Proceedings of the Board of Trustees
Lockwood School District No. 26
Yellowstone County, Billings, MT
Regular Meeting of October 11, 2011
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Meeting Date: Tuesday, October 11, 2011
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.

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

2. Individuals, delegations, correspondence
Linda Hanson, recently retired teacher, will be here to present the summer experience with Kaitlin Hugs in Washington, D.C. Kaitlin was last year's winner in the essay contest "Do the Right Thing" sponsored by the Montana Board of Crime Control.

3. Items for Action
    A. Approve minutes of September 13, 2011 meeting
    B. Approve bills and wages for September 2011
    C. Hire substitutes
    D. Hire coaches
    E. Request for out of district placement
    F. Transportation issue

4. District reports
    A. K-5 Elementary School
    B. Middle School School
    C. Technology
    D. Facilities
    E. Activities
    F.  Library
    G. Superintendent

5. Trustee reports

6. Adjourn

NEXT REGULAR MEETING IS NOVEMBER 8, 2011 AT 7:00 PM

Superintendent's Agenda Report

3. Items for Action

  1. Approve minutes of September 13, 2011 meeting

  2. Approve bills and wages for September 2011

  3. Hire substitutes

  4. Hire coaches
    Track - Wes Caldwell and Jesse Swanke
    Weightlifting - Bob Hankins
    Volleyball 7th girls - Vicki Balgua and Mary Kay Rottrup
    Volleyball 8th girls - Becka Swanke

  5. Request for out of district placement
    Ablazionah Martinez is recommended for out of district placement in Grade 6
  6. Transportation issue
    It came to our attention that one of our drivers was picking up five Senior High students in the afternoon at the entrance into Emerald Hills and taking them to their homes where he dropped K-8 students. When he retired two weeks ago, the new driver was not sure what to do. He was doing this out of kindness to students he delivered over the years. However, before allowing this to continue, I did some research to make available to you for guidance on future such actions. We work with District #2 on sharing a bus in the PM from the ranch. This has worked quite well for several school years. It's one large bus with a total of no more than 10–15 students. First Student arranged this.

    Here are some details from various services:
1. Montana School Boards
If you are asking whether this is legal, it is actually covered in statute:

20-10-122. Discretionary provision of transportation and payment for this transportation. (1) The trustees of a district may provide
school bus transportation to any pupil of a public school who is not an eligible transportee of the district:
(a) on a school bus conveying eligible transportees when the ineligible transportee will not displace an eligible transportee from
the school bus because of the lack of seating capacity;
(b) on a school bus operated by the district for the sole purpose of providing transportation for ineligible transportees. The school
bus must service those children living the greatest distance from the school to be attended.
(c) on a school bus operated for the purpose of relieving congestion in a school building or to avoid the necessity of erecting a
new building or for any other reasons of economy or convenience.
(2) When the trustees of a district provide school bus transportation to an ineligible transportee under the conditions of subsection
(1)(a) or (1)(b), the district may charge each ineligible transportee a proportionate share, as determined by the trustees, of the cost of
operating the school bus. Money realized from the payments must be deposited to the credit of the transportation fund.

As you can see, it is OK to transport students of another school district as long as no students of your district are displaced by doing
so (under subsection (1)(a)). Also, it is discretionary whether or not the district will charge a fee for transporting these students.

My biggest concern, however, would be liability, and whether or not the district has insurance coverage for transporting these
Billings students. If you decide to continue to do this, I would advise that the parents of the students grant their permission, and that
you consult with your insurance carrier to make sure that there is coverage for these students in the event of an accident or some
other problem. If they are covered by your insurance, and the parents are OK with you hauling them, then it should not be a
problem.

Tony C. Koenig, Senior Counsel
Montana School Boards Association
(406) 442-2180
tkoenig@mtsba.org

2. Our insurance company Western States told me there is no problem with this if we decide to continue.

3. The Felt Martin Law firm agreed with MTSBA and would draw up a form for the parents and First Student. The parents must be made aware that any discipline problems would cause removal and no K-8 rider could be displaced.

4. A number of students are already exited from the bus before it reaches that point of high school pick up.

5. First Student is the primary carrier of liability.

6. District #2 does not transport high school students into Emerald Hills. Parents bring the students down to lower areas to meet the buses. This particular bus schedule just happens to be within minutes of our bus passing them only in the PM when they get off the high school bus.

If the Trustees would like more information before making a decision, I will attempt to provide it.

4F. Library Report
This is grade one from a K-8 library report. The entire report was too large to email you in one message. I can bring up the report at the meeting for your review.

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Regular Board Meeting
October 11, 2011

REGULAR SESSION CALL TO ORDER - 7:00 pm

At 6:30 p.m. Chair Tim Sather, Trustees Jason Hamrick, Susanne Vinton, Don Reed, Tamara Spillum, District Clerk Laurie Noonkester, Superintendent Eileen Johnson, K-5 Principal Mike Bowman and K-5 Assistant Principal Don Christman gathered to view the MTSBA power point presentation with the topic being "Open vs. Closed Meetings." Discussion on the topic was held until 7:00 p.m.

Chair Tim Sather 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, Tim Sather, Jason Hamrick, Don Reed, Caree Bernhart, Tamara Spillum, Superintendent Eileen Johnson and District Clerk Laurie Noonkester. Trustee Becky Malenowsky was absent.

Evelyn Pyburn with the Yellowstone County News and Pam Malek with ExxonMobil were in attendance.

Registered guests are asked to sign in upon arrival.

Mr. Sather 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

Retired teacher Linda Hanson presented pictures taken during the July 2011, Washington D.C. trip that Kaitlin Hugs was awarded for winning the Montana State essay contest "Do the Write Thing." This contest was sponsored by the Montana Board of Crime Control and began at the local level, advanced to the state level and finally the national level. Two individuals from Montana were selected to represent Montana at the National level. Female contestants were represented by Kaitlin and male contestants were represented by a Poplar, MT student. Kaitlin's mother, Kimberly Birkett and teacher Linda Hanson were able to accompany Kaitlin on the trip as part of the state award. Mrs. Hanson gave background information on the U.S. corporate sponsorship of the program, but found most interesting the involvement of the Kuwaiti government. The government of Kuwait sponsors the program as a thank you to the United States for their assistance during the Gulf War.

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Regular Board Meeting
October 11, 2011

Mrs. Hanson, Kaitlin and Ms. Birkett each remarked upon their travel experiences with the other student representatives, sponsors, events and sightseeing adventures. Mrs. Hanson mentioned that meeting with both U.S. Senators from Montana was exciting and the lengthy meeting with U.S. Senator Jon Tester was one of many exceptional aspects of the trip. In closing, all three ladies pointed out that this program is very important and asked that the board, administration and teachers encourage continued student participation.

ITEMS FOR ACTION

A. Approval of Minutes

Chair Tim Sather asked if there were any objections to the minutes as presented. Hearing none, the minutes of the September 13, 2011 regular meeting were approved.

B. Approval of Bills for September

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

C. Request to Hire Substitutes for the 2011-2012 School Year

The listed person was recommended for hire as a substitute for the 2011-2012 school year pending a successful background check. The individual listed currently has a successful background check on file. Mrs. Johnson noted a late addition of Connie Ouren to the hiring recommendation.

Susanne Vinton made the motion to hire those recommended as substitutes for the 2011-12 school year as presented upon the return of a successful background check. Tamara Spillum seconded the motion.

Trustees Susanne Vinton, Caree Bernhart, Tim Sather, Jason Hamrick, Don Reed and Tamara Spillum voted yes; the motion passed unanimously.

D. Hiring of Athletic Coaches

Superintendent Johnson recommends the following be hired as athletic coaches for the 2011-2012

school year.

Track - Wes Caldwell and Jesse Swanke
Weightlifting - Bob Hankins
Volleyball 7th Grade Girls - Vicki Balgua and Mary Kay Rottrup
Volleyball 8th Grade Girls - Becka Swanke
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Regular Board Meeting
October 11, 2011

Discussion was held on the coaching and certificate requirements to hold these positions.

Jason Hamrick made the motion to hire those listed as recommended for the 2011-2012 school year. Don Reed seconded the motion.

Trustees Susanne Vinton, Caree Bernhart, Tim Sather, Jason Hamrick, Don Reed and Tamara Spillum voted yes; the motion passed with a six to zero vote.

E. Request for Out of District Attendance

The following student is recommended for consideration for out of district attendance for the 2011-2012 school year.

Grade 6 - Ablazionah Martinez

Superintendent Johnson noted that Ablazionah has been a long time student of the district.

Sue Vinton made the motion to approve the listed student for out of district attendance. Tamara Spillum seconded the motion.

Trustees Susanne Vinton, Caree Bernhart, Tim Sather, Jason Hamrick, Don Reed and Tamara Spillum voted yes; the motion passed unanimously.

F. Transportation Issue

Superintendent Johnson reported that a transportation issue was recently brought to her attention and she is seeking board input and approval. The issue began a few years past as an act of kindness by a recently retired Lockwood bus driver. He had been picking up five Senior High students in the afternoon at the entrance into Emerald Hills and taking them to their homes where he dropped K-8 students. Upon the driver's retirement, the replacement driver of the route did not transport these high school students. This caused confusion among the parents which eventually brought the issue to Mrs. Johnson's attention. However, before allowing this to continue, she had asked for legal guidance and is making this information available to the board.

She noted that Lockwood works with District #2 on sharing a bus in the afternoon transporting Lockwood students from the ranch. This is one large bus with a total of no more than 10–15 students. This arrangement has worked quite well for the district throughout several school years. Superintendent Johnson presented MTSBA legal interpretation finding that the action is actually covered in statute MCA 20-10-122. Tony C. Koenig, Senior Counsel Montana School Boards Association went on to write that his biggest concern, however, would be liability, and whether or not the district has insurance coverage for transporting these Billings students. If the board decides to continue to do this, he advises that the parents of the students grant their permission, and that the district consults with the insurance carrier to make sure that there is coverage for these students in

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Regular Board Meeting
October 11, 2011

the event of an accident or some other problem. If they are covered by our insurance, and the parents are OK with the arrangement, then it should not be a problem. In checking on the concerns she and counsel have discussed, Mrs. Johnson reported on the following findings:

  1. Western States Insurance assured her that they have no problem with this if we decide to continue.
  2. The Felt Martin Law firm agreed with MTSBA and would draw up a form for the parents and First Student.
  3. The parents must be made aware that any discipline problems would cause removal and no K-8 riders could be displaced.
  4. A number of Lockwood students are already exited from the bus before it reaches the point of high school pick up.
  5. First Student is the primary carrier of liability insurance.
  6. District #2 does not transport high school students into Emerald Hills. Parents bring the students down to lower areas to meet the buses. This particular bus schedule just happens to be within minutes of our bus passing them only in the afternoon when they get off the high school bus.

Discussion was held on the subject.

Don Reed made the motion to approve the continuation of transporting District 2 high school students when meeting the criteria discussed. Jason Hamrick seconded the motion.

Trustees Susanne Vinton, Caree Bernhart, Tim Sather, Jason Hamrick, Don Reed and Tamara Spillum voted yes; the motion passed unanimously.

DISTRICT REPORTS

A. K-5 - Principal Mike Bowman had nothing further to add to his written report. Superintendent Johnson reported that she has seen the MBI staff training being put into practice in the hallways of the school and is impressed.

B.Middle School - Principal Gordon Klasna added to his report that the middle school is not receiving any of the OPI MBI and RTI grant monies so his staff will be continuing with what they have learned but further training will not be pursued.

C. Activities - Director Keith Tresch submitted a written report. Superintendent Johnson reported that Big Sky Office Reporter has donated 12 athletic fee scholarships to the district.

D. Technology - Director Darlene Hess had nothing further to add to her written report.

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Regular Board Meeting
October 11, 2011

E. Libraries Report - Middle School Librarian Johanna Freivalds commented on her written report and treated the audience and board to the picture and written surveys returned from the students grades K-8 on what they like and dislike about their libraries.

F. Superintendent - Mrs. Johnson presented the enrollment figures for this year. She further reported that the prior MUST health insurance that the district had and paid an assessment of over $60,000 to be released from the contract was a good move. She received a letter that reports a lawsuit has been filed by MUST to collect monies from districts that refused to pay the contract termination assessments.

G. Facilities - Director Rob Guzman reported that the Quality Schools Grant should be awarded any day now. He pointed out that some roofing issues have occurred since applying for the grant to re-roof the campus buildings, including an area of the intermediate building roof that became an extremely large lake. The water was so deep that it had to be pumped out but did cause significant water damage to the interior building. It was noted that it is fortunate that with the amount of water that the roof did not collapse.

In response to Tim Sather's question regarding the dry condition of the football field, Mr. Guzman explained that the watering system for the field is a manual system and due to the heavy use of the field this time of year there is no opportunity to start the sprinklers.

Mr. Guzman further reported on the status of the PTA Lion's Lair project. He just returned from a PTA meeting where he explained to the members that due to new federal playground regulations their options are limited in reconditioning the Lion's Lair. Although the group has made no formal plans, he felt that the group will have to settle on replacing specific sections of the structure over a period of years due to the cost of regulation compliance.

TRUSTEE REPORTS

Sue Vinton reminded the trustees that there will be a meeting of the elementary school caucus during the MCEL Conference this month. She will be the facilitator of this meeting and invited all to attend.

ADJOURN

The next Regular Meeting will be on Tuesday, November 8, 2011, at 7:00 p.m.

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Regular Board Meeting
October 11, 2011

Jason Hamrick moved to adjourn the meeting at 8:04 p.m. Tamara Spillum seconded the motion.

Trustees Susanne Vinton, Caree Bernhart, Tim Sather, Jason Hamrick, Don Reed and Tamara Spillum voted yes; the motion passed unanimously.


___________________________     ___________________________
Tim Sather, Chairperson                       Laurie Noonkester, District Clerk

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