CALL TO ORDER
Chair Susanne Vinton opened the regular meeting and called it to order at 7:00 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, Becky Malenowsky, and Tamara Spillum, Superintendent Eileen Johnson and District Clerk Diane Brook. Trustee Greg Bochy was absent.
Staff members present were Art Anderson, Mike Sullivan, Dave DeBoer, Pam Richau, Sue Roberts, and Judy Guenther.
There were no registered guests.
Others present were Evelyn Pyburn (Yellowstone County News), Ron Messman (First Student), and Robert Guenther.
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.
INDIVIDUALS, DELEGATIONS, CORRESPONDENCE
Chair Vinton advised that a thank-you note had been received from Bob Hankins and a letter had been received from the president of Sodexo
A. Karen Fisher - Letter of retirement effective at the end of this school year.
The trustees and superintendent noted that Karen has been an employee for over 30 years, and they wished her happiness in her retirement.
B. Josi Richter - Letter of resignation effective at the end of this school year.
Josi is moving to Texas. The board and administration expressed gratitude for her excellent service to our students.
BUILDING PROJECT UPDATE
Facilities Director Art Anderson provided the update. He advised that they are continuing to follow up on items in the Middle School. The heat is working pretty well; the contractor will be back to assist with balancing adjustments.
The Primary building HVAC project is getting closer to completion. When the weather gets a little warmer, they will be doing some testing.
They are getting ready for the big push in June in the Intermediate Building. They are starting to cut some openings in the walls to prepare for the work to be done. They are installing hangers in the tunnels also. During this pre-construction phase, they are working early in the mornings, starting around 6:00 a.m.
ITEMS FOR ACTION
A. Approval of Minutes
Chair Vinton asked if there was any objection to the minutes as presented. Hearing none, the minutes of the February 10, 2009 regular board meeting were approved.
B. Approval of Bills for February 2009
Chair Susanne Vinton asked if there was any objection to the bills and wages as presented. Hearing no objection, the bills and wages were approved.
C. Transportation Contract for 2009-2014
Superintendent Johnson advised and recommended as follows:
The five-year contract with First Student expires at the end of June. According to §20-10-1256 is not necessary to go to bid unless the increase in the contract is more than 12 percent. Since this is not the case, I recommend that we remain with the services of First Student. Details in the contract will remain as stated in the previous contract, which was distributed at the February meeting.
Eileen introduced Ron Messman, Contract Manager for First Student. Recently Ron and his supervisor met with her. They agreed to continue contract as is; and instead of using the CPI (Consumer Price Index) as of February 2009 for the increase to the contract, they will use a two percent increase for 2009-2010.
Ron advised that safety is paramount to them. They provide a lot of training to their employees. They are very careful to get the children transported safely.
Seat belts on busses were briefly discussed. Ron believes the three-point harness is better than a lap belt. Retrofitting a bus would cost about $600 per seat. One of the problems with using the three-point harness is the bus would have lower seating capacity.
Jason Hamrick moved to contract with First Student from 2009-2014 as presented Holly Sather seconded the motion. Trustees Susanne Vinton, Jason Hamrick, Holly Sather, Peter Freivalds, Becky Malenowsky, and Tamara Spillum voted yes. The motion passed six to zero.
D. Resolution for School Elections
The resolution was attached to calling for a trustee election and a levy election was attached to the agenda. Also attached was a spreadsheet that detailed the need for a levy to keep the total operation of the school at least at this year’s level and possibly with additional staff to lower class size.
Supt. Johnson advised that the additional funding in Title I and IDEA (Special Education) will help prevent reduction in staff, however funding for those two areas are rather restrictive to stated purposes.
On March 31 at a special meeting the final determination can be made on this issue, but an election must be called first.
Eileen advised that the legislature had just deleted funding for “at-risk” out of the funding components for general fund, which could lower budget. She reminded trustees about one-time-only monies used last year that would not be available in 2009-10. Keeping staffing at current levels is very important.
Becky Malenowsky moved to adopt the resolution to have a Trustee and Mill Levy Election on May 5, 2009 conducted via mail ballot election by the Yellowstone County Election Department.
Peter Freivalds brought up the possible need to run a Building Reserve levy.
Becky Malenowsky said she feels that it should wait.
Eileen advised that possibly some one-time-only deferred maintenance monies could be used for maintenance issues.
Tamara Spillum seconded the motion. Trustees Susanne Vinton, Jason Hamrick, Holly Sather, Peter Freivalds, Becky Malenowsky, and Tamara Spillum voted aye. The motion passed six to zero.
E. Release JoAnn Walsh from 2008-09 Paraprofessional Contract
JoAnn Walsh is requesting to be released from her present contract to take a teaching position. Supt. Johnson recommended granting her request.
Peter Freivalds moved to release JoAnn Walsh from her 2008-09 paraprofessional contract. Becky Malenowsky seconded the motion. Trustees Susanne Vinton, Jason Hamrick, Holly Sather, Peter Freivalds, Becky Malenowsky, and Tamara Spillum voted aye. The motion passed six to zero.
F. Landscaping Recommendation
Art Anderson presented a Phase 2 Proposal from Creative GreenScapes for continuation of the landscaping around the new middle school building, as well as other areas of the campus.
Art advised that there was an amendment to the CMAR (Contract Manager at Risk) maximum price of $78,625 for installation of landscaping and irrigation in the Phase 2 plan. This area is roughly 48 square feet, and includes completing the curbing, wee mat, irrigation and installing rock (provided by the school district).
The guaranteed maximum price to install a landscape monitoring system (IMMS) would be $23,500. This system will link all control valves in Phases 1 and 2 to a central management point that is accessible from a desktop computer. This will allow scheduling and maintaining watering cycles for Phases 1 and 2, eliminating the need for manual changing of zones.
Art advised installation of the IMMS can be done later or as they complete Phase 2. This system would allow up to 100 different stations, which would handle all the acreage that could be developed. This will save labor over time as we progress with the update to the system.
There was discussion about future upgrades or replacement of the software and protection for the pumps due to power outages or lightening strikes.
Jason feels the benefits down the road would be worth the relatively small cost of the IMMS.
Peter expressed concern about using up all the money in the Building Reserve Fund, and whether the district would have enough funds remaining to handle an emergency. He feels other items on the project list for Building Reserve funds are more important, such as safety items.
Trustee Tamara Spillum said she is agrees with Peter. She asked Eileen how she feels.
Eileen advised that we would have to wait until spring next year if we don’t do it now. It is a mud hole around the middle school and students are tracking mud in which is damaging carpets, etc.
Art clarified that the list provided previously for Building Reserve Fund expenditures was for completion over a period of years, not all to be done in the next year.
Becky Malenowsky moved to approve the proposal for landscaping provided by Creative Landscaping for Phase II and the IMMS System. Jason Hamrick seconded the motion. Jason Hamrick, Holly Sather, Becky Malenowsky, and Tamara Spillum voted aye. Susanne Vinton and Peter Freivalds voted no. The motion passed four to two.
G. Hire Coach
Becky Malenowsky moved to hire Keith Tresch as track coach. Peter Freivalds seconded the motion. Susanne Vinton, Jason Hamrick, Holly Sather, Peter Freivalds, Becky Malenowsky, and Tamara Spillum voted aye. The motion passed six to zero.
H. Hire a Paraprofessional
The administrative team interviewed and they recommend hiring Tracy Walker as a paraprofessional to work for the remainder of the 2008-09 school year. A fingerprint background check was completed.
Jason Hamrick moved to hire Tracy Walker as a paraprofessional to work for the remainder of the 2008-09 school year. Tamara Spillum seconded the motion. Susanne Vinton, Jason Hamrick, Holly Sather, Peter Freivalds, Becky Malenowsky, and Tamara Spillum voted aye. The motion passed six to zero.
I. New Policy No. 5251 Regarding Resignations
Supt. Johnson advised: The attached policy from MTSBA is recommended for your consideration. There are times when this can be helpful to an employee who wants to leave for legitimate reasons and must wait to be released from the contract.
Eileen explained that the board authorizes the superintendent to accept resignations. She advised that some larger districts do this as part of their consent agenda. Adopting this policy would require three readings.
Jason Hamrick moved to approve Policy No. 5251 on first reading. Holly Sather seconded the motion.
Susanne Vinton, Jason Hamrick, Holly Sather, Peter Freivalds, Becky Malenowsky, and Tamara Spillum voted aye. The motion passed six to zero.
J. Recommendation to Purchase and Set-Up a Phone Emergency System
This was discussed at a previous meeting. Superintendent Johnson recommended the purchase of this system.
Pam Richau advised that this system is all a web-based interface. We would not have to buy any equipment or house any equipment here. She gave a demonstration.
Eileen advised that the cost would be $2400-$3600 ($2 to $3 per student), and it would be paid from General Fund or Technology Fund.
Susanne asked about the length of the contract. Eileen advised that it is for one year at a time.
Eileen said they brought this purchase to the trustees due to their past discussions, and it is something in their realm for safety.
Becky Malenowsky moved to approve and purchase the Telephone Emergency System recommended by Supt. Johnson. Jason Hamrick seconded the motion.
Peter advised that they should go for the $1 per student one for emergencies only, instead of the “bells and whistles” one.
Becky agreed with Peter; as she felt the most important use would be for emergencies only.
Becky Malenowsky moved to approve and purchase the Telephone Emergency System for emergencies only at the most basic level of cost, which is $1 per student or $1,200. Jason Hamrick seconded the motion.
Trustees Susanne Vinton, Jason Hamrick, Holly Sather, Peter Freivalds, Becky Malenowsky, and Tamara Spillum voted aye. The motion passed six to zero.
K. Approval to Apply for Summer School Funding
The Office of Public Instruction requires a Board resolution to apply for summer school funding. Supt. Johnson recommended approval. We are hoping to receive enough funds to the increase the time and the staffing over previous summers.
Eileen advised of the timeline issue and the award of $50,000 received today.
Peter moved to approve the resolution to apply for Title 1 Summer School Funding. Tamara Spillum seconded the motion. Trustees Susanne Vinton, Jason Hamrick, Holly Sather, Peter Freivalds, Becky Malenowsky, and Tamara Spillum voted aye. The motion passed six to zero.
L. Hire Substitute
Becky Malenowsky moved to hire Korrine Butler as a substitute teacher. Holly Sather seconded the motion. It was noted that she had an approved fingerprint background check. Trustees Susanne Vinton, Jason Hamrick, Holly Sather, Peter Freivalds, Becky Malenowsky, and Tamara Spillum voted aye. The motion passed six to zero.
M. Public Request to Speak to the Board
The person that made the request was not present.
A. Primary – Mr. Bowman was absent.
B. Intermediate -- Mr. DeBoer
C. Middle School – Mr. Sullivan advised he has requested an item for next
month’s agenda regarding using uniforms for P.E. and sports.
D. Athletics – Keith Tresch
Holly Sather commented that the 3-4-5- grade basketball program was
excellent. Keith Tresch and Dale Hogenson did a good job.
E. Technology - Pam Richau
F. Curriculum – Don Christman was absent.
G. Superintendent – We will get the Exxon summer intern again this year.
Boys and Girls Club area restroom remodel work will begin.
B & G Club will be open from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. this summer.
Susanne Vinton, Greg Bochy, and Jason Hamrick were appointed to serve on the Board Negotiating Committee.
There will be a Special Meeting on Tuesday, March 31, 2009, at 7:00 p.m. for setting the levy.
The next Regular Meeting will be on Tuesday, April 14, 2009.
Jason Hamrick moved to adjourn the meeting at 8:59 p.m. Peter Freivalds seconded the motion. Susanne Vinton, Holly Sather, Tamara Spillum, Becky Malenowsky, Peter Freivalds, and Jason Hamrick voted aye. The motion passed six to zero.
Sue Vinton, Chairperson Diane M. Brook, District Clerk