Proceedings of the Board of Trustees
Lockwood School District No. 26
Yellowstone County, Billings, MT
Regular Meeting of March 9, 2010
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Agenda for March 9, 2009

Meeting Date: Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Meeting Time: 7:00 pm
Meeting Location: Administration Building Board Room

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.

Discussion of the Board’s self-evaluation will take place at 6:30.

1. Call to order 7:00 pm
    Pledge to the Flag
    Welcome

2. Individuals, delegations, correspondence
    A. Parent request
    B. Resignation from Facilities Director Art Anderson

3. Items for Action
    A. Approve minutes of previous meeting(s)
    B. Approve bills and wages for February 2010
    C. Hire Substitutes
    D. Resolution to call for an election
    E. Budget amendment
    F. Resolution for general fund levy
    G. Request for out of district approval to attend Lockwood
    H. Early Retirement Committee Proposal

4. District reports
    A. Primary
    B. Intermediate
    C. Middle
    D. Curriculum
    E. Technology

5. Trustee reports
          Health Insurance Committee

6. Adjourn

NEXT MEETING IS TUESDAY, APRIL 13, 2010 AT 7:00 PM


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Regular Board Meeting
March 9, 2010

REGULAR SESSION CALL TO ORDER - 7:00 pm

Chair Susanne Vinton opened the regular meeting and called it to order at 7:00 p.m. Chair Vinton led those present in the Pledge of Allegiance.

The following trustees and officers were present: Trustees Susanne Vinton, Tim Sather, Becky Malenowsky, Peter Freivalds, Jason Hamrick, and Tamara Spillum and Superintendent Eileen Johnson. Trustee Greg Bochy was absent. District Clerk Laurie Noonkester was unable to attend; Pam Richau filled in as note taker.

Staff members present were Dave DeBoer, Mike Sullivan, Pam Richau, Don Christman, Marie Anderson, and Whitney DiFronzo

Evelyn Pyburn from Yellowstone County News was also present.

Other registered guests were Jason Mosher and Sicily Morris.

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, DISTRICT NEWS

A. Parent request to appeal retesting Logan Morris, grade one, for the gifted and enrichment program at Lockwood Elementary. Logan took a test in his Kindergarten year and did not qualify for the gifted program. His parents would like him retested. The parents shared his current scores for STAR Math, Reading, and Compass and feel like it would be fair to retest Logan rather that have him miss out on the program. They are not interested in advancing Logan to second grade for social reasons, a solution suggested by the school. They stated that any system has rules, but there needs to be room for exceptions. Logan’s high test scores this year warrant retesting. As parents they want the best education he can acquire. They hope the board will reconsider. They were clear that they would work with the school in any way they can to support their son’s education.

Eileen commented that gifted research recommends promotion to a higher grade when a child is a high achiever, but has not qualified for a gifted program. Lockwood employs one gifted education teacher currently carrying a full load of students and the resources to serve gifted students are limited.

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Regular Board Meeting
March 9, 2010

Peter commented that policies are set for a reason and the board is obligated to stay with policy to be fair. Parents reiterated that they are definitely not interested in moving their son forward to a higher grade. Tamara commented on the high number of students in grade 8 who will leave the program after this year. That will make more room for students. Are the program’s guidelines flexible enough to make openings when there is room? Mr. Sullivan commented on the difference between gifted students and overachievers. Eileen commented that we would look at the program guidelines in the future to be sure we can serve the students to the best of our ability.

Logan’s mother commented on the fact that one test in her son’s academic career determined his future for the gifted program. His father stated that he understands policy and fairness, but wanted to be present at this meeting to advocate for their son. Eileen reminded us that policies do change and we need to be sensitive to change. Sue shared that many of the board members expressed concern over a very difficult decision. Eileen commented that a door has opened for us to take a look at the gifted selection process. Becky applauded the Morris parents for coming before the board with their case.

B. Resignation from Facilities Director Art Anderson dated February 20th. A letter from Mr. Anderson was passed to board members to peruse.

C. Resignation letter from Bonnie Chatriand dated March 8th. The resignation letter was not read, but chairwoman Vinton commented that Bonnie had written a heartwarming letter.

D. Stephanie Skinner, mother of Kennedy Stephenson, grade two, asked to address the board.

Mrs. Skinner was present to address the lice issue at Lockwood School. She recently discovered her daughter was infected with lice nits for the fourth time since last spring. Last spring she was called by the school nurse who gave her information about the lice issue. She performed two rounds of treatment. This fall the lice reoccurred. For this incident DeeAnn, the Primary School secretary, sent Kennedy home because of head lice. (For this incident there was no note from school and no word from the nurse.) On January 12, a letter from Kristin Bonner, Riverstone Health, was sent to Mrs. Skinner saying that Kennedy had a few nits in her hair. Mrs. Skinner bought new bedding, cleaned with disinfectant, and bagged all the children’s toys as instructed. Mrs. Skinner ran through the whole treatment process again March 4th after finding nits again. Kennedy had complained that her head was itching and was sent to the nurse. The nurse gave her a comb and sent her home. There was no note from the nurse nor a phone call. This was Kennedy’s seventh treatment for lice. Mrs. Skinner called the nurse and asked why she was not notified. The nurse told her we don’t notify because we don’t want to start a panic. Mrs. Skinner, the mother, is upset because she does not know where the lice are coming from. She’s performed all the prevention she can think of in the home and applied all the treatments. She feels like it can’t be coming from her home. Eileen asked Mrs. Skinner if she felt the school should notify parents whenever nits are discovered in a classroom? Mrs. Skinner read a statement on our website that indicated parents would be notified.

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Regular Board Meeting
March 9, 2010

She also relayed that the website states if your family has lice the nurse will work with you personally. She would like all children checked in a class if one child is found to have lice. She also recommended a letter sent to all parents in that class if a child checks positively for lice. Sue Vinton thought she had seen a notice in a recent school newsletter concerning lice. Mrs. Skinner said the notice was purely informational. Mrs. Skinner has not spoken with Mr. Bowman. Mr. Skinner is getting to the point of pulling the child from school; four cases of lice in one year are not acceptable. It takes a toll on the child and the family. The family has spent well over $300 on lice treatment and bedding plus all the man-hours of cleaning and disinfecting the home.

Eileen promised to visit with Kristen Bonner tomorrow. Mrs. Skinner hoped that more education would come from the school to prevent the lice problem. Again, she wants parents notified if one student is diagnosed with lice. She inquired about sending Kennedy her own headphone for the learning lab and was encouraged to do so. Eileen thanked Mrs. Skinner for coming and confirmed she would look into the situation tomorrow.

ITEMS FOR ACTION

A. Approve Minutes of Previous Meetings

Chair Susanne Vinton asked if there was any objection to the minutes as presented. Hearing none, the minutes of the February 9, 2010 regular board meeting were approved.

B. Approval of Bills and Wages for January

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

C. Request to Hire Substitutes

Supt. Johnson advised that a list of new hires was attached to the agenda for approval. These substitutes have approved background checks on file.

Jason Hamrick moved to hire substitutes Serina Becker, Cailin Beeler, Tierney Brown, and Callie Delapp. Becky Malenowsky seconded the motion. Jason Hamrick, Becky Malenowsky, Tamara Spillum, Susanne Vinton, Peter Freivalds and Tim Sather voted aye; the motion passed six to zero.

D. Resolution to Call for an Election

The Trustee Resolution Calling for an Election was considered by the board. The election would be held Tuesday, May 4, 2010 and conducted by mail ballots. The purpose of the election is to elect three trustees for a three-year term and to request approval of an additional levy of $191,652.00 to operate and maintain the elementary school for the 2010-2011 school year.

 

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March 9, 2010

Peter Freivalds moved to approve the resolution as presented. Becky Malenowsky seconded the motion. Eileen reminded the board that they had approved a mail-in ballot for this election. Jason Hamrick, Becky Malenowsky, Tamara Spillum, Susanne Vinton, Peter Freivalds and Tim Sather voted aye; the motion passed six to zero.

E. Budget Amendment

This is the second reading of the proclamation of the budget amendment to increase the elementary school general fund by $89,000.00.

Peter Freivalds moved that the Board considers at the April 13, 2010 regular meeting the need for an amendment to the elementary school general fund budget in the amount of $89,000.00 that is necessary under the provision of Section 20-9-161, Subsection 6, MCA; for the purpose of paying the balance due on costs associated to the bond project for constructing a new Middle School with HVAC including air conditioning and renovating the HVAC systems for the Intermediate and Primary Schools. Tamara Spillum seconded the motion. Jason Hamrick, Becky Malenowsky, Tamara Spillum, Susanne Vinton, Peter Freivalds and Tim Sather voted aye; the motion passed six to zero.

F. Resolution for General Fund Levy

Eileen discussed the attached document, “Preliminary 2010-2011 General Fund Budget Estimates” that detailed some of the funding issues facing us for the next year. According to other administrators the health insurance rates will hover between 20-25% for the next year. That will have a serious impact on the budget planning. The Trustees have to decide whether to run a levy and if so, for what amount. An attached resolution can be used to assist in that process.

Peter commented if we successfully run the levy we would be around $11,000 short and if we don’t run the levy we are $341,836 short. Peter also wondered about the reserve fund and when would be a good time to run that levy? Sue said the big question mark is the health insurance. She wondered if Eileen had current info on health insurance rates. Eileen shared that a committee is gathering insurance info and is close to being ready to make recommendations. If insurance rates increase over 7%, negotiations must reopen. Our current budget is 89% salary and insurance. District #2 will be running levies as well and they will also be on our ballot. Becky asked if we would lose teachers if we don’t run and pass a levy? Eileen said cuts would have to be made, but there are no decisions for those cuts.

Peter Freivalds moved to authorize a levy as proposed in the attached preliminary 2010-2011 general fund budget estimate. Jason Hamrick seconded the motion. Discussion followed. Sue felt we would need to educate our community about the needs for funds. Eileen reminded that the levied dollars would be spent for staffing. Tamara felt we at least need to try and let our voters make the choice for supporting the school. Peter Freivalds, Jason Hamrick, Becky Malenowsky and Tamara Spillum voted aye. Susanne Vinton, and Tim Sather voted no. The motion passed 4-2.

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March 9, 2010

G. Request for Out of District Approval to Attend Lockwood

The following students are recommended for out of district approval for the remainder of the year. These families moved out of district and want the children to stay in our schools to finish the school year.

Grade 1 Dominic Hendrickson
Grade 5 Dakota Moore
Grade 7 Samantha Moore

Becky Malenowsky moved to accept the out of district placements. Peter Freivalds seconded the motion. Peter Freivalds, Jason Hamrick, Becky Malenowsky, Tamara Spillum, Susanne Vinton, and Tim Sather voted aye; the motion passed six to zero.

H. Early Retirement Committee Proposal

The Board established committee has worked for several months on a proposal for an Early Retirement Incentive (ERIP). Funding would come from end of the year funds and would help the budget for the next two to three years. Tim shared that the end solution was a surprising result to him. Having teachers looking at the possible incentives helped to educate them on the reality of budgets and incentive processes. Eileen showed the scatter gram of teacher salaries and the teachers who would be eligible for the incentive. The incentive is available for three staff members only. Participation is based on seniority (date of hire). Tim felt the incentive would be good for the overall budget for the next three years. He also reminded us that teachers who start teaching at age 22 might have 30 years of service at age 52. This is a long way from the government prescribed retirement age. Peter reminded us if three teachers retire and our levy fails, at least we won’t have to reduce our staff. Due to budgetary restraints, it looks like the incentive will be a one-time offer.

Peter Freivalds moved that the school offer the early retirement incentive plan as presented by the ERIP committee. Tim Sather seconded the motion. Jason Hamrick, Becky Malenowsky, Tamara Spillum, Susanne Vinton, Peter Freivalds and Tim Sather voted aye; the motion passed six to zero.

DISTRICT REPORTS

Written reports were presented.

A. Primary –Mike Bowman, not in attendance. Eileen shared that the K-5 Handbook will be presented at the next meeting.
B. Intermediate – Dave DeBoer shared a story about meeting a former student teacher who moved to a Las Vegas inner city school for her first teaching experience.

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C. Middle School – Mike Sullivan added that Cassie Guenther placed fifth at the County Spelling Bee. Grad gowns are purchased and paid for with dance proceeds and student council funds.
D. Curriculum – Don Christman added that he’d like the board to address the state on the cost of printing and reprinting test materials.
E. Facilities –
F. Technology – Pam Richau shared a white paper on YouTube usage in schools and the board discussed YouTube policy. Becky inquired if the decision to open YouTube usage would be brought before the board. After discussion board members agreed that YouTube was a policy issue managed by school personnel.
G. Athletics- Activities Director Randall Rice was absent.
H. Superintendent – Eileen Johnson reported that Sodexo was the only vendor that showed up for the lunch service bid. Tim and Eileen met with the landscape contractor about the softball field. They are hoping to have the field ready for fall ball. Eileen asked for board input to carry out the interviews for a new facility coordinator. The board needs to appoint three members to sit on the interview committee. So far Tim Sather and Greg Bochy have agreed to sit in on interviews. Board reps were invited to participate in reading the facility coordinator applications. Application closes Friday, March 12. After reviewing applications interviews will be scheduled for the top four or five applicants. Becky asked that Eileen keep the board updated on the interview dates and times. A group is hosting an all class reunion this summer. The date, August 14, is not advantageous to our school’s schedule and opening for the 2010-2011 school year. The Eastern Co-op settled at a 2% increase for their staff. The Lockwood Steering Committee would like to have representation from our board at their meetings. Perhaps our seven member board could set up a rotation of folks to attend. Eileen attends all the Steering Committee meetings, but is not an elected official.

TRUSTEE REPORTS

B. Health Insurance Committee- Peter reported that the committee has heard from three companies with rates and benefits so far and will hear from the last company Monday. Once all information is gathered, the committee will share.

ADJOURN

Peter Freivalds moved to adjourn the meeting at 9:04 p.m. Jason Hamrick seconded the motion. Susanne Vinton, Tim Sather, Becky Malenowsky, Tamara Spillum, Peter Freivalds and Jason Hamrick voted aye; the motion passed six to zero.

___________________________     ___________________________
Sue Vinton, Chairperson                       Laurie Noonkester, District Clerk

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