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Trustees hear presentations, approve MOA

POLSON — Multiple presentations led to a long Polson School Board of Trustees meeting on Feb. 8 at 5 p.m. 

Head Speech Coach Judie Woodhouse and Assistant Coach Janis Jette donned their new Polson Speech Debate and Drama shirts, grabbed a selection of hardware won this speech season and accompanied students Barbara Kenmille and Molly WhiteWater to the meeting. Kenmille, who competes in Humorous Solo, said the highlight of her speech year was winning first place at the Big Fork meet. 

WhiteWater, half of a Serious Duo, said some benefits of competing in drama were meeting new people, overcoming her fear of speaking in front of people and developing camaraderie with her team.

Trustees Caryl Cox and John Laimbeer developed some camaraderie of their own when they presented information on the Montana Conference for Education Leadership 2009 they attended. The information dealt with creating a long-range strategic plan for School District #23.

Executive Director of Western Montana Addiction Services Scott Rosenthal and staff gave information about their program, a non-profit which focuses on prevention and early intervention. The trustees vote to allow Whitesell to enter into a Memorandum of Agreement with Western Montana Addiction Services pending legal review.

A parent approached the board about waiving policy 2413. The policy allows a student to transfer only two credits from correspondence courses when a student is entering PHS. The student in question had been home schooled and was taking courses from The American School.

After much discussion, the board tabled the request and asked for a recommendation from PHS Principal Bill Appleton and the PHS guidance staff. The board also asked Whitesell to check with other school districts regarding their policies about correspondence courses. 

Dan McGee reported on receiving a planning grant for the district and applying for a Quality Schools Grant from the $12 million earmarked by the Department of Commerce. McGee, who works for McKinstry, and Superintendent Dave Whitesell are working on the grant application due March 1. If the grant is successful, the money will be used to repair the high school roof.

During school reports, Linderman Interim Principal Cherie Stobie and Cherry Valley Principal Elaine Meeks gave an overview of the K-8 Pupil Instruction Related day held on Jan. 29.

Family Resource Specialist Kim York discussed characteristics of under-resourced families and children and her work in Cherry Valley, Linderman and Polson Middle School. 

Polson High School Vice Principal Shawn Hendrickson and PHS Board of Governor’s President Jordan Gochis spoke with the board about allowing a student representative on the School District #23 Board of Trustees. The trustees voted to seat a non-voting student representative on the board beginning at the March 8 meeting. The student rep will not be involved in any confidential matters considered by the board.

Curriculum Director Bill Appleton talked about the work of the curriculum teams and predicted that math and science would be completed by December of next year. 

Barbara Lutrell, Director of Special Services, introduced the concept of dual/concurrent credits offered through Flathead Valley Community College. If the idea were approved, PHS teachers would need to become adjunct professors of FVCC and would teach the classes at the PHS campus. 

The Polson Classified Education Association contract is still being negotiated, and the next meeting is scheduled Wednesday, Feb. 10 at 6 p.m. at the district conference room. 

The trustees approved:

• Claims for January

• Two out-of-district students, one high school student and one K-8 student

• Personnel report 

The board will work on a date for superintendent evaluation. 

The next regularly scheduled board meeting will be March 8 at 5 p.m. in the District Office Conference Room.

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