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School board gets update on grant proposals

POLSON — The Polson School Board of Trustees welcomed student representative Laura Hart from Polson High School to their meeting on March 8 at 5 p.m. 

Then the trustees dived right into the agenda. 

Drew Shealy from First Interstate Bank said School District #23 assets are being moved from Lake County to First Interstate.  

Superintendent David Whitesell updated the trustees on grants applied for by School District #23:

• A $3.8 million grant that would be used to fix the Cherry Valley boiler system and the high school roof.

• A $2.5 million Quality Schools grant has also been sent in and would target the roof and the HVAC systems at the high school if received. 

• A $500,000 Montana Historical Society grant that the district has been working on with University of Montana professor Harry Fritz.

• An Improving Literacy through Libraries grant which could include technology, book, staff development or open hours at school libraries.

• A recycling grant received by Polson City Parks Superintendent Karen Sargeant, which will help with collection of recyclables at the schools and delivery to the transfer station.

• A $3,000 Lowe’s grant received by Polson Schools Outreach Coordinator Marcia Anson and Cherry Valley Principal Elaine Meeks. The money will be used for the Cherry Valley playground as will $2,000 each from the Rolfson and Taber Foundations.

After the grants update, Whitesell mentioned the 2009-10 early retirement incentive program for certified classroom teaching personnel, which closes on April 1. 

Applications for a new principal for Linderman School closed on March 8 at 5 p.m., and Director of Human Resources Carl Elliott said 18 people applied.

A committee composed of PHS Principal Bill Appleton, Meeks, Polson Middle School Vice-Principal Tom DiGiallonardo and Whitesell, with Elliott as an observer, will begin the selection process.

Since district schools are in the throes of the MontCAS testing, the principals did not report on their buildings. Students in grades 3-8 and grade 10 are tested on reading and math while grades 4, 8 and 10 graders take a science test.

The next negotiating session with the classified employees, the PCEA, will be held on March 17 at 6 p.m. in the district office conference room.

The board discussed an $8,500 damage claim from the Holiday Inn Express in Butte dating from the state track meet in May of 2009. The trustees advised Whitesell to pursue the claim with the district’s insurance company and the Holiday Inn Express.

The school trustee election will be held May 4 with one high school and two elementary seats open. Candidates need to submit paperwork by March 25. Whitesell recommended the school district not run a mill levy this year. 

In other business, the trustees approved:

• The claims for February;

• The elementary and high school personnel reports; and

• Two students from out-of-district to be enrolled.

Due to a conflict with the National School Board Association conference, the next school board meeting will be held on April 19. 

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