Meeting Agenda

Meeting Date: Tuesday, April 9, 2013
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

  1. Sicily Morris – PTA President

3. Items for Action

  1. Approve minutes of February 12th and March 12th meetings
  2. Approve bills and wages for March 2013
  3. Student Disciplinary Hearing – Executive Session
  4. Hire Substitutes
  5. Approve Retirement Incentives
  6. Offer Tenured Certified Staff Contracts for 2013-14 School Year
  7. Offer Non-Tenured Certified Staff Contracts for 2013-14 School Year
  8. Discuss Staffing Plan for 2013-14
  9. Approve Out of District Students
  10. Approve YBGR Placement
  11. Cancel Trustee Election
4. District reports
  1. Facilities Report
  2. Elementary Principal's Report
  3. MS Principal's Report
  4. Superintendent's Report
5. Trustee reports
  1. Legislative Update
6. Adjourn

NEXT REGULAR MEETING IS MAY 14, 2013 AT 7:00 PM

Superintendent's Agenda Report



2. Individuals, delegations, correspondence
  1. Sicily Morris – PTA President
    Mrs. Morris has asked to address the board regarding the participation in the PTA and the
    future of the group.

3. Items for Action

  1. Approve minutes of February 12th and March 12th meetings

  2. Approve bills and wages for March 2013

  3. Student Disciplinary Hearing – Executive Session

    Mr. Klasna is bringing a student to the Board for an expulsion hearing. This hearing
    should take place in Executive Session and the board will have to take action in Open
    Session. The student and his parents may choose to take part in this hearing.

  4. Hire Substitutes

  5. Approve Retirement Incentives
    I recommend that the Board approve the $12,000 retirement incentive for Kathy Albrecht,
    Marie Anderson, and Jan Trask. I recommend that the Board approve the 3-year,
    $6,000/year insurance benefit incentive for Judy Guenther and Vicki Turnquist. These
    five retirements give us approximately $150,000 in budget flexibility for next year.

  6. Offer Tenured Certified Staff Contracts for 2013-14 School Year

    I recommend that the attached list of certified staff members be offered contracts for the
    2013-14 school year. Specific positions will be assigned at a later date.

  7. Offer Non-Tenured Certified Staff Contracts for 2013-14 School Year

    I recommend that the attached list of certified staff members be offered contracts for the
    2013-14 school year. Specific positions will be assigned at a later date. There was some
    concerns regarding budgeting because we do not know how schools will be funded for
    next year with the legislature still in session. I cannot foresee any scenario where would
    have to cut staff beyond the six resignations we already have (Item 3E plus one additional
    resignation). I can go over preliminary budgeting projections with you if you have
    questions, but I don't want to publish them, as they are "very unofficial" at this point.

  8. Discuss Staffing Plan for 2013-14

    I would like to share my thoughts for certified staffing for next year. Administration has
    been working on how to best address our accreditation deviations and biggest needs and
    we would like some feedback from the board.

  9. Approve Out of District Students
    I recommend that JB (5th) and JB (6th) be allowed to complete this school year as out of
    district students. They are both current students that moved out of district.

  10. Approve YBGR Placement
    I recommend that DM (6th) be placed at YBGR for the remainder of the school year. This
    is an IEP team placement.
Star Line

Meeting Minutes

6:30 PM BOARD TRAINING WORK SESSION
At 6:30 p.m. Chair Tim Sather, Trustees Sue Vinton, Don Reed, Tamara Spillum, Peter Freivalds, Superintendent Tobin Novasio, K-5 Principal Mike Bowman, K-5 Assistant Principal Don Christman, and Middle School Principal Gordon Klasna gathered to participate in an MTSBA webinar on the topic of Out-of-District Students.

REGULAR MEETING

1. CALL TO ORDER
Chair Tim Sather opened the regular meeting and called it to order at 7:00 p.m.. He led those present in the Pledge of Allegiance.

The following trustees and officers were present: Chair Tim Sather; Trustees Susanne Vinton, Don Reed, Peter Freivalds, Tamara Spillum and Superintendent Tobin Novasio.

Numerous staff members were present and registered on the sign in sheet.

Registered guests were 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.

2. INDIVIDUALS, DELEGATIONS, CORRESPONDENCE

Thank you notes from MTSBA, Music Students, and a traveling basketball team that uses our facilities.

Notice from the Healthier U.S. Challenge that all three schools received "gold" distinction and will be awarded $2000 per school for the purchase of P.E. equipment.

Public Comment:

Mary Kay Rottrup, teacher, speaking on behalf of the primary staff, expressed concerns about the proposed specialists' scheduling for the next school year. The concerns centered around the new schedule's effect on student safety traveling across campus, cost, and impact on instructional time. She added that these concerns have previously been expressed to Mr. Bowman and Mr. Novasio.

Lynette Larson, teacher, speaking on her own behalf, followed up with similar concerns as expressed by Mary Kay Rottrup.

Chairman Tim Sather responded that we can put up the schedules for a while, see how they work, and adjust as needed.

A. Sicily Morris – PTA President

Mrs. Morris of the Lockwood PTA addressed the board regarding the levels of parent participation in the PTA and therefore future vitality and sustainability of the local PTA chapter.

Mrs. Morris shared that with the upcoming terms of officers expiring, there are some concerns about filling those positions and how, if not filled, the future existence of a PTA at Lockwood can be realized. She noted that while there is good support with Lockwood teachers and staff, it's difficult to get involvement in officer positions from parents who cite already busy and full schedules with no room to take on an additional commitment. She went on to commend parents for their willingness to serve and act on various committees as they arise, but that there need to be new people to come on to take on the advisory leadership roles of the PTA. Current PTA board members have been contacted and are generally unable to step into those leadership positions.

Tamara Spillum asked if notices that have been sent out contained the potential 'ultimatum', that is to say, they possible dissolution of the local PTA chapter, to which she answered, they have not. Mrs. Morris expressed that she is somewhat hesitant to be so bold, prior to getting some advice and guidance from the school board, but conceded that parents and the community do need to be informed of the potentials that exist if the organization does not get the needed support.

Sue Vinton asked the teaching staff in the audience if there was still such a thing as a "room parent" (particularly in the younger grades). She suggested that perhaps one of those duties that could be suggested to such a person in that role could be to get involved in PTA in a leadership position.

Don Reed suggested that perhaps they reach out via the school newsletter and possibly the district's website to increase awareness of the condition of the PTA and possible outcomes.

The PTA leadership present also expressed a need for help with activities.

Tim Sather suggested contacting the packs of scout troops and those parents to rally some common support to serve students.

Mrs. Morris expressed specific concern as to what entity would handle school pictures in the fall and spring as well as the Welcome Back BBQ in the fall as well as holiday coin drives, as these are all currently overseen largely by the PTA, with support from the secretaries and various teachers and classrooms.

Some suggestions presented were that pictures would go back largely on the shoulders of the schools and respective secretaries and parent volunteers might be able to handle some of the other activities.

Empathic to the situation, the school board members pointed out that as PTA, as an auxiliary organization, really is not a school-based activity, but rather a parent organization, and that the school doesn't really have authority speak on the future of the PTA organization.

Trustee Tamara Spillum suggested that the PTA contact the national PTA organization to seek some council as to how to handle the financial accounts of the organization. She further suggested that perhaps they could check into obtaining a temporary "inactive" status, instead of full dissolution, while matters and organization are settled.

Peter Freivalds suggested a diligent checking of policies and guidelines as to finances and that taking on an "inactive" status may affect what they are able to do with money currently accounted.

Board members empathized with their situation and wished them the best as they continue on and make tough decisions as to the future of the organization at Lockwood.

3. ACTION ITEMS

A. Approve minutes of February 12th and March 12th meetings

Chair Sather presented the minutes of the February 12th and March 12th meetings and they were approved without addition or correction.

B. Approve bills and wages for March 2013

Mr. Sather presented the bills and wages for March 2013 and seeing no additions or corrections, they were approved by the board.

C. Student Disciplinary Hearing – Closed Executive Session

Student CR was brought to the board for a disciplinary hearing. This hearing took place in closed Executive Session with the board taking action on the disciplinary hearing when open session resumed. Executive session commenced at approximately 7:30 PM and the room was cleared for the hearing.

Open session resumed at approximately 8:35 PM, the audience returned to the board room whereupon the board took action on the proceedings of the disciplinary hearing.

Sue Vinton moved to reinstate student CR on the condition of establishing a behavior plan between the family and principal, Mr. Klasna. Don Reed seconded.

Sue Vinton, Don Reed, Tamara Spillum, and Peter Freivalds voted in favor of the motion. Tim Sather voted in opposition to the motion. The motion carried.

D. Hire Substitutes

Mr. Novasio presented the list of substitutes with the addition of Matthew Neumann pending a background check as well as custodial substitute Denise Schilling, a current Sodexo employee with a background check for that position, also pending a school background check. Don Reed moved to hire the list of substitute teachers as presented with the additions pending background checks. Sue Vinton seconded.

The motion passed.

E. Approve Retirement Incentives

Mr. Novasio recommend that the Board approve the $12,000 retirement incentive for Kathy Albrecht, Marie Anderson, and Jan Trask. He further recommend that the Board approve the 3-year $6,000/year insurance benefit incentive for Judy Guenther and Vicki Turnquist. He further noted that these five retirements afford the district approximately $150,000 in budget flexibility for next year.

Sue Vinton moved to approve the retirement incentives as presented. Tamara Spillum seconded.

Discussion: Chairman Sather stated that he hoped this was a benefit for both teachers and the district in regards to financial benefit.

The motion passed unanimously.

F. Offer Tenured Certified Staff Contracts for 2013-14 School Year

Mr. Novasio recommend that the presented list of tenured certified staff members be offered contracts for the 2013-14 school year. Specific positions will be assigned at a later date.

Don Reed moved to approve the tenured certified staff contracts for the 2013-14 school year, as presented. Tamara Spillum seconded.

Discussion:
Sue Vinton asked if the administrators were included. Mr. Novasio added that they are, in fact, certified staff as well and it was also done this way last year.

Don Reed asked for a clarification as to why this was happening now as the district is not yet through negotiations with the teachers' union. Mr. Novasio said that contracts would be adjusted as necessary following negotiations.

The motion passed unanimously.

G. Offer Non-Tenured Certified Staff Contracts for 2013-14 School Year

Superintendent Novasio recommended that the attached list of certified staff members be offered contracts for the 2013-14 school year. Specific positions will be assigned at a later date. He further shared that there was some concerns regarding budgeting because the district does not know how schools will be funded for next year with the legislature still in session. Mr. Novasio does not foresee any scenario where the district would have to cut staff beyond the six resignations/retirements already submitted and presented (an additional resignation beyond the retirements aforementioned.

Sue Vinton moved to approve the non-tenured certified staff contracts for the 2013-14 school year, as presented. Tamara Spillum seconded.

Discussion:
Don Reed asked if the list is complete. Mr. Novasio said that it's been thoroughly checked. The intent of this was to offer contracts to all staff in a timely manner.

The motion passed unanimously.

H. Discuss Staffing Plan for 2013-14

Superintendent Novasio shared his thoughts for certified staffing for next year. He explained that the district's administration has been working on how to best address our accreditation deviations and biggest needs and solicited the trustees for some feedback in this regard. With feedback from the board, the administration team would like to start advertising positions to fulfill staffing needs as soon as possible.

Tamara Spillum asked about the 2nd grade numbers being very close to accreditation limits. Mr. Novasio agreed that it is fairly close but there are ways to make adjustments by utilizing paraprofessionals. Mr. Bowman added his support of the proposed staffing plans.

Peter Freivalds moved to proceed with the elementary staffing plan as presented and pursue hiring to fulfill the plan. Sue Vinton seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

Mr. Novasio presented the proposed middle school staffing table. Mr. Tom Vanderbeck would move from his current .3 FTE to 1.0 FTE to help with "overflow" in social studies and perhaps science. The tentative plan also proposes some changes to P.E. being separated by grade level and possibly by gender.

Middle school principal, Gordon Klasna, commented on the population numbers by grade levels and the beneficial effect adding staff and adjusting Mr. Tom Vanderbeck's FTE would have on alleviating accreditation issues related to class sizes. Mr. Klasna also explained that the addition of staff would help reduce class sizes in other areas that are nearing or exceeding accreditation guidelines.

In viewing a tentative middle school staffing schedule, Don Reed asked where students would be when the teachers have their common preparation period. It was clarified that they are in elective classes when grade level teachers are having common preparation time. It was further noted that the additional staff proposed to be hired in the middle school would be requested to have K-8 endorsement to allow for flexibility in their subject area teaching assignments.

Peter Freivalds moved to hire the proposed 1.7 FTE for the middle school. Sue Vinton seconded.

Discussion:

Tamara Spillum expressed concern at hiring without a budget in place. Tim Sather answered that this simply would allow the district to begin advertising and interviewing. Mr. Novasio said that we will have funding information from the legislature by the end of the month and that we have our ANB numbers. If the budget numbers to come didn't allow for it, the process could be stopped prior to an official offering of jobs.

As an aside, LEA president Lynette Larson said that the negotiation team would like to wait until after the levy election to open negotiations.

Motion passed unanimously.

A final staffing issue presented by Mr. Novasio was in regard to Principal positions and our comparative ratio of administrators to students in when placed alongside other schools in district 2 and surrounding rural districts. He offered four options as possible ways to address this situation:

Option A. Hire an assistant principal for the middle school
Option B. Hire an additional counselor to help diminish and keep student behavior problems to a managable level in the middle school
Option C. Add an additional teacher position to the middle school who would serve in the capacity of dean to deal with student discipline issues. Mr. Novasio added that this position would likely be under some kind of memorandum of understanding regarding the scheduling of that position as they would essentially be a teacher on special assignment and have schedule constraints different from those of teachers in a classroom setting.
Option D. Keep things the way they currently are. He noted that this, in his view, would be a bad situation.

Don Reed offered comments to the effect that when teachers' time is spent dealing with behavioral issues, it takes away from the teaching time and learning environment, which severely affects the quality of education. That being the case, he feels that this is something we need to address and is in favor of addressing it in whichever fashion fits best, given the options presented by Mr. Novasio. He noted, based on the information provided by Mr. Novasio, that we have comparatively fewer people in the positions of counselor and principal when looking at the numbers provided for other district schools in the area.

Mr. Sather said that while he agrees with the need, considering the unknown status of the budget, he's not sure about deciding right away. He questioned the use of a counselor to meet behavioral issues. Mr. Novasio said that a counselor can sometimes stop situations before they advance into larger behavioral issues. He added that there are often more needs of time to address issues with students at the middle school age.

Mr. Sather suggested possibly deferring this particular staffing decision to the next meeting.

Lynette Larson commented that deferring the issue would send a negative message to the middle school staff as to the priority of them being supported in addressing student misbehavior.

Sue Robertson commented and questioned about the specifics of the job description of a counselor and how this proposal of using a counselor for behavior issues fit with current job descriptions. Sue Vinton agreed with the question and concern raised.

Mr. Novasio answered by saying that the job description of a counselor has pretty broad ranging in that they can deal with issues related to counseling students in areas of academics and behavior.

Middle school secretary Jen DuVal expressed the concern that a counselor is a person that a student should want to go see when concerns arise and that it might not be appropriate to have a person in that position and with the title of "counselor" be seen as a disciplinarian.

Mrs. Nielson expressed, as a parent, that she would want the discipline and behavior support extended to the staff and the other students so that misbehaving students with little to no respect for facilities, staff, and peers, could be handled in a more efficient and timely manner.

Mr. Sather commented that the board is aware of those concerns, but the challenge of exactly how to do it is the issue at hand.

Middle school teacher Jennifer Rice commented that it is very very difficult to help students reach academic goals, especially students receiving special interventions due to academic deficits, in an environment where addressing student misbehavior and disrespect can take inordinate focus.

Middle school teacher Randall Rice commented that the board set a dangerous precedent tonight by their earlier vote on the disciplinary hearing to reinstate a student and that it sends the wrong message to other students who have witnessed the behavior of the student in question, and will now see him come back to school, perceiving that there was no consequence for his behavior.

Peter Freivalds agreed that we need to provide the help but that he doesn't see how the board can vote on a position when it doesn't yet know that we have the money for it. Mr. Sather concurred that it's a cost issue. Tamara Spillum challenged Mr. Sather's comment on cost by referring to the earlier passage of hiring additional teaching staff in the same time of unknown final budget amounts.

The question was posed by the audience about the current ratio limits of students to administrators. Mr. Novasio responded that when over 550 students, you have to have an additional administrator.

The question was then posed about that number for the ratio of students to counselors. Mr. Novasio said it's 400 students and we are just over that. He expressed that his feelings are that you must staff according to your needs.

Don Reed moved that, contingent on funding, the position of assistant principal be established. Tamar Spillum seconded the motion.

Discussion:
Sue Vinton said that she recognized that we have a serious problem that needs to be dealt with, but that it's difficult for her to foresee that the person hired would necessarily come in and make everything "right". Her concerns are that the title "administrator" carries a connotation that they are bound to a desk or office and we, as a district, may begin to appear "administrator heavy", which is something she sees that we strive against. She said that she's looking for some consolation that this is something that will work to meet the need that's been presented.

Mr. Novasio shared that this position would provide another necessary resource to oversee and handle student issues and additionally allow administrators time to get into the classrooms and provide more instructional leadership to the staff.

With the additional information, Sue Vinton said that it was something she could support.

Randall Rice commented that board, in their actions to reinstate a student up for expulsion, set the precedent that is contrary to the previous discussion of how we want to clean up the culture of our school and take action to address misbehaving students.

Teacher Sharon Harris asked for some clarification about the differences between the title and position of "Dean" and "Assistant Principal".

Mr. Klasna addressed this question, based on his previous administrative experiences: the "deans" in district 2 are, in fact, assistant principals. Previously, the position of "dean" took care of behavioral issues just short of expulsion. Mr. Novasio said that we would write up a position that would only require teaching endorsement, rather than administrative endorsement. The person in that position would handle behavioral issues and not the administrative duties specifically held by a principal. Mr. Reed asked for clarification regarding such duties as sitting in on IEP meetings. Mr. Novasio answered that according to law, a principal can assign a proxy to act in situations such as IEP meetings, and further added that principals can even assign a counselor to act as proxy for such IEP meetings should need arise.

The motion passed.

I. Approve Out of District Students

Mr. Novasio recommended that JB (5th) and JB (6th) be allowed to complete this school year as out-of-district students. They are both current students that moved out of district.

Don Reed moved to allow students JB and JB to complete this school year as out-of-district students through the end of the school year. Peter Freivalds seconded. The motion passed.

J. Approve YBGR Placement

Mr. Novasio recommend that student DM (6th) be placed at YBGR for the remainder of the school year. This is an IEP team placement.

Sue Vinton moved to place student DM at the YBGR as recommended. Peter Freivalds seconded.

As a point of information, Mr. Novasio pointed out that the number of students we now have on the bus to the YBGR may require some adjustments to the transportation arrangements, specifically the possibility of requiring an additional aide to ride with the students.

The motion passed.

K. Cancel Trustee Election

As there are no trustee seats with multiple candidates, trustees will be elected by acclamation. An individual will need to be appointed to the one year term come May.

Jennifer Wagner, present in the audience, was the only person who applied for a trustee position.

Sue Vinton made a motion to declare the trustee election by acclamation according to the individuals that have applied ( Peter Freivalds (3 year term), Tim Sather (2 year term), Don Reed (3 year term), and Jennifer Wagner (3 year term) ). Tamara Spillum seconded.

Motion passed.

DISTRICT REPORTS

A. Facilities Report

No further additions

B. Elementary Principal's Report

No further additions


C. MS Principal's Report

The Middle School will have a "fun night" this coming Friday and he amended that it will be limited to Lockwood 6th through 8th grade students so that staff are familiar with those students. Previous consideration to allow 5th graders to attend was reversed.

D. Superintendent's Report

Mr. Novasio shared that the SWAT team and intruder drill of last week provided excellent feedback. A point of note by those authorities assisting with the drill, was the ability of the elementary teachers and staff to keep the students quiet for the duration of the building sweep. KULR-8 News was present to film a report which will be featured as part of a longer segment during network television's forthcoming ratings "sweeps". Mr. Novasio commented that he feels this will be good exposure for the upcoming levy that will focus on addressing some safety additions and upgrades to the district.

There was a KULR-8 report also on house bill 634 that brought up some support and questions from the community as it suggested that perhaps Lockwood was actively pursuing the building of a high school. Mr. Novasio was able to field those calls and clarify the intent of the bill and the news report.

Don Reed reminded the board that with the upcoming levy, it is important to share and stress with community members that our safety upgrades are necessary to ensure the safety of our students and staff and are not just frivolous requests.

Mr. Novasio shared that staff member Shari Widdicombe and teacher Randall Rice have both resigned to engage in other pursuits and interests and wished them well as they move beyond their employment with Lockwood Schools.

Mr. Novasio made a comment on the information provided to the board by the Interquest Sniffing Dogs. He shared that while we can use the county dogs, the Interquest dogs can key in on more substances (including alcohol). He asked the board to look over the information and provide recommendations at a future meeting.

5. TRUSTEE REPORTS

A. Legislative Update - no additions

6. ADJOURNMENT

Peter Freivalds moved to adjourn the meeting. Don Reed seconded. The motion passed. The meeting adjourned at 9:45 P.M.

NEXT REGULAR MEETING IS MAY 14, 2013 AT 7:00 PM

Minutes respectfully submitted by Charles Harvey
Eileen Johnson Middle School teacher

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