CALL TO ORDER
The following trustees and officers were present: Trustees Jason Hamrick, Tim Sather, Peter Freivalds, Susanne Vinton, and Teresa Stroebe, Superintendent Eileen Johnson and District Clerk Diane Brook. Trustees Greg Bochy and Becky Malenowsky were absent.
Staff members present were: Mike Bowman, Pam Richau, Johanna Freivalds, Dave DeBoer, Art Anderson, and Charles Harvey.
Registered guests present were: Scott Chartier of High Tech Construction, Terry Sukut, AIA, JGA Architects, Bette Hunt of Sodexho, Evelyn Pyburn, of Yellowstone County News, and Tim Trafford.
Luella Brien from the Billings Gazette was also present.
Mrs. Vinton 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 address the board or raise any question about public school district matters or governing policies may do so under public participation. 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. The public is also reminded that they may provide input on all motions being considered by the board at this meeting.
Superintendent Eileen Johnson advised that finally the Agreement for Re-Location of Right-of-Way Easement was complete, signed, and recorded. Getting this easement has been a ten-year project. It is signed by the Governor, the Secretary of State’s office, Director of the Montana DNRC, Eileen (representing Lockwood Schools), and the Yellowstone County Commissioners.
Eileen gave the first copy of the easement to Tim Trafford, who was on the Board of Trustees during the process and felt it was the one thing left undone when he left the board. Tim advised the Board: “Don’t leave it for someone else.”
INDIVIDUALS, DELEGATIONS, CORRESPONDENCE
Chair Vinton noted that thank-you notes had been received from Bonnie Chatriand, the Malenowsky family, and April Morgan.
Kay Becker, accounts payable clerk, submitted a letter of retirement effective June 30, 2008. Eileen commented that Kay has been with Lockwood Schools for over 25 years. She is a wonderful employee and hard worker. Chair Vinton wished her well.
Susanne noted that a letter had been received from MUST (Montana Unified School Trust) and MSHWP (Montana Schools Health Group) regarding a merger proposal. Eileen explained that talks are ongoing; no decisions have been made yet. Supt. Johnson also advised that if health insurance rates increase more than ten percent, the Master Agreement will automatically be re- opened for negotiations.
Teresa will try to get information regarding this possible merger during the upcoming MTSBA board meeting, and report back to this board.
BUILDING PROJECT UPDATE FROM JGA AND HIGH TECH
Scott Chartier reported on the middle school construction as follows:
For Bid Pack 4 (HVAC Renovation in existing buildings), Scott and Terry advised that they will hold a pre-construction meeting to review the school schedule with successful low bidders to get things laid out. Star Service is anxious to get in; they think they can work in the tunnels while school is in session. Everything is going great.
Those present briefly discussed the Boys and Girls Club Project on campus and the recent fund-raiser that was held for it.
It was noted that on March 18, 2008, at 2:00 p.m., there will be a bid opening for lockers and cabling. No decisions will be made at that time; bids will be read, documented, and taken under advisement. The information will be studied and a recommendation will be placed before the trustees at a later date. These bids are being placed by the school district and are not through High Tech Construction.
ITEMS FOR ACTION
A. Proposal to Contract with Sodexho for Food Service
Superintendent Johnson advised that her recommendation is the culmination of about a year of work. She advised that after months of research, review, meetings and consideration that she is recommending contracting with Sodexho for Food Service in our district for the 2008-09 school year and summer of 2008. As many districts are experiencing in recent years, operating without loss is very difficult with increasing costs of food, transportation, health insurance, salaries and benefits.
Sodexho already has a presence in Montana and can offer the following:
The details of the agreement are in the books that have been circulated. The resolution to contract must be made with the stipulation that the Office of Public Instruction will approve the agreement. All requirements in the agreement must meet state and federal guidelines.
All of our current Food Service employees will be hired at the wages they would have been paid under the district next year. Sodexho has agreed to place the employees at their individual start date with the district.
Bette Hunt from Sodexho was present to answer questions or provide additional information.
Eileen commented that the board has had an opportunity to review the Request for Proposal. Within the RFP are certain guarantees for existing food service employees. Anyone with 20 years or more of service can choose to continue as a school district employee or become a Sodexho employee. Employees with less than 20 years will become Sodexho employees. Sodexho will hire all existing employees and honor their start date with Lockwood Schools for application of Sodexho benefits. There will be no 90-day waiting period for benefits, as there is with other new employees.
The agreement would be for one-year, and with a 60-day notice either party could withdraw.
Bette said they will use the two kitchens since both are fully equipped. Sodexho does do catering for meetings, etc. She commented that 95 percent of the time their policies are what the district chooses to do. They are contracted with Helena Schools, Billings Schools, Billings Catholic Schools, Rocky Mountain College, and nursing homes.
Eileen advised that contracting with Sodexho would not change the things we do now, such as staff breakfasts, Family Fun Night, or allowing other groups to use the kitchen facilities. We still want the family feeling. She noted that the current food service program charges the school district for the catering functions, such as providing cookies for meetings. This would be the same with Sodexho.
Technology Director Pam Richau asked Bette Hunt if Lockwood’s PowerSchool Program would still be able to be used for point-of-sale. Bette advised that they had reviewed the program with Pam Rule, and it can be used if Sodexho gets the RFP.
Teresa said she was impressed with their employee benefit package. She asked if it would be possible to continue with the procedure of giving a sack lunch to students who have more than ten meal charges.
Bette said they use a teamwork approach and can continue with established practices.
Peter Freivalds moved to accept the Food Service Proposal submitted by Sodexho in response to the Request for Proposal. Eileen advised that the resolution to contract must be made with the stipulation that the Office of Public Instruction will approve the agreement.
Peter Freivalds amended his motion. He moved to accept the Food Service Proposal submitted by Sodexho in response to the Request for Proposal contingent on approval of the agreement from the Office of Public Instruction. Jason Hamrick seconded the motion.
Trustee Stroebe advised that she has never seen Sodexho noted in any publications provided to trustees as a problem school vendor.
Chair Vinton said the proposal was well-done.
Jason Hamrick, Peter Freivalds, Tim Sather, Susanne Vinton, and Teresa Stroebe voted aye; the motion passed five to zero.
Eileen advised that Bette Hunt will be working with the staff this spring on an hourly consultant basis. Some of the food service staff has visited Billings schools to observe Sodexho operations.
B. Authorization to Dispose of Records
An attachment detailed the records to be destroyed according to Montana’s laws and the Records Retention Schedule No 7.
Tim Sather moved to dispose/destroy of old records according to law per the detailed list. Peter Freivalds seconded the motion. Jason Hamrick, Peter Freivalds, Tim Sather, Susanne Vinton, and Teresa Stroebe voted aye; the motion passed five to zero.
C. Approval of Minutes D. Approval of Bills
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.
Chair Susanne Vinton asked if there were any objections to the February 12, 2008, regular board meeting minutes and the March 3, 2008, special board meeting minutes and bills and wages as presented. There were no objections or other corrections; the minutes, bills, and wages were approved.
E. Requests for Release from Contract
Marie Hutchings and Dorothy Osborne have requested to retire from the district and have already ended their work.
Jason Hamrick moved to release Marie Hutchings and Dorothy Osborne from their 2007-08 contracts. Tim Sather seconded the motion. Peter Freivalds, Jason Hamrick, Tim Sather, Susanne Vinton, and Teresa Stroebe voted aye; the motion passed five to zero.
F. Substitute Hiring
A list of background-checked persons was attached to the agenda.
Tim Sather moved to hire Brittney Levang, Katherine Powers, Stacy Shafer, and William Wittpenn as substitute teachers. Teresa Stroebe seconded the motion. Peter Freivalds, Jason Hamrick, Tim Sather, Susanne Vinton, and Teresa Stroebe voted aye; the motion passed five to zero.
G. Request to Hire Coaches
8th Grade Instructional Volleyball: Andrea Hofmann and Megan Coryell
Track: Andrea Hofmann, Amy Muir, Wes Caldwell, and Randall Rice
All of these recommended coaches are current teachers in our district.
Tim Sather moved to hire the above-mentioned coaches. Peter Freivalds seconded the motion. Peter Freivalds, Jason Hamrick, Tim Sather, Susanne Vinton, and Teresa Stroebe voted yes; the motion passed five to zero.
H. Request to Hire a Paraprofessional under the Nepotism Law
The resolution advertised in the newspapers according to Montana law was attached to the agenda. Supt. Johnson recommended that Rhonda Johnson be hired as a paraprofessional.
Tim Sather moved to hire Rhonda Johnson as a paraprofessional. Jason Hamrick seconded the motion. Peter Freivalds, Jason Hamrick, Tim Sather, Susanne Vinton, and Teresa Stroebe voted aye; the motion passed five to zero.
I. Resolution for Trustee Election
The Trustee Resolution Calling for an Election and an election calendar were attached to the agenda.
Jason moved to approve the resolution as presented to have the Trustee Election on May 6, 2008. Tim Sather seconded the motion.
Eileen advised that if the number of candidates filing for a position or filing a declaration of intent to be a write-in candidate is equal to the number of positions to be elected and there is no other reason for the election, the trustees may give notice that an election will not be held.
Peter Freivalds, Jason Hamrick, Tim Sather, Susanne Vinton, and Teresa Stroebe voted aye; the motion passed five to zero.
All reports briefly viewed on screen by those present.
Primary Principal – Mike Bowman (He also distributed a synopsis of parent-teacher conferences and a copy of an article from the Murray Ledger & Times, a Kentucky newspaper that mentions Lockwood teacher Kathy Albrecht.)
There was a brief discussion as to whether a calendar change may be requested for 2008-09 to allow for additional parent-teacher conferences again next year.
Intermediate Principal – Dave DeBoer (Dave reported that this is testing week.)
Curriculum Report – Don Christman
Middle School Principal - Mike Sullivan
Athletics Report – Keith Tresch
Technology Report – Pam Richau (Pam also provided a seven-minute video
presentation entitled “Shift Happens” about technology and education.)
Superintendent Report – Eileen Johnson
Bid Opening next Tuesday at 2:00 p.m., March 18, 2008. No action will be taken at the bid opening.
The next regular board meeting will be Tuesday, April 8, 2008, at 7:00 p.m.
Peter moved to adjourn the meeting at 8:19 p.m. Tim Sather seconded the motion. Peter Freivalds, Jason Hamrick, Tim Sather, Susanne Vinton, and Teresa Stroebe voted aye; the motion passed five to zero.
Sue Vinton, Chairperson Diane M. Brook, District Clerk