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School board approves design team search

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ST. IGNATIUS – The Mission School Board approved the acquisition of a design team for the school improvements plan at the last board meeting on a proposed project requiring a taxpayer bond projected to be set at $5 million. 

“We want to open this up to companies interested in helping us with this bond,” said Superintendent Jason Sargent. 

Sargent wants a design team to help develop the plans to work on several improvement projects including a new gym and locker rooms, roof repairs, new bathrooms in the high school lobby, a new shop or renovation, and repairs on the current gym ceiling. 

He also has a list of deferred maintenance projects that include work on the Family Consumer Science room, repair on the tennis court, and music room expansion. 

Sargent stated that the search for a design team was not a commitment to the project. He said the public needs to vote on the bond before those commitments can be made. The design team would help the school develop information for the public about the project.

In other news, the School Resource Officer provided by the Lake County Sheriff’s Office is unable to provide overtime coverage that would include after-school events due to funding. The school doesn’t have the funds in the budget to offset that cost either.

Although, the county does provide coverage if services are requested through a 911 call. Sargent said the St. Ignatius Police Department and Tribal Police also provide coverage.

Sargent said that an administrator is also present at most events, but he is concerned about providing law enforcement coverage at the next prom. It was suggested that the school pay for security to be present during the event. Sargent said he is looking into options.

High school principal Shawn Hendrickson said survey results have been calculated from information collected by the school from the community at the last parent-teacher conference.

“We wanted to know what parents thought,” he said of the collected information that rated the school at a B-plus. The school rated highest on friendliness and a feeling of safety. 

Hendrickson said the school needed to improve on parent-teacher communication and the school’s Facebook page to bump up that grade a few points to an A. 

Reading proficiency was another topic of discussion at the board meeting. Sargent said that it was a school goal to get 80 percent of students reading by third grade. He said the percentage was created after considering the needs of students in special education programs. 

Elementary school principal Dan Durglo reported that all students were immunized or met qualifications for exemptions as per the State of Montana’s new guidelines. 

Technology Director Matt Lyon reported that every teacher has a new computer. He said he replaced the old system by leasing new computers for the next three years. 

“It was less expensive to lease all new computers than to replace a few of the really old ones,” he said adding that the computers are needed to take attendance and develop lesson plans. 

The school board accepted high school math teacher Andy Fisher’s resignation saying he will be greatly missed and difficult to replace. Fisher is leaving at the end of this school year.


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