MAY 27, 2010

School Board moves forward with budget reduction measures

   An executive session, of the Joint School District 171, was held by board members May 19, at the school district headquarters. The session was held to discuss deliberations concerning labor negotiations and to consider hiring an individual agent.

Reports, recognitions and enrollment

   May enrollment was at 1,134 students – a decrease of three students from this time last month and less 89 students from this time last year.


   George Clark explained an Idaho System for Educational Excellence (ISEE) grant for the amount of $7,500 for a staff and student data base. Superintendent Durkee commended Mr. Clark for a job well done.

   Mr. Gustin received a $4,000 grant to help enhance awareness of native plants and their pollinators.

   Mrs. Baggett received books to enhance the library collection for the We the People Bookshelf Collection.

   Carmen Griffith received a TES Fruits and Vegetables Grant in the amount of $5,572 to introduce children to fruits and vegetables that may be new to them.


   Job descriptions were created for review for the following positions: Maintenance Director, Head Custodian, Custodian, and Technology Director. They will be on the agenda for review in the next regular meeting.

   Policy 5320P for Drug and Alcohol Abuse Testing Program and Procedures was brought up for consideration. Board members wanted more time to study the issue, so it was set for next month’s agenda.

Building and program reports

   Principals and Directors of programs presented information about their school programs in an effort to increase communication and collaboration with the board and patrons.

Public comments

   Annette Haag thanked the board for increasing the Supplemental Levy amount and the community for passing the much needed levy. She had concerns regarding the Last Best Offer that was on the agenda. She noted that negotiations are still in progress. She encouraged board members to go through all the steps fully. To impose the LBO, makes it appear that negotiations have failed when there have been many positive strides made.

   Dean Gimmestad asked that the information regarding grants for which teachers apply, be reported to the local newspaper so that all patrons can see the positive work teachers have done to receive these grants.

Action items

   Mrs. Snyder read aloud the supplemental levy election results: Cavendish-Teakean School 22 yes votes, 47 no votes; Peck Elementary School 33 yes votes, 12 no votes; Pierce Community Center 73 yes votes, 23 no votes; USFS Building 88 yes votes, 70 no votes; Weippe City Hall 74 yes votes, 81 no votes; Orofino Elementary School 221 yes votes, 140 no votes; Orofino Jr. High School 154 yes votes, 72 no votes.

   There were 1,111 ballots cast with one rejected for a total of 665 yes votes and 445 no votes. The levy passed with a 59.9% approval rate. Board members thanked the community and staff for the support in passing the levy.

   A motion was unanimously approved to accept the canvassing of the supplemental election results.


   Second readings were heard of the following policies: 3310 Gangs and Gang Activity; 3335 Academic Honesty; 4420 Sex Offenders; 4250 Educational Research in District Schools; 5380 Professional Research and Publishing, and 9331 Resource Conservation.

   A motion was approved unanimously to put policy #4420 back onto the second reading calendar.

   A motion was approved unanimously to approve policies 3310; 4250; 5380, and 9331, and to delete the words “where appropriate” and add parent or “legal guardian” to policy #3335.

Field trip request

   A motion was approved to grant the overnight field trip request by the OJH Natural Helpers.

Cavendish School grade range

   Mrs. Nord proposed a plan to include seventh and eighth grade to the Cavendish-Teakean School for those students that had previously attended, for the 2010-11 school year. Mr. Schwartz expressed his concern, noting that it would be contrary to the direction the district plans for consolidation.

   Mrs. Arnsberg noted that Mrs. Nord does a fine job, and she felt that Mrs. Nord would be able to accomplish this request as well as keep some students in the district that might go elsewhere. Mrs. Arnsberg made a motion to approve Mrs. Nord’s proposal. The motion died for lack of a second.

School Calendar

   A motion was passed to adopt the 2010-11 school calendar as presented.

Strength based intervention

   Due to state cutbacks in funding, Mr. Durkee recommended the elimination of the Strength Based Intervention program. Mrs. Graber expressed concern regarding the cutting of services for children with mental health issues. A motion to eliminate the program carried with Mrs. Graber and Mrs. Arnsberg abstaining and Mr. Schwartz, Mrs. Jared, and Mr. Ebert voting in favor of it. The motion passed.

Last best offer

   Due to cuts in state funding, the district will receive significantly less money for the next school year. Mr. Durkee said the board has taken many steps to address the cutbacks with cutbacks in personnel, relocation of students from OJHS, reductions in several line items from the budget, and an increase in the supplemental levy. There still remains a sizable deficit in the 2010-11 budget.

   Negotiation teams from the board and the Clearwater Education Association have met numerous times to work toward agreement on items. The parties have not been able yet to come to an agreement. Therefore, as authorized by Idaho Code, the following recommendations were made: to change the insurance policy to a $500 deductible with a 3-tier prescription coverage with a district payment of dependent coverage to 70%; eliminate OHS Activities Director position from the extracurricular salaries list and not fill some junior high extracurricular positions; eliminate grandfathering of extracurricular salaries and reduce extracurricular salaries by 5%; freeze movement on certified salary schedule for education and experience; reduce the length of contract for certified staff by six days, along with a corresponding reduction in the salary schedule, and issue a second contract for certified staff for up to four additional days if a holdback is not declared by the Idaho Governor for the 2010-11 school year.

   The recommended changes would allow the district to prepare a balanced budget for 2010-11. Mr. Ebert noted that it is important to understand that they will continue with negotiations. Mr. Schwartz noted that this is not a failure of negotiations but a timeline has been imposed on the board. Mr. Ebert noted that a timeline for a Due Process Hearing is put into place and everyone will be able to be heard at that time. Mr. Durkee explained that the process needs to be complete by June 6, so the Due Process hearing has been set for June 4.

   A motion was passed to approve the recommendations with Mr. Schwartz, Mr. Ebert, Mrs. Jared, and Mrs. Graber voting Aye. Mrs. Arnsberg abstained.

Certified employees

   A motion was unanimously approved for the hiring of a full time, certified employee, on probation, for the 2010-11 school year.

   The meeting adjourned and went into Executive Session

Next meeting

   The next regular school board meeting is set for June 21, at Timberline Schools.