Proceedings of the Board of Trustees
Lockwood School District No. 26
Yellowstone County, Billings, MT
Regular Meeting of January 13, 2008
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Discussion of the Superintendent’s evaluation took place in closed session at 6:30.


Chair Susanne Vinton opened the regular meeting, called it to order at 7:06 p.m., and led those present in the Pledge of Allegiance.

The following trustees and officers were present: Trustees Susanne Vinton, Jason Hamrick, Holly Sather, Peter Freivalds, Greg Bochy, Becky Malenowsky, and Tamara Spillum, Superintendent Eileen Johnson and District Clerk Diane Brook.
Staff members present were Dave DeBoer, Mike Bowman, Don Christman, Art Anderson, Mike Sullivan, and Pam Richau.

There were no registered guests. Evelyn Pyburn, Beth Shumate and Terry Sukut were present.

Mrs. Vinton welcomed visitors and advised the following:

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.

Chair Vinton asked the Board of Trustees if they had any objection to re-arranging the agenda order by having Beth Shumate speak first. There were no objections to this. Chair Vinton recognized Beth Shumate.


A. Beth Shumate - Grant to develop land on the east side of the campus.

Beth provided a brief overview of the results of the Outdoor Recreation Survey. She advised that the Resolution Authorizing Application for Land and Water Conservation Fund Assistance was not yet complete. (A draft copy was attached to the agenda.) She and Jared Swartz from ACE Engineering need to complete the preliminary budget for the project. Beth will have the resolution ready for the board meeting on February 10, 2009.

There was no action taken on this item at this time.

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January 13, 2009

Superintendent Johnson advised that several groups that use our campus are writing letters in support of the school for the grant application. Becky Conner, Community Education Coordinator, is gathering the letters.


A. 2007-08 Audit

Auditor Kim Dare from Galusha, Higgins and Galusha presented the Independent Auditors’ Report and Financial Statements for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2008. Kim said that the district had a clean audit. There were no audit findings and the school district qualified as a low-risk auditee. She reported that the main differences in the financial statements between this year and last year were due to the construction of the new middle school. It was noted that the documentation for the bond and building project was complete and error free.


Bid Pack III: Artdistributed a copy of a letter from High Tech to Williams Plumbing and Heating. He advised that they think they may have found the solution to the sewer odor problem. They are still working on some issues of the drywall cracking; they are trying to find the underlying causes for the cracking. He has been dealing with warranty issues weekly. High Tech has been responsive.

Bid Pack IV: They are waiting for the installation of dampers. There had been some reports of wet ceiling tiles. The roof is not leaking; they found that some of the automatic venting systems are giving off fluids from the system. They are repairing each issue. They are in the process of demolishing the old FACS room. They are trying to get ahead of schedule by doing what work they can. They will begin with installing the hangers and pipe as soon as they can.

Negotiations are continuing with sub-contractors when work is incomplete as to when warranty period begins. The warranty period should not begin until projects are complete.

The trustees expressed appreciation to Art for his tenacity in handling these problems.

Chair Vinton asked how the response has been from High Tech and JGA. Art felt their response has been good. Sometimes when a subcontractor comes in, there is no supervision to assess if the problem has been actually corrected.

Architect Terry Sukut reported that the temperature control system specified for the project is very complex. They have had trouble getting it on line for Art to monitor. It has been difficult to get the temperature control technicians here because there are very few of them. When they do show up, they work and leave before we get an opportunity to see if the problems are fixed.

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These things will be under warranty. It takes awhile to get the de-bugging done. It will also take some time to get the system set right for warmer temperatures also. They still need to get the temperature control system people here to provide training for Art.

Peter asked if there is a plan for a backup for Art for this system. Eileen replied they are working on it.

There was a brief discussion as to whether Star could possibly provide pricing for the air conditioning of the middle school. Due to possible legal issues, it would be best to re-bid the project.

Terry said there will have to be some removal of the drywall with cracks. High Tech is trying to organize a meeting with a group of sub-contractors, JGA, Eileen and Art to determine how and when the repairs will be done. Payments are being held until this work is completed satisfactorily.

There was a brief discussion about the problems that occurred over winter break when one portion of the building became very cold and things froze up, the larger freezer quit, and food was lost.


A. Beth Shumate completed her report earlier in the meeting. No action was taken.

B. Approval of Minutes

Chair Vinton asked if there was any objection to the minutes as presented with the date corrections noted. Hearing none, the minutes of the December 9, 2008 regular board meeting, and the January 6, 2009 special board meeting were approved.

C. Approval of Bills and Wages

Chair Susanne Vinton asked if there was any objection to the bills and wages as presented with the corrected section. Hearing no objection, the bills and wages were approved.

D. Hiring of the Superintendent

According to law if the superintendent is not hired by February 1, it is an automatic rehire. Superintendents may not have tenure, but a three-year contract may be in place with the approval of the Board of Trustees, which was the request of Superintendent Johnson.

Becky Malenowsky moved to re-hire Eileen Johnson for another year due to her outstanding performance. This would extend her existing three-year contract

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to end June 30, 2012. Tamara Spillum seconded the motion. Susanne Vinton, Jason Hamrick, Holly Sather, Peter Freivalds, Greg Bochy, Becky Malenowsky, and Tamara Spillum all voted aye; the motion passed unanimously. The board expressed their gratitude to Eileen for her excellent work.

E. Appointment of Surrogate Parent for a Student

Attached to the agenda was information from Leonard Orth requesting board approval of the action taken by the Director of Special Education in determining the need for this surrogate parent appointment. The surrogate parent advocates for the child and can sign the IEP (Individual Education Program).

Eileen explained that the court determined that someone was needed to be appointed and did appoint. The board’s role is to approve Leonard Orth’s action in going to the court. He provided material to the court, but that is not public information. It is to provide for someone to speak for the child in meetings and sign the IEP. This keeps special education records legal.

Tamara Spillum moved to approve the action taken by Leonard Orth in determining the need for this surrogate parent appointment. Greg Bochy seconded the motion. Susanne Vinton, Jason Hamrick, Holly Sather, Peter Freivalds, Greg Bochy, Becky Malenowsky, and Tamara Spillum voted yes; the motion passed seven to zero.

Peter expressed concern about this process as they approve something they know nothing about.

Eileen advised that she would have Leonard come to a future meeting to explain his role as special education director and provide further information about the appointment of surrogate parent process.

F. Request to Hire Substitutes

Supt. Johnson advised that a list of new hires was attached to the agenda for approval. All persons listed have been fingerprint background checked.

Becky Malenowsky moved to hire substitutes Elizabeth Johnson, Meredyth Malone, Charlyn Scheffelman, and Traci Ball. Greg Bochy seconded the motion. Greg Bochy, Jason Hamrick, Peter Freivalds, Becky Malenowsky, Tamara Spillum, Susanne Vinton, and Holly Sather voted aye; the motion passed seven to zero.

G. Hiring of Coaches for Spring Activities

8th Volleyball; 7th Volleyball; 6th Volleyball: Andrea Hofmann (2 contracts),
Mary Kay Rottrup, Carrie Schmidt, Megan Coryell (2 contracts), Vicki Balgua

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Weights: Bob Hankins
Track: Amy Muir, Wes Caldwell, Randall Rice

The volleyball coaches with two contracts will be doing regular and instruction teams. All of the above coaches are current teachers in our district.

Jason Hamrick moved to hire coaches as listed. Greg Bochy seconded the motion. Greg Bochy, Jason Hamrick, Peter Freivalds, Becky Malenowsky, Tamara Spillum, Susanne Vinton, and Holly Sather voted aye; the motion passed unanimously.


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 will not have formal reports.

Mike Sullivan distributed information entitled Prohibition of Gangs and Gang Activity. He asked the Board of Trustees to review this information. He is proposing that this information become part of the Middle School Handbook via motion at the February board meeting. School Resource Officers recommend this policy.

It was suggested that the Student Handbooks be posted on our website.

Mike Bowman briefly discussed the DIBELS assessment tool. He said skill acquisition is the main focus in the primary. They have multiple measures with the students including: Compass; DIBELS, and math and reading series theme based tests, and STAR. They use continual progress monitoring.

It was noted that Linda Hanson received a grant to take all seventh graders to a performance at the Alberta Bair Theatre. Also, Student Council under the direction of Charles Harvey is donating a color printer to the school.

Mr. Bowman also advised that there is a parent that pays for second grade to go to a performance at Alberta Bair.

Don Christman advised that we had 22 new enrollments and if it continues we will have highest enrollment since 2000.

The third, fourth, and fifth grade basketball programs are beginning.

Additional information: The official school election calendar was attached to the agenda. The dates for filing for election are December 21, 2008 through March 26, 2009. This year the terms of Becky Malenowsky and Sue Vinton expire in May 2009. Election day is May 5, 2009.

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Eileen commented that we need two more toddlers or pre-schoolers in daycare in order to keep our revenues even with our expenditures.

Supt. Johnson advised that a decision would have to be made in February or March regarding running a levy. We will use existing information to provide budget numbers.

Consideration of running a Building Reserve Levy was also briefly discussed.

Trustee Becky Malenowsky requested that an enrollment summary by building be included with the agenda every month.


Chair Vinton encouraged trustees to keep in contact with their legislators.


The next regular meeting is Tuesday, February 10, 2009 at 7:00 p.m.

Greg Bochy moved to adjourn the meeting at 8:44 p.m. Peter Freivalds seconded the motion. Susanne Vinton, Holly Sather, Tamara Spillum, Becky Malenowsky, Peter Freivalds, Greg Bochy, and Jason Hamrick voted aye. The motion passed seven to zero.

___________________________     ___________________________
Sue Vinton, Chairperson                       Diane M. Brook, District Clerk

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