Proceedings of the Board of Trustees
Lockwood School District No. 26
Yellowstone County, Billings, MT
Special Meeting March 22, 2011
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Tuesday, March 22, 2011
6:30 PM

The Board of Trustees will meet in a special session in the Board Room to set final levy amounts and the impact these will have on taxpayers.

Other funding issues impacting the 2011-2012 school year may be discussed.

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Page 1
Special Board Meeting
March 22, 2011


Chair Susanne Vinton opened the special meeting, called it to order at 6:30 p.m. and led those present in the Pledge of Allegiance.

The following trustees and officers were present: Trustees Susanne Vinton, Becky Malenowsky, Jason Hamrick, Tim Sather, Greg Bochy and Tamara Spillum, Superintendent Eileen Johnson and District Clerk Laurie Noonkester. Trustee Peter Freivalds was absent.

Evelyn Pyburn from the Yellowstone County News was present.

Mrs. Vinton 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 explained that the reason for this meeting is to clarify levy amounts that were presented at the March 8, 2011 meeting. Levy resolution language also needs to be clarified for the May 3, 2011 election.

Mrs. Vinton noted that she attended the Day of Advocacy at the State Capitol in support of public education and testified before the Senate Education Committee in regard to the school funding bill that is currently before them.

Superintendent Johnson explained that at the March 8, 2011 meeting there were no details set for the resolutions as required by law. She reviewed for the board the language that needs to be approved.

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Page 2
Special Board Meeting
March 22, 2011

Superintendent Johnson explained that the last building reserve levy passed by the voters expired in 2006 and the fund has been steadily depleted. She explained that the fund is used for campus maintenance that is explicitly stated within the levy resolution and subsequent ballot. She read the recommended language of the building reserve resolution.

The trustees discussed their reasoning for setting the levy for the Building Reserve.

Superintendent Johnson noted that there are vendor assisted projects and grants currently being looked into to try to alleviate costs associated in the maintenance of the campus.

Tim Sather moved to set the Building Reserve levy at $750,000.00 spread over three years for an annual levy of $ 250,000.00. Tamara Spillum seconded the motion.

Susanne Vinton, Becky Malenowsky, Greg Bochy, Tim Sather, Jason Hamrick, and Tamara Spillum voted aye. The motion was approved six to zero.

The trustees reviewed the resolution language for the Technology levy and noted that it will replace the current Technology levy that will sunset this fiscal year.

Tim Sather moved to approve the resolution of the Technology levy beginning in FY 2011-12 at $75,000.00 annually for five years Jason Hamrick seconded the motion.

Susanne Vinton, Becky Malenowsky, Greg Bochy, Tim Sather, Jason Hamrick, and Tamara Spillum voted aye. The motion passed unanimously.

Trustees reviewed the figures for the General Fund mill levy election.

Superintendent Johnson explained the resolution language and how it will affect future taxes.

Tamara Spillum moved to set the General Fund mill levy for the 2011-12 school year at the maximum allowed at $174,906.03. Greg Bochy seconded the motion.

Susanne Vinton, Becky Malenowsky, Greg Bochy, Tim Sather, Jason Hamrick, and Tamara Spillum voted aye. The motion was approved six to zero.

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Page 3
Special Board Meeting
March 22, 2011

Superintendent Johnson noted that those running for the Trustee seats will have to declare which term they will be running for and submit a written document to either the District Clerk or County Election Administrator stating such. There are two three year terms and one two year term open with four candidates running.

All of the Levy Elections will be conducted via mail-ballot election by the Yellowstone County Election Department.


Superintendent Johnson reported that there are three persons currently interested in the offered retirement incentive. The individuals are Intermediate Principal Dave DeBoer, Middle School Counselor Karen DeBoer and Intermediate Art Teacher Kate Morris. She will bring the formal retirement incentive documents to the next meeting.

Superintendent Johnson explained that she already has suggestions for staffing changes. For the 2011-12 school year she will be bringing the recommendation to have Primary Principal Mike Bowman expand his duties to grades kindergarten through fifth grade and Curriculum Director Don Christman as Assistant Principal for grades kindergarten through fifth grade. This recommendation will allow additional budget savings by not hiring a replacement for Mr. DeBoer.

Mrs. Johnson noted that due to the non-renewal of 10 non-tenured teachers she will be conducting a meeting with the group and they will be given their formal letters of termination. She wants to explain to the group that the letters contain cold sounding required legal language but upon request she will write letters explaining the reasons for termination were due to budget constraints and were not performance related.

Superintendent Johnson continued that Mr. Harold Hagen turned in his resignation.

Superintendent Johnson read a letter from the LEA stating that the organization will meet with the board for discussion as requested but would like to wait until insurance rate increases are received. Mrs. Johnson reported that she received preliminary information from EBMS that the health insurance increase will range from 5 to 10% for the 2011-12 school year.

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Page 4
Special Board Meeting
March 22, 2011

Chair Vinton expressed she feels there are important points for the board and staff to carry with them when talking to the public explaining the reasoning for running the elections. One point is the cost of running any election outside of the regular May 3rd school election.

Staff member Sharon Harris suggested that television guest spots be done to explain the situation. Meeting with the senior citizens at their monthly dinner was mentioned as an excellent way to educate the public on the budget crisis.

General questions regarding school funding were fielded and discussed.

On a bright note, Trustee Tim Sather pointed out that there was only one school band participating in the Saint Patrick's Day Parade and that was our own Lockwood Middle School Band lead by Mr. Sal Scrano.

Chair Vinton closed by noting that during the Day of Advocacy in Helena she was introduced to the State Assembly as a guest of Representative Jonathan McNiven. Representative McNiven also mentioned in his introduction the outstanding accomplishment of the Lockwood School Board's consecutive Golden Gavel Awards.


Trustee Greg Bochy moved to adjourn the meeting at 7:33 p.m. Tim Sather seconded the motion.

Susanne Vinton, Becky Malenowsky, Greg Bochy, Tim Sather, Jason Hamrick, and Tamara Spillum voted affirmatively.

___________________________     ___________________________
Sue Vinton, Chairperson                       Laurie Noonkester, District Clerk

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