The Regular meeting of the Yaak School Board of Trustees was called to order by Chairperson, Pam Fuqua, at 4:10 p.m. on Monday September 27, 2021 at the Yaak Community Hall. Pam opened the meeting, welcomed visitors, and stated that the meeting was being recorded.
Trustees Present: Pam Fuqua, Trish Lauer, and Sandy Beder-Miller
Others Present: Diane Downey, District Clerk, Sabre Alderete, Head Teacher, Criag Johnson, Custodian/Maintenance man, Bill Sullivan, Ron Webb, Jim Wilson, Sue Janssen, and Kathy Huber
The minutes from the August 19, 2021, regular meeting and the September 11, 2021, Special meeting, were presented. Pam stated that the Trustees had reviewed them, and no changes were needed and stated that the public was welcome to see them. Trish moved that the minutes from both meetings be accepted as presented, Sandy seconded, and Pam concurred.
- Craig reported that the leaning tree on the playground has been removed. He also made suggestions for removal of a couple more that may be a problem in the future. The electric outlet in the storage shed off the teacherage had been installed but needs a deeper box to accommodate the placement of the sheathing of the wall. The bathroom stall doors have not yet been installed; he was waiting for the cleaning from construction to be completed. He has the paint and will be painting the clerk’s office prior to her moving back in. The replacement part for the trap under the kitchen sink has been purchased and that will be getting done in the coming weeks before Sabre’ moves back in.
- Diane reported on the process for our Point-to-Point Microwave Internet Project. The USFS has passed the Land Use proposal from EL Internet NW on to the MT Fish, Wildlife and Park, so we are still waiting to hear if EL NW has approval for the proposed site. Pam stated that she had emailed EL NW asking if they would consider cancelling this project but has not heard back. Sandy asked if we could stop the project. Diane stated that we were under contract with EL NW and we would need to send those contracts out to MTSBA and have them see if there is any way to get out of them. Sandy asked if we could go forward with that as we know we can get StarLink at the school now which was not an option at the time we started the project. Craig asked if there has been a public input meeting regarding Microwave being brought to the valley. Ron Webb asked why the school would have chosen microwave over high-speed satellite. At the time the project was started there was no high-speed satellite service. Trish agreed with Sandy that we should go forward with looking into getting out of the EL NW contract. Pam agreed and asked Diane to reach out to MTSBA to look at the contracts. Diane has a contact for StarLink at the corporate office and will reach out to her and see where they are as far as being ready for the 2022 E-Rate cycle and speak with her about how small the school is and that the services we would be using would be less than the 100 devices that are allowed on the present public purchased systems.
- Craig gave an update on the filtering system being used on the devices and service at the Gun Club. Open DNS is having to be reconfigured weekly as it only supports 4 IP addresses and the service we’re using rotates up to 6 IP addresses.
- Pam gave a report on the success the Labor Day weekend fundraiser had. They raised $3,839.00 which is close to what the Craft Fair did annually. Sabre’ asked if the Summer Craft Fair would still be happening, Pam said we would see how things looked when the time gets closer.
- Sabre’ reported that we now have 5 students attending. One who is participating remotely but will be in the classroom this coming Thursday and Friday but returning to remote learning for an unknown time as his family is still transitioning to their Yaak residence.
- Sabre’ presented the classroom and playground rules for the board’s approval. Ron Webb asked what grades were attending this year. She has 3rd, 4th,5th, and 7th graders.
- DotCom Therapy sessions have started and are going well. This service is funded with ESSER funds and fulfills our counseling requirement.
- Diane has posted the online UPSTART preschool program information on our website and FB page for anyone in the community that may have preschoolers. Trish asked how we were getting the word out. Sandy suggested that we put an ad in the Montanian’s free public notice section. We will also post flyers around the Yaak.
- The students and Sabre’ will be participating in the WINGS Walk on October 4th. If anyone would like to sponsor them let Sabre’ know. They plan to walk 10 miles, from Gun Club to Whitetail Campground stopping for a picnic lunch and then walking back to the Gun Club.
- Sabre’ presented her substitute list. Listed were Craig Johnson, Bonnie Surrell and Lynn Edwards.
- Pam reported on the progress on the Foundation Project. Both buildings now have a continuous foundation with crawl spaces. Concrete pad at the side entrance of the school which gives wheelchair access to the school. Craig mentioned that the step up to the teacherage needs to be addressed, also entrance to storage. Sheetrock work has been done but Craig has not inspected it yet. Craig stated that the school was being cleaned and was looking good. Pam will contact Glen with our concerns.
- Diane reviewed the CIPA regulations and notified the public that the school is CIPA compliant.
- The 21-22 Trustee’s classroom observations are as follows: Sandy-Spring, Trish-Winter and Pam- Fall. Taralee McFadden is working on setting up her visits to observe Sabre’ so she can submit her Evaluation to the State and Board.
- Trish has volunteered to take on the duties of our Homeless Liaison. She is signed up for the required training.
- Pam called for approval of the substitute list that was presented during the teacher report. All approved. Kathy asked if substitutes were licensed teachers. Diane stated that Montana does not require that subs be licensed teachers unless they are taking on a long-term sub position.
- We started the process of sorting through the new policies that MTSBA sent us under our contract for policy services. We weeded through the 1000 and 2000 series. Diane will send Sabre’ the one Sandy feels need to be looked at by the Head Teacher to decide whether we need them. Also, she will update the drop box files.
- Policy 1905 changes that were brought to Pam’s attention at the Special Meeting September 11, 2021, were addressed. Changes were given to Diane; she will make the voted change to masking and also the exception that was recommended and send Board Members clean copies.
- Craig asked if he is required to wear a mask or face shield when he is at the school cleaning and doing maintenance if it is after school hours, Pam stated the policy does not require staff to wear face coverings when they are in the building alone.
Clerk’s Report, Financials & Expenditures:
- The July Financials balanced to the Treasurer’s Office were reviewed. At the last meeting Diane mentioned the adjustment that she had asked the Treasurer to make in error, it has been reversed and we are now in balance. Trish moved that the July financials be approved as presented, Sandy seconded, and Pam concurred. Detailed expenditures for the month of August were reviewed. Diane answered questions from the board and public about expenditures. Kathy asked about funds available for the library and if we were taking donations. Funds donated for the express purpose of purchasing library books are posted in fund 115 PRC code 005. Sandy asked if the J. Herrick memorial funds for the library had been spent. Yes, they have, but there are still some funds remaining in the Friends of the Yaak School Library fund and any incoming donation would go into that fund. Diane mentioned if someone wanted to donate books it would be best to ask Sabre’ for a list of books she would like to add to our library. Sabre’ mentioned that it is a state requirement that we weed the library.
- Detailed expenditures for the month of September were reviewed. A review of the general fund expenditure budget to date, shows remaining funds of $84,651.10.
- Diane presented the board with all the spread sheets from the 20-21 grant cycle, all grants ending on September 30th have been closed out and final expenditure reports have been submitted to OPI. Portions of remaining funds in those grants will be rolled over into the 21-22 grants. The board chose to review those spreadsheets on their own and send any questions to Diane for clarification.
- Kathy asked if the ESSER II funding was still budgeted for HVAC system to improve air quality in the school, Diane stated that it was the board’s decision to budget the $72, 000.00 in ESSER II funds for new windows and an HVAC System for the school. Quotes are being gathered and the project will happen over the summer months. Craig recommended we purchase a charging cart for the new laptops. Trish stated that it was budgeted into our ESSER III grant and asked Craig to make his recommendation. He also presented the quote he got for a thousand (1000) gallon propane tank as the board was considering the option of owning our tank to cut the cost of fuel in the future. There was some discussion on this topic. The board will take this matter under advisement.
(See attached for all financial detail)
Next Regular Meeting: October 25, 2021 @ 4:10 p.m.
Meeting was adjourned at 5:41 p.m.
Respectfully submitted by:
_______________________________ Diane Downey, District Clerk
________________________________ Pam Fuqua, Chair
________________________________ Trish Lauer, Vice Chair
________________________________ Sandy Beder-Miller, Board Trustee