Bowman, Dave DeBoer, Mike Sullivan, Johanna Freivalds, Don Christman, Charles Harvey, Nikki Alt, Nancy Kaderavek, Brent Lipp, and Lynette Larson.
Registered guests present were: Evelyn Pyburn (Yellowstone County News), Becky Webber and Pam Malek.
Mrs. Stroebe welcomed visitors and advised the following:
If you wish to speak to the Board of Trustees at this meeting about agenda items, please complete a form and give it to the Board Chair or the clerk.
Any person present, who wishes to do so at this point in the agenda, may address the board or raise any question about public school district matters or governing policies. No discussion of personnel or individual students is permitted at this time. A limit of three minutes is placed on each speaker. Persons who want more time may make arrangements to be placed on a future agenda.
Trustee Sue Vinton moved to hire Superintendent Eileen Johnson for an additional year, which extends the ending date one year, to June 30, 2010, on her three-year contract. Tim Trafford seconded the motion. Becky Malenowsky, Greg Bochy, Sue Vinton, Teresa Stroebe and Tim Trafford voted aye. The motion passed five to zero.
Becky Webber wanted to publicly thank the board and Eileen for the “awesome” job they are doing with the design of the Middle School building. She is glad they are being very aware of taxpayers’ concerns.
Becky also wanted to discuss the McCracken case. She feels passionately that it was wrong and that money is being taken away from the children of Lockwood each month as we pay the health insurance for Mr. McCracken and his wife.
She respectfully requested that this issue be put on a future agenda, so the public could be updated as to what is happening with the case.
Chair Teresa Stroebe responded that the board appreciated Mrs. Webber’s comments and concerns, and they will consider putting this issue on a future agenda.
PUBLIC WRITTEN REQUEST TO BE PLACED ON THIS AGENDA
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.
Tim Trafford moved to approve the minutes of the December 12, 2006, Regular Board Meeting and the bills as presented. Greg Bochy seconded the motion. Teresa Stroebe, Tim Trafford, Greg Bochy, Thomas Jones, Sue Vinton, and Becky Malenowsky voted yes; the motion passed six to zero.
A. Letter of Resignation (The resignation was received after the agenda was sent out.)
Supt. Johnson received a letter of resignation from Kate Ayers. Chair Teresa Stroebe read aloud the letter. Sue asked if they are searching for a replacement; Eileen said yes. Since Kate resigned prior to being officially hired by the Board of Trustees, no action was necessary.
EDUCATION AND BUSINESS
A. Resolution on Bond
Tim Trafford moved to adopt the resolution entitled: Resolution Relating to $12,860,000 General Obligation School Building Bonds, Series 2007; Fixing the Form and Details, Making Covenants with Respect Thereto, Authorizing the Execution and Delivery and Levying Taxes for the Payment Thereof.
Chair Stroebe said we are very excited to be able to do this. There was a special meeting yesterday at 12:00 noon, where we sold the bonds.
Sue Vinton seconded the motion.
Eileen Johnson advised that there had been eight bidders; all of which submitted their bid electronically.
Sue mentioned the press release provided by D.A. Davidson which said in part: “District officials were extremely pleased with the Bond sale results and overall reduction in interest costs to taxpayers of approximately $1,771,684.”
Tim commented about Standard and Poor’s initial bond rating of A-. The fact that Exxon encompasses 40 percent of our tax base can be cause for concern, but also viewed as a positive. He said that paying for a rating up front was a good move financially for the district.
Eileen advised insurance was purchased by the successful bidder to raise the bond rating to AAA.
Teresa called for the question.
Teresa Stroebe, Tim Trafford, Greg Bochy, Thomas Jones, Sue Vinton, and Becky Malenowsky voted aye; the motion passed six to zero. (The entire resolution is attached as part of the minutes.)
B. Request for Students to Attend a Music Festival in Idaho
Brent Lipp, music teacher from the Middle School, was present to request a trip to a music festival in Idaho. Supt. Johnson recommended approval of this travel.
Mr. Lipp reviewed the festival agenda and updated budget with those present. He commented that it is in our price range because most festivals of this type would be in Chicago or much farther.
Lynnette Larson said this Jazz Festival is a huge festival with top-notch performers.
Brent said the students will get hands-on workshops with a professional. The students will then see them perform in a concert. The band will play three tunes at the workshop. They will compete for points and the top band will get the reward of playing with the professionals at the evening concert.
Trustee Trafford asked why so many students worked so hard at fund raising, and only 35 students will get to go on a trip.
Brent responded that he did not feel it was appropriate to just continue accumulating funds, and he wanted to make use of them in the most educationally beneficial way possible. The jazz band does a lot of
extra work. He advised that there is no ideal situation, because there are so many students. Brent said he will be taking the choir to the festival in Hardin.
Tim said he thinks it is good use of the money. He was just concerned because the students may have thought they were all going on a trip to Seattle. He told Brent that he may get some questions about this.
Brent said not everyone is going to be treated equally with the funds, and he is trying to do the best he can and make the best use of them. He advised that he had spoken to the students about the Seattle trip and had investigated the costs. He did tell the kids that they didn’t make the goal to go to Seattle, and they needed to re-focus.
Teresa said this is a good life lesson.
There was discussion about how chaperoning will be handled and about make-up work.
Brent said students will have to be in compliance with GPA, and he is requiring that they have C’s or better. The will get pre-release slips and in most cases work will be done in advance
Greg Bochy moved to approve the trip, advising he thinks it is a great opportunity. Tim Trafford seconded the motion. Teresa Stroebe, Tim Trafford, Greg Bochy, Thomas Jones, Sue Vinton, and Becky Malenowsky voted yes; the motion passed six to zero.
C. Calendar for 2007-2008
A calendar for the 2007-2008 school was attached to the agenda for review.
Sue asked why Lockwood’s calendar does not match the calendar for Billings School District.
Eileen advised that they do look at the Billings calendar, and Lockwood’s is closer to it than it used to be. However, Billings does their PIR days differently than Lockwood does, and we are separate entities with different ideas as to what works best.
Tim asked if any parents are involved in the process.
Supt. Johnson said no, however there is newsletter notification asking for input. The calendar is set by a school-based committee.
Chair Teresa Stroebe believes that we should have a holiday on Martin Luther King Day.
Thomas Jones moved to adopt the Lockwood School District No. 26 Calendar for 2007-08 as presented. Becky Malenowsky seconded the motion. Teresa Stroebe, Tim Trafford, Greg Bochy, Thomas Jones, Sue Vinton, and Becky Malenowsky voted affirmatively; the motion passed six to zero.
D. Report on Annual Yearly Progress for 2006
The report for the district’s results on the Montana Test given in the spring of 2006 was attached to the agenda. Supt. Johnson advised trustees of the following: Many of the pages are from Measured Progress, the testing company hired by the state. As you will notice our students did very well on this annual challenge.
Eileen made the following statement regard AYP:
“The concept of adequate yearly progress sounds good, but the various categories of reporting make little rational sense. Children who cannot speak enough English to understand the test are tested in English anyway and expected to make progress. Children who have individual education plans because of a learning disability have to be measured against other children without those same conditions.
IDEA has been in place for more than 30 years and is based on the correct notion that children with learning disabilities must be addressed with those disabilities in mind. NCLB says it does not matter.
We compare students in a grade level one year with a totally different group the next year and then attempt to report progress.”
Mrs. Johnson said there are many things about NCLB with which she agrees, however she hopes there will be some changes with the re-authorization. Eileen reviewed the summary information provided below:
The Annual Yearly Progress 2006 for Lockwood Schools
Attached to this cover page are the reports from the Office of Public Instruction regarding the test results on Lockwood students from the spring of 2006. These are a reflection of the excellent work on the part of our staff, students and parents in this community.
The No Child Left Behind Law has given the public schools AMO’s (Annual Measurable Objectives). The following percentage of students must be proficient or advanced in reading and math according to the following schedule:
2006-07 74% in reading 51% in math
In our district the students as a group are 87% proficient in reading as compared to 80% statewide. In math our students as a group are 71% proficient as compared to 65% statewide.
The Annual Yearly Progress 2006 for Lockwood Schools (continued)
***Each school is judged on numerous different measures. If a school does not meet a federal standard in any one of those measures, it is designated as not meeting the “adequate yearly progress” demanded by the new law.
***A school’s enrollment is divided into 11 specific subgroups along lines of race, ethnicity, family income, limited English proficiency and students with disabilities.
***Each subgroup must contain at least 40 students to be measured for progress in reading and math. If any of the 11 subgroups fails to meet the standards for math or reading, participation, attendance, the school and district fail to meet the federal standard.
***Each sub-group must meet the requirements as well as the entire group or the school does not meet AYP.
***An analogy: In science a student does not pass the weather unit. Therefore, the student does not complete the requirements for all classes they are taking that year.
***In each group 95% of the students must be tested.
***If there are not 40 students in a subgroup in a building, but the district total adds to 40 or more, the district must meet adequate yearly progress with that group.
***Students with disabilities did not make Adequate Yearly Progress in grades 6-8. These students who are on Individual Education Plans are required to make the same progress as students without disabilities according to the No Child Left Behind law.
She said we have some wonderful scores and she is proud of the staff. She said the sub groups (40 students) have also done well. Larger schools have more students, so there are more “countable” sub-groups of 40 students. Eileen advised that the State of Montana will release the results to the press January 17-24, 2007.
Middle School Mike Sullivan said his staff does an incredible job. He believes we have top-notch special education teachers.
Eileen said people move here because of our special education program.
Becky Malenowsky asked about consequences for not meeting AYP.
Supt. Johnson said because last year all schools made AYP, we are in a lesser category of consequences. We will be required to offer supplemental services for anyone who wants them.
She advised that under IDEA the special needs students have individual goals and objectives, and this has been successful. This process has been thrown out the window and superceded with NCLB.
Tim Trafford asked Mike Sullivan to pass along to the special education staff that he feels they do an excellent job.
A. List of Substitutes
Tim Trafford moved to hire Christa Bianco, Seidel Standing Elk and Robert Waddingham as substitute teachers. Thomas Jones seconded the motion. Tim Trafford asked if they had all been fingerprint background checked. Eileen answered affirmatively. Teresa Stroebe, Tim Trafford, Greg Bochy, Thomas Jones, Sue Vinton, and Becky Malenowsky voted aye; the motion passed six to zero.
Since there was such a short time between the holiday and the return to school, supervisors and principals will be available to answer questions, but did not provide formal reports.
A. Update on the Design Symposium
Eileen distributed the agenda for the symposium and advised that it is open to anyone who wants to observe.
Supt. Johnson advised that she and the trustees have been invited to attend a forum on Monday afternoon, January 15, 2007, at 4:00 p.m. All major contractors have been invited to this forum to discuss the Construction Manager At-Risk process.
She is also invited to a meeting with the City-County Health Department about health services out here in Lockwood. The meeting will be at 11:00 a.m., Monday, January 15.
Mrs. Johnson distributed the Request for Credentials for the Contract Manager. She advised that on Friday, Feb. 2, 2007, respondents must provide their paperwork to JGA. After that interviews will be scheduled with the contractors and the board for the following week. The final selection is to be made by February 9. The trustees and public will be given 48-hour notice of the meetings scheduled. This contractor will supervise construction of the new building and the new boiler plant.
Sue Vinton said she appreciates the thoroughness of the instructions in the RFQ.
Tim said this process of hiring a CM-AR is new to the public sector, but not to the private sector. The contractors are familiar with this process.
It was noted that 40 people will be involved in the design symposium.
The timeline for the building is completion by July 2008.
B. Election Calendar for 2007
The official school election calendar for this spring was attached to the agenda. Eileen reviewed it briefly and advised taking note that the dates for filing for election are December 25, 2006 through March 28, 2007. This year the terms of Barbara Frank, Thomas Jones and Tim Trafford expire in May 2007.
OLD BUSINESS OR FOLLOW UP INFORMATION
Sue Vinton mentioned that speeding in front of the school was a safety concern. She saw the sheriff’s car checking speed there twice last week, and she was pleased to see that this situation was being monitored.
It was noted that the MQEC (Montana Quality Education Consortium) meeting will be held January 19, 2007. Eileen said the Governor is going to speak.
Teresa Stroebe advised that she will be in Washington D. C. from January 27-31; she is going as representative for MTSBA and to lobby.
The next Regular Board Meeting will be at 7:00 p.m. on February 13, 2007.
Sue Vinton moved to adjourn the meeting at 9:44 p.m. Thomas Jones seconded the motion. Teresa Stroebe, Sue Vinton, Tim Trafford, and Thomas Jones voted yes; the motion passed four to zero.
Teresa Stroebe, Chairperson Diane M. Brook, District Clerk