Seeley Elementary readies
for year with reduced funds

August 30, 2001
Seeley Swan Pathfinder
Seeley Lake, Montana


for the Pathfinder
by Karen Lyncoln

Now, it's official. The Seeley Lake Elementary School Board of Trustees passed the 2001-2002 budget at its regular meeting, Tuesday, August 14th. There was little discussion of the bare bones budget of $937,121, which is based on the budget trimming proposed and heavily debated during the May mill levy election.

Positions filled by Tom Larson, the half-time principal, and Mary Johnson, a full-time teacher, have been eliminated. Other current staff will be rehired, including the administrative/office staff, 13 certified/tenured teachers, and a part-time school counselor. In order to continue the basic programs and services at the school in light of a budget reduction of almost $3,500, Superintendent Bill Hyde will assume the duties of the former principal.

In other budget-related business, the Board approved an increase in the cost of school lunches in order to reduce the deficient currently being incurred by the program. Student lunches will cost $1.50 per day when school opens on Tuesday, September 4th. There will also be a la carte items for sale such as extra milk and desserts. Loren Rose, Board member, recommended that tickets for those items be sold in the office for the convenience of the cafeteria staff. Parents will be sent more information about the changes in the food service program and applications for the free/reduced cost lunch program. Approximately 40% of the students are currently receiving free or reduced cost lunches; the school recommends that everyone who is eligible should sign up for this important nutrition program. The Board also discussed the general nutrition of school meals and a proposed breakfast program.

Superintendent Hyde described the junior high school classes and noted that all students will take Spanish and French as part of their language arts class. Junior high students will no longer take band at the High School; Bev Evans will increase her time at the junior high to teach vocal music during the day and lead the band during last period.

Hyde announced that some of the 2001-2002 coaching staff had been selected. Jeromy Stevenson, Cody Carpenter, and Cliff Hawkins will coach football, and Jim Done will coach girl's basketball. A coach for boy's basketball has not been selected.

"I'd hate to expose the kids to this profanity, but I'd like to let them see the vandalism and get angry at how some people treat our school," said Hyde in response to a question from Pam Pittman, Board member, about the recent vandalism at the school. Someone spray painted in the cabin and on the tires and left broken beer bottles on the playground. There are no suspects in the vandalism, and clean up has already begun.

Board members attending the August meeting include Bart Peterson, Vicki Jardine, Pam Pittman, Loren Rose, and Mark Williams. The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, September 11th at 6:00 pm.