Call to Order
The regular meeting of the Board of Trustees of School District No. 26, Lockwood Schools, Yellowstone County, was duly held in the Board Room, 1932 U.S. Highway 87, Billings, Montana, on Tuesday, February 14, 2006. Chairperson Stroebe called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. and led those present in the Pledge of Allegiance.
The following trustees and officers were present: Trustees: Teresa Stroebe, Thomas Jones, Sue Vinton, Gayle Walker, Greg Bochy, Barbara Forrester Frank and Tim Trafford, and District Clerk Diane Brook. Superintendent Eileen Johnson was absent.
Staff members present were: Mike Bowman, Dave DeBoer, Mike Sullivan, Art Anderson, Pam Richau, Johanna Freivalds, Teresa Marchant, Diane Slagsvold, Shirley Briner, and Stephanie Smith Miller.
Registered guests present were Evelyn Pyburn, Becky Malenowsky, Chris Malenowsky, Robin Nelsen, Steven Nelsen, Kurt Benner, Stacy Benner, Jeffrey Sanders, Virginia Waples, Rodney Broderson, Leanne Broderson, Becky Webber, Valerie Egan, Kim Ritter, Kelly Gerber, Brenda Ellis, Lonnie Bitterman, Beth Hoff, Tammy Loomis, Greg Contreraz, Rebecca Contreraz, Dolly Fansler, Lizbeth Barnea, Robert Reimers, Kelly Welch, and Martha Rhoades, M.D.
Mrs. Stroebe welcomed visitors and advised the following:
If you wish to speak to the Board of Trustees at this meeting about agenda
items, please complete a form and give it to the Board Chair or the clerk.
Any person present, who wishes to do so at this point in the agenda,
may address the board or raise any question about public school district
matters or governing policies. 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.
PUBLIC WRITTEN REQUEST TO BE PLACED ON THIS AGENDA
Chairperson Stroebe read aloud the letter from Mr. and Mrs. Malenowsky requesting to appeal placement of a book entitled, The Guy Book, in the library. She advised that they had filled out the appropriate form for the appeal and the board had received the form.
The following people spoke against keeping the book in the library:
Becky Malenowsky, parent, Robin Nelsen, parent, Valerie Egan, parent, Kelly Gerber, parent, Greg Contrarez, parent, Beth Hoff, parent, and Brenda Ellis, parent.
They cited these reasons for removing the book: parental opportunity to monitor their child’s reading material; not requiring parental permission for access to this book like they do for sex education; sixth graders are too young to be able to read and understand this book; the belief that the book does not have educational value; not wanting to rely on someone else’s opinion of what is acceptable for their child; the book was inappropriate, too graphic and disrespectful.
These people spoke in favor of keeping the book in the library:
Jeff Sanders, PhD/parent, Melinda Payne MD/parent, Virginia Waples, School Librarian/Billings School District, Becky Webber, parent, Martha Rhoades, MD/parent, Sara Sanders, student.
They mentioned some of the following reasons for keeping the book: banning books is a very touchy subject; having respect for the professionalism and judgment of the Lockwood School staff; parents have a right to make choices for their own child but they should not be able to limit what my child can read; the book was well reviewed; it is important to remember that there are many different needs; it could be psychologically harmful for kids to not have access information about sexuality; providing information demystifies the whole thing, providing material that is written in such a manner that students would read it.
The three school librarians spoke. Diane Slagsvold, K-2 Librarian said they had presented to the board at the December 13, 2005, board meeting, their Selection of Library Materials Report. This report detailed the rationale and process they use to select library materials. She advised that they all have professional endorsements, and as a professional she was opposed to removing the book. Johanna Freivalds, 6-8 Librarian, said we are all very concerned about our kids here at Lockwood. My job is to provide material to those children that have no voice, and I do that to the best of my ability. Intermediate Librarian Teresa Marchant referred to the American Library Association information provided previously and asked that everyone get a copy and read it.
Someone asked if the librarians read every book that is placed in the library.
Trustee Tim Trafford responded that it would be impossible for them to read all books from cover to cover as there are several thousand selections in the libraries.
Chairperson Teresa Stroebe reviewed the ten-attachment packet that had been provided to the trustees by Superintendent Eileen Johnson. Mrs. Stroebe offered copies of the packet to everyone present. She noted the wording in Policy No. 2335 – Instruction of Health Enhancement curriculum.
Tim read aloud Eileen’s response to the parents regarding their request for reconsideration of The Guy Book to point out what had taken place previously and the process that got them to this point.
Teresa read said Eileen’s comments in the agenda were: Your action is to either confirm my recommendation [to keep the book in the library] or remove the book.
Mrs. Stroebe advised that having someone sign off before a student could check out the book would be a policy change, and that was not one of the choices at this point. She confirmed that a parent can request that their child not be allowed to check out a certain book
Trustee Thomas Jones said he had read quite a bit of the book. He noted there were some good things in this book, but he didn’t think it was appropriate for 6-8 graders.
Trustee Sue Vinton wanted clarification of parent requests that their child not be able to check out certain types of books from the school library not being in policy.
Middle School Principal Mike Sullivan said it is not written in policy, but parents can make these requests. The school librarians do monitor and honor the requests.
Johanna said she is happy to help; as a professional, she is certainly willing to honor parents’ requests.
Teresa said if we are going in the direction of changing or adding to policy, legal counsel would be needed.
Trustee Greg Bochy said this book should not be on our shelf, and he will not allow his child to see this book.
Teresa advised that it is the parents’ responsibility to impart their moral standards and religious beliefs and values to their children. She said we are going to have many strong opinions. This book could give parents the opportunity to editorialize and talk with their children.
Trustee Barbara Forrester Frank said whether we like it or not, there are other children out there who need it.
Tim said the board really does care about what people think. He believes the book should not be banned; he also noted that a vast majority of people in the room had not read the entire book.
Teresa said every person on this board is concerned with the safety of children. We are trying to weigh in on library rights and parent issues.
Sue said she appreciated everyone’s comments, and she advised that she had read the book in its entirety. Sue made the following comments: We could debate the topic of this book all night long. It is such a controversial topic and we all have very strong opinions. Do we want to decide what books someone else’s child can read? I’m hopeful that the parents that don’t feel comfortable with this book will let the librarian know. I think that is somewhat of a compromise.
Trustee Gayle Walker said she had not read the entire book and felt it would have been beneficial if she had. She commented that some things in the book are not in her value system, but she felt it was important to allow others to have access to the book.
Thomas felt the book was offensive to women.
Sue said she did not feel that way at all.
Tim Trafford moved to uphold the superintendent’s recommendation, to keep the book on the shelf. Barbara Forrester Frank seconded the motion. Gayle Walker, Tim Trafford, Teresa Stroebe, Barbara Forrester Frank and Sue Vinton voted aye. Greg Bochy and Thomas Jones voted no. The motion passed with a vote of five to two.
Teresa thanked everyone for coming and asked those present to please stay for the rest of the meeting. She said we need you here. We have overcrowding issues, and we beg you to stay.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES AND PAYMENT OF BILLS AND WAGES
The Board received a copy of the summary of paid bills by account. The summary included a detailed statement of all expenditures of money with the name of the person or business to which payment is made, showing the service rendered or goods furnished.
Greg Bochy moved to approve the January 10, 2006 regular board meeting minutes, the January 23, 2006, and the February 6, 2006 special board meeting minutes as presented and the payment of all bills and wages and extracurricular bills. Sue Vinton seconded the motion. Teresa Stroebe, Thomas Jones, Sue Vinton, Tim Trafford, Greg Bochy, Barbara Forrester Frank and Gayle Walker voted yes; the motion passed seven to zero.
A. Letter from Attorney Ken Tolliver regarding the appeal of the McCracken case
Tim Trafford read aloud the letter updating the board about the appeal. Becky Webber asked that they keep former board members advised of what is happening. The trustees said they would.
EDUCATION AND BUSINESS
A. School Calendar for 2006-2007
The school calendar for 2006-2007 was presented for board approval. Supt. Johnson advised that the staff had chosen this calendar by majority vote.
Tim Trafford moved to approve the 2006-2007 school calendar as presented. Thomas Jones seconded the motion. Teresa commented that the spring break is not coordinated with that of
School District 2, which makes it difficult for families with children in school both places to plan. She also noted that Martin Luther King Day was not a school holiday on the calendar. She thinks it is very important to acknowledge that day. Thomas Jones, Sue Vinton, Tim Trafford, Greg Bochy, Barbara Forrester Frank and Gayle Walker voted yes. Teresa voted no for the above-mentioned reasons. The motion passed six to one
B. Report from Food Service Manager
Shirley Briner, Food Service Manager, was present to update the board on what is happening in Food Service this year. Mrs. Johnson had advised the trustees that a new wellness policy will be brought to them this spring. Shirley has been a part of helping bring light to the new requirements of schools that provide federally funded breakfasts and lunches.
Shirley spoke about Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point or HACCP. She advised there are two main types of hazards: 1) specific to preparation such as improper cooking temperature controls and 2) non-specific such as poor hygiene or getting metal shavings in food from opening a can.
Each employee gets a book with these standard operating procedures in it, they will be trained, and they can also use the book to review. In order to follow through, we have standardized recipes with the temperatures and critical control points; then we must monitor the process and use forms for documentation and recordkeeping. It is usually the main dish that is involved in the HACCP.
Gayle commented that this program just formalizes what had been going on before with documentation and recordkeeping.
Shirley noted that the HACCP program will be monitored by the local health department. Each food service person will get a folder containing the information.
Tim Trafford advised that folders should be available for school food substitutes so they have the specifications readily available.
C. Technology Levy Discussion
Diane Brook and Pam Richau provided information and distributed handouts about the possibility of running a Technology Levy Election with the Trustee Election to be held on May 2.
Supt. Johnson had advised the following: We are not able to run a mill levy this year, so running a technology levy may be a good way to gain operating funds. Technology items that are now purchased with General Fund or Building Reserve monies could be paid from the Technology Fund if we had an ongoing levy to provide funds.
Pam informed trustees that Lockwood Schools currently has 346 computers, and about 71 of them should be replaced in 2006-07, at a cost of approximately $67,000. She said recurring services and software licenses cost approximately $21,000 per year. She suggested conducting some special technology nights to showcase our Compass System and other technology items for parents. She
thought this type of demonstration would be a good tool to provide information to parents and the community, and it might assist in passing the levy.
Diane advised that the levy request could be for a maximum $95,096 annually. This figure is derived by multiplying the original cost of technological equipment that is owned by the school district by 20 percent. This calculation is per 20-9-533(3), MCA. She said the trustees could request a levy annually for any number of years.
It was the general consensus that this should be an action item on the March 14, 2006 agenda.
D. Future Growth of Lockwood Schools
Supt. Johnson advised: The Board has requested for the Facilities issue to appear on each regular agenda until further notice. Art Anderson will report on the possibility of using a modular classroom to provide more classroom space for next year. Action is only if the Trustees bring up a resolution related to the building or bond issue.
Facilities Manager Art Anderson reported that four responses for the published request for credentials had been received from local architectural firms: CTA, JGA, Bauer Group, and Schutz Foss. Art advised all were credentialed and all have educational experience. He said he would provide copies of their responses to each trustee.
Becky Webber asked the board to go for substance and classrooms in a building project. She said it doesn’t have to be showy.
It was noted that operating costs were estimated at about one and one-half percent of the existing budget, and there is some question about how we can pay for them.
Tim said he and Sue visited Orchard School to see the new building and remodeling. They were impressed with it.
Art said he had briefly researched modulars classrooms. He found one building that would handle two classrooms, each about 680 to 750 square feet. He commented it could be possible to lease used ones. He advised that having sewer and water hookups make placement of the modular difficult. He had no pricing information at this time.
A. Hiring Substitutes
Tim Trafford moved to hire substitute teachers Melanie Henke, Carl Myers, and Tracy Siemion. Greg Bochy seconded the motion. Thomas asked if they had all been fingerprint background checked. Diane Brook responded yes. Teresa Stroebe, Thomas Jones, Sue Vinton, Tim Trafford, Greg Bochy, Barbara Forrester Frank and Gayle Walker voted yes; the motion passed seven to zero.
A. Second reading on Policy No. 8450 - Automatic External Defibrillators (AED)
Mrs. Johnson advised the following: The new policy proposal from MTSBA is for districts to have in place when defibrillators are made available. We have been discussing this with Carol Blank, RN our school nurse. She will work on securing assistance for training. The placement of AED’s for public use has become quite common in the past few years.
Thomas Jones moved to adopt Policy No. 8450 on second reading. Barbara seconded the motion. Greg asked who does the training. Mike Sullivan said they are working with Carol Blank, the school nurse. Teresa Stroebe, Thomas Jones, Sue Vinton, Tim Trafford, Greg Bochy, Barbara Forrester Frank and Gayle Walker voted yes; the motion passed seven to zero.
REPORTS AND MISCELLANEOUS
Tim advised that the Curriculum Committee will be meeting on March 4, 2006.
Don Christman was not able to attend the board meeting. Trustees noted that his report had been included in the agenda packet.
Art had discussed this item earlier in the meeting.
Pam Richau briefly reviewed her report and she noted that we are getting an e-mail spam filter.
Board Chair Stroebe noted that the activities report was attached to the agenda and the trustees present said they had read the report.
Middle School Principal Mike Sullivan had no report for February. He will provide one for March.
Intermediate Principal Dave DeBoer said he had nothing to add to his report. Mr. Bowman congratulated him on receiving the Outstanding Principal Award.
Primary Principal Mike Bowman said that visitors had come from Three Forks. They were very impressed with the Compass program. He advised that Three Forks has already started all day everyday kindergarten. Mike said we really want to be able to do that.
Mrs. Johnson’s report was attached to the agenda, and trustees noted that they had read it
OLD BUSINESS OR FOLLOW UP INFORMATION
The trustees set the following special meeting dates to meet with architects and review the plans and ideas they submit.
Monday, March 6, 2006 6:00 p.m.
Tuesday, March 7, 2006 6:00 p.m.
The next regular meeting will be Tuesday, March 14, 2006 at 7:00 p.m.
Greg Bochy moved to adjourn the meeting at 10:20 p.m. Barbara Forrester Frank seconded the motion. Teresa Stroebe, Thomas Jones, Sue Vinton, Tim Trafford, Greg Bochy, Barbara Forrester Frank and Gayle Walker voted yes; the motion passed seven to zero.
Teresa Stroebe, Chairperson Diane M. Brook, District Clerk