School enrollment expected to increase

By: 
CHRIS MCCONNELL
Outlook staff writer

At Monday’s Laurel School Board meeting, Supt. Linda Filpula said the district is moving forward on the Graff School roof condensation issue. The district has secured an independent contractor to analyze the roof and prepare a written report with the findings. Bradford Roof Management in Billings will perform the work on an hourly basis and expects the report to be completed by Sept. 15 of this year. The School Board has allotted $10,000 for the evaluation.
Filpula also presented the preliminary enrollment numbers for the school district as of Aug. 23. She said there are 2,129 students district-wide, with nine pending applications. The official count is taken on Oct. 1 and enrollment is expected to be up somewhere between 16 and 25 students, compared to last year.
South School is down 10 students from last year with 145 students. West School is up 26 and is at 325. Graff is down 52 and at 283. Middle school is at 708, up 38 students. Laurel High School is at 668 students, up 14 from last year.
The resolution was passed to authorize submission of an E-rate Broadband for Montana Schools Program application. District Business Manager Donnie McVee said these are “first come, first serve grants and the resolution allows us to be part of the grant process.”
House Bill 390, in part, directs $1 million grant funding to schools to use as a match for FCC E-rate program funds and will enable schools to upgrade their broadband.
“Between the grant and E-rate money, we hope to get 80 percent of the project paid for,” McVee said.
In other business:
• The firm of Dorsey & Whitney was approved to represent the District as Bond Council, whose primary function is to provide guidance and render an opinion on the authorization and issuance of the bonds.
• The signing of the Buyer Broker Agreement was approved, allowing the District to work with a realtor to obtain property.
• Zada Stamper reported there are 12 bus route drivers and all routes are full.
• Katie McLeod was hired as a Middle School softball coach.
• Nine substitute teachers were hired, pending clear background reports.
• Madison Mattson and Eastin Kelsey were hired as student workers for the Laurel Before/After School program.

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