Valley Journal

St. Ignatius School Board agenda goes online

Technology saves time, money, trees — but can’t save admin building

ST. IGNATIUS — The St. Ignatius school board was able to zip through their Oct. 15 monthly meeting in a fraction of the time usually spent weighing decisions. A short agenda helped, but most of the credit went to the new agenda packet system the board adopted. 

The system allows board members and the public to view agenda items and supporting documents online before the meeting. Confidential information is available to the board, but protected from the public. The system replaces the traditional method of putting together a 2.5 inch binder of paper together for board members to view when they get to the meeting. It wasted paper and a lot of time, superintendent Bob Lewandowski said.

“We used to kill a lot of trees,” Lewandowski said. “We are trying to improve our communication and be more transparent. I spent too much time putting those packets together. It literally took hours. Now as soon as I put together a packet, it’s available to everyone.” 

Although there was some head scratching during the meeting about how to make certain documents fit in the screen of the board member’s tablets, the transition went well. 

Lewandowski said being able to be transparent to the public is important, especially when dealing with issues like the possible demolition of the school’s administration building. Photos of the damage caused by mold will be available in the next board packet. Demolition of the building may be the most cost-effective solution to the building’s problems, which was evacuated at the beginning of the school year because of health problems and positive mold tests, according to Lewandowski. Evaluation by engineers to establish that there is a mold problems cost thousands of dollars already. The school may be able to receive a $15,000 emergency grant from the state to demolish the building.

“It’s a liability for us right now,” Lewandowski said. 

Board member Brandon Gilleard said he thinks demolition is probably the best option. 

“I wouldn’t spend the money (to fix it),” Gilleard said. 

Lewandowski expected the board to take some sort of action on the matter at its next meeting. 

In other business: 

• The board hired James Lozeau as middle school boys basketball coach and assistant high school boys basketball coach. 

• Tiffany Weishaar was hired as a paraeducator. 

• The board approved an FCCLA trip to Spokane, Wash. in November.

• The board updated its policies to reflect changes in state law. 

• The board heard updates about the beginning phases of a roof repair project funded through a $534,590 grant from the state. 

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