Budgets up for 2011-12 school year

17_spillway633SPILL OVER  — Water is still high enough that it cascades over and down the Tiber Dam spillway. As the flooding down river has subsided, the water is being released to allow Tiber Dam to drop to normal levels.  I-O Photo by Barb Endler


By Deanna Wakkinen, I-O Reporter

The 2011-12 school year budgets were discussed at the Aug. 9 school board meeting.

The elementary budget was up $13,000 from last year and the high school budget was up $14,000.

Of the $2,548,580 elementary budget, 80 percent is for wages. Likewise, 77 to 80 percent of the $1,728,324 high school budget is also for wages.

Levy mills were down by 11 for elementary and 16.73 for the high school. For tax payers, a house valued at $50,000 can expect to pay an addition $5 in tax money for elementary education and 25 cents for high school. For a house valued at $100,000 an additional $10 will be expected and 98 cents for high school.

A $92,000 school bus will be purchased this year with the elementary budget.


Data is revealing progress across the boards with tests such as the CRT. In 2006, 51 percent of students were proficient and in 2011 that number was up to 70 percent proficient.


Llew and Carol Jones along with Craig Barringer, Superintendent of Schools, attended the Data Quality Campaign in California. They were joined by four other legislators from Montana. This conference promotes technology that connects all levels of education from the classroom to the legislature to the parents and collects data and simplifies it for the use of bettering the education of individual students based on their needs. C. Jones stated that “we will be one of the districts to push the state along.” Conrad already uses Infinite Classroom to keep parents connected more to their child’s progress. Bill Gates sponsored this conference.

Davis Business Machines came to install new machines throughout the school district that will over time save money on printing costs.

Five to six teachers were able to attend a SLATE conference in Missoula that was paid for by the NEWSLATE grant. NEWSLATE stands for New Expectations Will Stimulate Learning through Applying Technology to Enhance achievement.

The goals of the NEWSLATE grant funds are to improve student academic achievement through the effective use of technology, to improve technology literacy of teachers and students, and to improve the capacity of teachers to effectively and efficiently integrate technology into their curriculum and instruction.

Teachers were paid wages by SLATE and stay for free during the conference.

Sam Vidal has resigned from teaching in Conrad High School and as the softball coach. He will begin the school year teaching in Utah.

Tara Thielman, UMS principal, recommended hiring Tanya Mycke as seventh grade girls’ basketball coach and Loni Judisch as the sixth to eighth grade head track coach. These recommendations were approved by the board.

Cathy Jochems has been hired as the new head cook at Meadowlark. Meal prices will remain the same as last year.

Ashley Buzwell was hired as the CHS and UMS Spanish and World History teacher. Brandon Berthelson was hired for the Title One aide position.

A new sign constructed by shop teacher Dan Brown and students will be going up before school begins at Prairie View.

Conrad night at the Great Falls Voyagers game was successful. Barringer threw the opening pitch and three students sang the National Anthem.

The next regular school board meeting is scheduled for Sept. 13 at 7 p.m. in the Russell Building conference room. The Russell Building is not handicapped accessible. You may request the meeting be moved to the UMS library by calling 278-5521 prior to the time of the next meeting.