The Regular meeting of the Yaak School Board of Trustees was called to order by Chairperson, Pam Fuqua, at 4:10 p.m. on Wednesday October 27, 2021, at the Yaak School. Pam opened the meeting, welcomed visitors, explained the protocol for the meeting, 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, Randy Wilson, Taralee McFadden Co. Superintendent, Angelo Alderete, and Kathy Huber
The minutes from the September 27, 2021, regular 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 the meeting be accepted as presented, Sandy seconded, and Pam concurred.
- Craig ran down his list of items that he had addressed in the teacherage, toilet, kitchen sink and he mentioned that Sabre’ will be getting an additional key to the storage shed off the teacherage so the school will have a key.
- Craig stated that he had emailed his choices for the laptop charging chart to the board and was awaiting a decision. Trish stated that the funds were budgeted for that purchase and to go forward with purchasing the one he feels will be the best for our needs. Craig asked Sabre’ about her choice for the document reader that was also budgeted for. She stated that she is still looking for the one that she feels will work for her needs. She will order the unit once she makes her decision.
- The security light on the west side of the building is not functioning properly, its photocell may have gotten coated in stain when the school was painted causing it not to shut off during daylight hours. Craigs recommendation is that when that fixture stops working that it be replaced with a more efficient LED unit.
- Craig asked if the paperwork for the purchase of the propane tank had been done, Diane stated that it had, and the tank has been ordered and will come COD.
- The basketball pole that was put back up by TCI is not safe and will need to be addressed and fixed before it can be used. Sabre’ mentioned that McCormick had a basketball hoop that they are donating to us so we can have two hoops so kids can play both ends of the court.
- Craig asked if the sinks in the restrooms needed to be covered again as they were last year. Sabre’ asked if there would be an issue with using the same sink for hand washing as they use for washing their lunch dishes. Craig stated that as we are not an official food service facility the separate hand washing station rule does not apply to us. Trish stated that the lead testing will be happening before the December deadline.
- The part for the heater in the teacherage is on backorder, they are expecting it the first week of November.
- Generator has been serviced and is ready for winter.
- Craig has been asked to put some files in the attic for the clerk. Currently there is no room, and we need to sort through what is up there and recycle any electronics that are no longer useful. The landfill does a program in June, so we need to have our items ready to take down during that program.
- Craig will get to the patching and painting that was on his list as time allows, it will not be done by the time students return to the school. Sabre stated that it can wait until this summer if need be. Craig is doing some patching in the clerk’s office in preparation for painting so he will get to the patching then.
- Craig brought to the board’s attention an abandoned water line that needs to be addressed. He does not know if it is still connected to our present system.
- Craig will be charging the old chrome books prior to the students return to the school. These units will be assigned to the students as devices they can take home for homework and extra practice assignments given by the teacher.
- Craig asked Diane to let him know when she was ready for the library books to come in from the storage container. She stated that it would be after she moved back into her office.
- Craig will make sure there is kindling and wood on the porch before the weather gets too cold.
- Diane mentioned the handle on the mailbox had been broken off and she found it laying on the road. Sabre’ is looking into having someone make us a new mailbox.
- Kathy Huber asked if classes were being held on site yet. This weekend the school will be moving back to the schoolhouse.
- Craig asked if the contractor’s code for the doors should be removed, Pam said not yet.
- Diane reported on the process for our Point-to-Point Microwave Internet Project. USFS met on October 20th, Fish, Wildlife and Parks approved EL Internet NW’s plan. EL Northwest is now awaiting an official letter of approval from USFS. Once They have the official notice in hand the school will set up a public meeting so that EL Internet NW can present the project plan to the public and answer any questions or concerns they might have. Sandy asked if the lawyers were still looking into getting out of the EL Northwest contract. The Board agreed the contract review should continue in case we end up having a huge push back from the community. Craig said we should be prepared for that. Diane asked why now after seven (7) years of working on the goal? It has been mentioned at nearly every regular board meeting since we started, and no one has voiced a negative opinion. Kathy asked why StarLink was not E-Rate eligible. It is still in the Beta testing phase and can not be an E-Rate vendor until the testing phase is complete. Diane has spoken to the StarLink rep, and she stated that they would not make the 2022 funding cycle.
- Sabre’ asked if anyone saw the article in the Montanian regarding the Yaak School receiving a $2,000.00 dollar grant. Diane explained what the article pertained to and what we had spent the fund on.
- Pam reported on the progress on the Foundation Project. She went over the details of the walk through which was to be the final but there were items found that were not complete. Those punch list items are being addressed by the contractor and another walk through will be set up when the list is complete. Sabre’ mentioned something in the teacherage that needs to be addressed that may not have gotten on the punch list. Sabre’ is very pleased with the work that has been done.
- Trish reported on the local Covid numbers and suggested we keep that section of Policy 1905 unchanged for the time being. Sabre’ agreed and stated that the students were all doing well with the mask requirement. A vote of the board was taken, two (2) yes votes and one (1) no. Policy will stay unchanged and be reviewed at the next regular meeting.
- Pam clarified the addition of the exemption for the mask requirement in the Teacherage.
- Diane reported that Fall Student Count was five (5).
- The National School Board Association has written a letter to the Federal Government asking for intervention by Federal Law Enforcement in dealing with School Board meetings that have gotten out of hand across the country. The Montana chapter of this organization which we belong to strongly disagrees with this and reiterated that local school board meetings should be allowed to handle their meetings without federal overreach. Pam agrees with this and reassures the public that the board will do everything in its power to work to the community to be sure all voices are heard. Sandy gave us some more details on the topic. Taralee McFadden Co. Superintendent read a poll of Montana voters and in short, they are satisfied with the jobs their school boards are doing.
- Sabre’ reported on the Wings Walk the students participated in and how much they raised. The students are looking forward to next year’s event.
- The class will have a Fall party this coming Thursday.
- The field trip with McCormick was a big success. The students got to tour a donut shop, learning how donuts are made! Sabre’ is working closely with the Nicki at McCormick. They are working on doing Rendezvous this spring. It is Yaak’s turn to host this event.
Clerk’s Report, Financials & Expenditures:
- All the requested documents for our Financial Review have been sent to Denning, Downey and Associates. Clerk is waiting to hear from the auditor.
- Diane will be painting her office and moving back into the school the weekend of November 6th.
- Balanced with the Treasures financials for the months of August and September were presented. Sandy moved that the August financials be accepted as presented, Trish seconded, and Pam concurred. Kathy Huber asked about the funds for the Teacherage. Diane explained that any revenue generated by renting the teacherage must be deposited into the rent lease fund and used for the maintenance of the building. Trish moved that the financials for the month of September be accepted as presented, Sandy seconded, and Pam concurred.
- Review of expenditures to date for the month of October. (See attached for all financial detail) A review of the General Fund Expenditure Budget was done and Diane fielded questions.
- We have started the process of sorting through the new policies that MTSBA sent us under our contract for policy services. Trish reviewed her weeding of the 3000 and 4000 series. Questions were answered. Diane will update the drop box files of the policies to reflect this weeding. (See attached for detailed index of policies that were reviewed. Highlighted policies were weeded.) Diane asked Sabre’ if there were any policies recommended for weeding that she wanted to take a closer look at. She stated that she was okay with Trish’s choices.
- Taralee asked if Diane would be willing to share the school policy book with her as she is working with another small school on updating their policy manual. Diane will forward Yaak’s present policy manual to her and assist in any way she can.
- Sabre’ thanked Craig for all he is doing to get the school ready for the transition back to holding classes in the building.
Next Regular Meeting: November 17, 2021 @ 4:10 p.m.
Meeting was adjourned at 5:30 p.m.
Respectfully submitted by:
_______________________________ Diane Downey, District Clerk
________________________________ Pam Fuqua, Chair
________________________________ Trish Lauer, Vice Chair
________________________________ Sandy Beder-Miller, Board Trustee