Proceedings of the Board of Trustees
Lockwood School District No. 26
Yellowstone County, Billings, MT
Regular Meeting of December 12, 2006
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EXECUTIVE SESSION

The regular meeting of the Board of Trustees of School District No. 26, Lockwood Schools, Yellowstone County, was duly held in the Board Room, 1932 U.S. Highway 87, Billings, Montana, on Tuesday, December 12, 2006.

The following trustees and officers were present: Trustees: Teresa Stroebe, Becky Malenowsky, Tim Trafford, Thomas Jones, Greg Bochy, Sue Vinton and Barbara Forrester Frank, Superintendent Eileen Johnson and District Clerk Diane Brook.

Chairperson Stroebe called the meeting to order at 6:06 p.m. She closed the session at 6:06 p.m. for the board to discuss legal strategy in the McCracken case with attorney Ken Tolliver. The closed session ended at 7:13 p.m.

CALL TO ORDER

Chairperson Stroebe opened the regular meeting, called it to order at 7:14 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, Thomas Jones, Greg Bochy, Sue Vinton and Barbara Forrester Frank, Superintendent Eileen Johnson and District Clerk Diane Brook.

Staff members present were: Art Anderson, Mike Bowman, Dave DeBoer, Mike Sullivan, Johanna Freivalds, Pam Richau, Lynette Larson, Amy Muir, Lindsay Sedlacek, Don Christman, and Cindy Gopp.

Registered guests present were: Luella Brien (Billings Gazette), Bridget Ekstrom (D.A. Davidson), Lane Larson, William Glaser, and Evelyn Pyburn (Yellowstone County News).

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.

PUBLIC COMMENT

None

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December 12, 2006

PUBLIC WRITTEN REQUEST TO BE PLACED ON THIS AGENDA

None received

Teresa acknowledged legislators Bill Glaser and Lane Larson. Both said they were attending the board meeting to listen and they gave out their e-mail addresses as follows: Glaser@mcn.net and LLSD22@yahoo.

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.

Thomas Jones moved to approve the minutes of the November 14, 2006, Regular Board Meeting, and the November 29, 2006, Special Board Meeting, and the bills as presented. Barbara Forrester Frank seconded the motion. Teresa Stroebe, Tim Trafford, Greg Bochy, Thomas Jones, Barbara Forrester Frank, Sue Vinton, and Becky Malenowsky voted yes; the motion passed seven to zero.

CORRESPONDENCE

None

EDUCATION AND BUSINESS

A. Gifted and Talented Presentation

Cindy Gopp was present to explain some changes in the delivery of Gifted and Talented services to our students. These changes were necessary with the reduction in staff in this department. Eileen explained the changes this year were because there were no additional grants from Learn and Serve and Homeland Security and there is no secretary for the program. DeLana Bauer, who was the secretary, was re-assigned as a paraprofessional due to budget constraints.

Mrs. Gopp explained that they have gone to a model of gifted and talented program and decided how to deliver the model. She reviewed the high points from her report attached to the agenda. They changed the criteria for students to be eligible for the program. Last year they served 138 students; this year there are 44 students in the program. Every student on campus was evaluated; from those evaluations a candidate pool was developed. Students in that pool were then chosen via a final criteria and evaluation.

This year the program is twofold: 1) students will come weekly with their peers to the gifted education classroom for integrated curriculum instruction. 2) Mrs. Gopp will provide one-on-one consultation with classroom teachers to adapt curriculum in the classroom to better individualize instruction. This will be done based on the needs that are identified in the Individualized Academic Plan.

Chair Stroebe commented that reduced state funding has cuts to the Gifted and Talented Program.

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Trustee Sue Vinton asked whether there is a plan to keep the number of students served at 44. She wondered if a student leaves will another student be allowed to take the spot. Cindy said that is a good question. This program is new and they are still deciding the rules.

Becky Malenowsky asked about continuing the Hilner Park project. Cindy replied that she hopes to continue the project with volunteers this year, as she felt there was a commitment made to the neighborhood.

B. Contract for Financial Advisory Services from D.A. Davidson

A copy of the contract was attached to the agenda and Supt. Johnson recommended approval.

Bridget Ekstrom, Vice President of Public Finance for D. A. Davidson, advised that the interest rates have been favorable at the recent bond sales she has attended. A favorable interest rate of about four percent could produce up to a $2,000,000 savings of the life of the bond, since we had estimated the rate at about five percent.

Bridget distributed an information sheet entitled “Lockwood Elementary District Estimated Debt Limitation Calculation” to delineate the differences between using the three-year average ANB and the 2006/07 ANB. She pointed out that there is a discrepancy in state law when it comes to ANB figures. When the legislature allowed three-year averaging of ANB figures for budgeting, they did not make changes to ANB references throughout the Montana statutes to allow three-year averaging for everything. Thus there was no change to allow for three-year averaging of ANB for determining debt capacity. The explanation sheet provided indicates that the election figures used ANB three-year average, but the actual amount allowed at this time is determined by using 2006/07 ANB figures. That is why we can only sell $12,860,000 in bonds in January.

Ms. Ekstrom informed those present that this is the first time the three-year average versus the actual had made such a difference in debt capacity. So we are the first school that actually passed the levy for more than was immediately available with the debt calculation formula. She advised that as of July 1, 2007, the remaining balance of the debt capacity would be available due to the projected increase in Guaranteed Tax Base (GTB) and the final payment of $233,333 for the Building Reserve in May 2007.

She believes, at this point in time, that a two-year inter-cap loan to access the remaining debt capacity of $540,000 after July 1, 2007, would be the best way to go. She noted that the payment schedule proposed would fold in the payments for the short-term loan to make payments even throughout the life of the bond. Bridget advised that she will come back in June to finalize her recommendation about bonding versus an inter-cap loan to access the final $540,000 bonding capacity passed by the voters.

Bridget Ekstrom advised that the additional fee of $5,000 proposed for the second set of bonds would not be necessary if an inter-cap loan is used. She commented that their fees are the same that they charged Laurel school district for their bond.

Trustee Tim Trafford moved to engage the Financial Advisory Services of D. A. Davidson for the bond issue. Trustee Greg Bochy seconded the motion. Chair Stroebe asked if there was public comment. There was none. She asked if there was more discussion; there was none. She called for the question.

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Teresa Stroebe, Tim Trafford, Greg Bochy, Thomas Jones, Barbara Forrester Frank, Sue Vinton, and Becky Malenowsky voted yes; the motion passed seven to zero.

Bridget briefly discussed the information provided in the draft Preliminary Official Statement (POS). She advised that it was in draft form at this point, but all information will be verified, corrected, and completed before the final document is sent out to prospective bidders.

Bridget explained the process of getting a bond rating via Standard and Poor’s prior to insurance versus getting insurance only. (She distributed an information sheet about Standard and Poor.) Ms. Ekstrom said that in the past few months, fewer and fewer insurers wanted to provide the insurance. Due to this, she advised that Lockwood School District get the bond rating from Standard and Poor’s, because bidders are looking to have a rating or insurance. The school district will pay for the rating, which will cost $10,000. Even though we will pay this cost up front, it should balance out with the bids being less because bidders won’t have to pay for the bond rating themselves.

Standard and Poor’s will give us a rating and report. Bridget noted that the fact that Exxon is 40% of our tax base draws consideration from bidders. She said D. A. Davidson will provide adequate information about Exxon in the POS to help make S&P comfortable and help with setting a good rating.

Tim Trafford moved to authorize D. A. Davidson to participate in the competitive bid process for the January 8, 2007, General Obligation Bond Sale. Sue Vinton seconded the motion.

Bridget said it is a sealed bid process so they have no advantage. Tim asked if D.A. Davidson will advise if they use an agent. Bridget said yes. She said they would provide a sealed bid or use the electronic bid site.

Teresa Stroebe, Tim Trafford, Greg Bochy, Thomas Jones, Barbara Forrester Frank, Sue Vinton, and Becky Malenowsky voted yes; the motion passed seven to zero.

C. Resolution Calling for the Sale of Bonds

The trustees briefly reviewed the Resolution Calling for the Sale of Bonds prepared by Dorsey and Whitney. Tim Trafford moved to pass the attached Resolution Calling for the Sale of $12,860,000 General Obligation School Bonds, Series 2007, on January 8, 2007, at 12:00 noon. Becky Malenowsky seconded the motion. Tim asked what would happen if they had an “irresponsible” bidder. Bridget explained the process and said anyone that bid and could not carry through would lose their two percent bond insurance or certified check that must be provided with the bid, which would be $257,200.

Teresa Stroebe, Tim Trafford, Greg Bochy, Thomas Jones, Barbara Forrester Frank, Sue Vinton, and Becky Malenowsky voted yes; the motion passed seven to zero.

D. Progress on the Building Project

Eileen advised that she and Art had met with JGA about the project. They now think that it would be best to go with one power plant with multiple boilers in it for the new building and existing buildings. The six existing boilers will be scrapped and sold. The project will take up to two years.

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Eileen said that she has been contacted by contractors already after the newspaper article, so there is already interest in the project.

The trustees and superintendent briefly explained the new process of using a General Contractor Construction Management Contract. They thanked the legislators for this change implemented in school law in 2005. MCA 18-2-501 now allows schools to hire a general contractor during the design stage.

It was noted that the Design Symposium will be January 12-13, 2007. The purpose will be to get the main footprint for the school designed. The application form for participation in the symposium is posted on the Lockwood School Website.

Eileen advised that she is trying to get a bus scheduled for January 4, 2007 to visit several schools from Laurel to Bozeman.

The trustees advised that there would be a quorum of them available for the January 8, 12:00 noon meeting.

PERSONNEL

A. New Substitutes

The list of recent substitutes was attached to the agenda. Tim Trafford moved to hire substitute teachers, Emily Belk and Paige Gottwals, and support staff substitute, Kate Ayers. Becky Malenowsky seconded the motion.

Tim asked if they had been fingerprint background checked. Eileen said yes.

Teresa Stroebe, Tim Trafford, Greg Bochy, Thomas Jones, Barbara Forrester Frank, Sue Vinton, and Becky Malenowsky voted yes; the motion passed seven to zero.

B. Hiring of a Paraprofessional and a Coach

Superintendent Johnson recommended the following people for employment:

Kate Ayers as a paraprofessional replacing Sheila Hutchinson.

Wes Caldwell as an additional 8th Grade Boys’ Basketball Coach.

Thomas Jones moved to hire Kate Ayers and Wes Caldwell in their respective positions. Tim Trafford seconded the motion. Intermediate Principal Dave DeBoer advised that Kate Ayers is not a certified teacher, but she has passed her paraprofessional test. Teresa Stroebe, Tim Trafford, Greg Bochy, Thomas Jones, Barbara Forrester Frank, Sue Vinton, and Becky Malenowsky voted yes; the motion passed seven to zero.

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POLICY

A. Policy No. 3150 - Part-Time Attendance - Third Reading

Superintendent Johnson advised: Policy No. 3150 on part time attendance is attached for the third reading. The policy as attached does not have my recommendation. Public schools in Montana are financed by ANB. Montana School Board’s recommendation on the original policy had wording to assure some compliance with that. Cooperation with home schools has always been encouraged, but I must look to the financing of the district in a consistent manner.

Tim Trafford moved to adopt Policy No. 3150 as presented. Thomas Jones seconded the motion.

Sue Vinton asked for Eileen’s opinion. Eileen advised that Lockwood School would receive about $1,400 for a part-time student attending two classes. She said she does not recommend the policy per her above-mentioned reasons. She recommends a minimum of two hours for each part-time student, so we can receive ANB.

Tim reviewed the process for coming to this policy with those present.

Curriculum Director Don Christman explained if a student attends for two hours, they need to be included in testing and testing attendance. They will be part of the Adequate Yearly Progress requirement.

Greg Bochy advised that they are directing administrators to encourage the students to attend for more than one hour per day.

Sue Vinton said she disagrees with this policy. She said we have gotten away from the original MTSBA policy used in this policy development.

Teresa Stroebe said that she would support the policy if they reinstate the part that had been struck out that says: There must be enrollment in enough classes to have an aggregate of over 181 hours per year to qualify for ANB funding.

Becky Malenowsky feels strongly that we need to offer services to all.

Barbara Forrester Frank said she does not support this policy. She said that funding via ANB is the system we live in.

Tim Trafford called for the question.

Greg Bochy, Tim Trafford, Becky Malenowsky, and Thomas Jones voted yes. Teresa Stroebe, Barbara Forrester Frank, and Sue Vinton voted no. The motion passed with four votes for and three votes against. Policy No. 3150 was adopted as presented.

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REPORTS AND MISCELLANEOUS

A. Curriculum

Don Christman briefly discussed professional learning communities. He talked about his conference and advised that Measured Progress had asked him to go to New Hampshire to work on the tests.

B. Technology

Pam Richau advised that the Achievement in Montana (AIMS) goal of having every student in the state in a main data base is a huge undertaking. She also said they were very grateful for the phones donated by Tireama. They will help keep the current system running, until a new one is in place. She said she is thinking about the visionary planning for technology in new buildings.

C. Activities

A report attached to the agenda was provided by Athletic Director Keith Tresch.

D. Facilities

Art Anderson provided a report at the meeting. He advised they had been working on door replacements, hot water heater replacement, and roofs. He said he is pleased with the decision about proceeding with one boiler plant; this will reduce the number of boilers from 22 to five. This will allow for fewer controllers and make it much easier to operate the system for the buildings. He felt this is a very major step; it will lead to a faster project completion; but the new system won’t be running in the older buildings for another year. They can begin work on the central plant and do the tunneling. Art feels the disruption will be considerably less and we will save money on the project and on long-term costs.

E. Principals

Primary Principal Mike Bowman said he had nothing to add to his report. Sue said she appreciates the staff taking time for all the committee work.

Intermediate Principal Dave DeBoer said he had nothing to add. He invited trustees to come to as many Christmas programs as you can next week.

Middle School Principal Mike Sullivan corrected the dates for the presentation by Tim Lewis. January 18, 2007, is the Regional Workshop. Friday, January 19th will be Middle School Pride Day. There will be several presentations during the day for the middle school students, as well as a dance at the end of the day. The Middle School staff will be attending a special Lockwood Middle School workshop presented by Tim Lewis on this day.

F. Superintendent

Eileen distributed a spreadsheet to everyone with the estimated kindergarten start-up costs for Lockwood School. She advised that she had provided this information to the Office of Public Instruction.

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Mrs. Johnson talked about waiting for a year to begin all-day every day kindergarten versus starting right away. She advised that she and the principals had been brainstorming as to what we would do for a year for space, etc, if we did offer the program right away. She advised that we will be making these decisions this spring. Eileen advised that we do want all-day every day kindergarten; it will be good for kids.

Greg Bochy had to leave the meeting at 9:30 p.m.

OLD BUSINESS OR FOLLOW UP INFORMATION

A. Sharing of information from the MCEL Conference in October

It was noted that the Staff Appreciation Luncheon was scheduled for tomorrow, December 13.

Tom Jones commented that he had attended two very good workshops: Safe, Inc and Lobbying.

TRUSTEE REPORTS

A. Reporting of Committee Work during the Month

Sue mentioned the Safety Meeting she had attended. She advised that securing the 77 doors was a difficult issue. She also advised that there had been discussion about visitor badges and name tags.

Tim Trafford mentioned that he was interviewed by staff from Galusha, Higgins, and Galusha while they were conducting the audit. They asked him to provide answers to a fraud questionnaire. Becky Malenowsky and Teresa Stroebe attended the audit exit conference. They advised that there were no audit findings for fiscal year 2005/06; it was a clean audit.

Teresa advised that Tim is in charge of the aggregate scores for Eileen’s evaluation. They advised that the evaluations should be completed by January 2, 2007 and given to Diane.

NEXT MEETINGS

There will be a Special Meeting for the Bond Sale at 12:00 noon on January 8, 2007.

The next Regular Board Meeting will be at 7:00 p.m. on January 9, 2007.

ADJOURN

Tim Trafford moved to adjourn the meeting at 9:40 p.m. Thomas Jones seconded the motion. Teresa Stroebe, Sue Vinton, Barbara Forrester Frank Tim Trafford, Thomas Jones, and Becky Malenowsky voted aye; the motion passed six to zero.

 

___________________________      ___________________________
Teresa Stroebe, Chairperson                  Diane M. Brook, District Clerk

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