School board addresses overcrowding

By: 
CHRIS MCCONNELL
Outlook staff writer
Carrie Price’s 1st grade health enhancement class meets in an office/storage space at West School due to overcrowding issues. Five of the eight classes at West are at capacity and three exceed the 20 student limit, per OPI standards.
Carrie Price’s 1st grade health enhancement class meets in an office/storage space at West School due to overcrowding issues. Five of the eight classes at West are at capacity and three exceed the 20 student limit, per OPI standards.

Superintendent Linda Filpula reported the Graff school roof problem has been identified and Dane Bradford is preparing a summary report for the district. Facilities Director Ken Hoiness said the problem was with a steam vent that was stuck open, allowing condensation to form in the boiler room. He said the recommendation from the engineers was to vent the boiler room to the outside, which has been done.

Filpula also discussed staffing needs associated with overcrowding in the school district.

For example, Laurel Middle School was full last year with 680 students and there are now 700 students in the school. 

“We have been in Advisory status for two years [from the Office of Public Instruction] and could potentially be placed into the Deficiency category is we do not meet all accreditation standards this year.”

She said increased student numbers combined with budget cuts have left a staff shortage, putting a strain on class sizes. Classes cannot have more than 30 students, per OPI accreditation standards.

The proposed school bond addresses many of the overcrowding concerns, district-wide, including:

• overcrowding in Montana Digital Academy high school classes with no room to put the students;

• study halls ballooning to 60 students due to lack of elective classes for students;

• students in modulars [trailers] and doubled up in classrooms;

• classes being held in office and storage spaces;

• students losing educational opportunities and class choices; and

• loss of computer labs for classroom space.

 

Items for action

The board approved the YMCA sports program for K-6 basketball and grade 3-6 basketball. Filpula had reported the Laurel School District would partner with the Billings Family YMCA and serve as a Host School, providing facility space for practices and weekend games. She said the YMCA will provide financial assistance and they “don’t turn people away if cost is an issue.”

The board approved a bus route change to address an overcrowding issue on Route 8. Transportation Director Zada Stamper reported that Route 8 had more students than expected and Route 10 needed to be changed to accommodate the overflow. 

Category:

Upcoming Events

  • Saturday, October 21, 2017 - 1:00pm
    Third Saturdays, 1 p.m., The Crossings, 600 Roundhouse Dr.
  • Sunday, October 22, 2017 - 10:00am
    Sundays, 10 a.m. (closed), 8 p.m. (open), 201 1/2 E. Main St., nonsmoking
  • Monday, October 23, 2017 - 10:00am
    Mondays, 10 a.m., Thursdays, 1 p.m., Laurel Senior Center, 720 S. 4th St.
  • Monday, October 23, 2017 - 11:00am
    Second & fourth Monday 11 am., Big Horn Resort, 1801 Majestic Lane, 281-8455
  • Monday, October 23, 2017 - 12:00pm
    Every 4th Monday, 12 noon, Billings Clinic, 801 N. 29th St., Billings, 657-4773
  • Monday, October 23, 2017 - 1:00pm
    Mondays & Fridays, 1 p.m., Laurel Senior Center, 720 S. 4th St.

Poll

What’s your favorite classic scary movie for Halloween?
Psycho (1960)
29%
Night of the Living Dead (1968)
29%
The Exorcist (1973)
0%
Halloween (1978)
14%
The Shining (1980)
29%
Total votes: 7