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School board hears library info, plans negotiation

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POLSON —Marilyn Trosper and Jake Block presented information on a proposed library district to the Polson school board of trustees at their meeting on April 19 at 5 p.m.

Trosper, Polson City Librarian, and Block, Chair of the Library Steering Committee, stumped for the North Lake County Public Library District, which will be on a mail-in ballot levy from July 8 to July 27. Creating a library district funded by a levy would provide the Polson library with stable funding according to Block, who also said 61 percent of registered library users are from outside Polson.

A mediation session for the Polson Classified Education Association contract is scheduled for Wednesday, April 21 at 3 p.m. The PCEA members will be in Linderman Library, and the school board negotiating team will be in the District Office Conference Room.  

The trustees discussed the annual paid leave policy. As it stands, certified staff receive 13 days, either sick or personal leave, per year. If neither the board nor the union has any changes to the policy by May 1, the language will stay as it is in the contract. Per the contract, teacher absences in each building cannot be above 10 percent. 

Superintendent David Whitesell said he had checked with building administrators who are pretty confident the policy isn’t being abused.

Polson Education Association president Patrick Danley said a possible problem would be if a teacher asked on Sept. 1 to be gone on May 1. On May 1 10 percent of the teachers in the building were sick so the person who had set his or her leave up beforehand could not be gone. 

Also Danley said a few teachers have been concerned they might call in sick and be forced to come to work although this had never happened.       

In other business, the trustees passed:

• A motion to pay the Montana High School Association dues, which came to $5,000 for 20 activities

• Claims for March

• Personnel reports for the elementary and high school districts. Elementary teachers Mary Davis and Paul Torgison and high school teachers Janis Jette, Karl Tait and Judie Woodhouse took advantage of the retirement incentive and will be retiring at the end of 2009-2010 school year.  

• Redemption of CD 6538 to be kept within student fund at the auditor’s request

The district’s attorney Elizabeth Kaleva and the trustees reviewed policy. 

The next school board meeting will be held on May 10 at 5 p.m. in the district office.

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