High school basketball ball
Posted by sodapop (+13) 9 years ago
Has it been disclosed to the public, what the school board discussion is for next year coaching staff?
Posted by ocne (+474) 9 years ago
It was in the Star following the most recent School Board meeting. I want to say it was one day early last week or possibly the week before.
If I remember correctly, I believe they voted to keep the boys coach and let the girls coach go. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong.
Posted by David Schott (+18742) 9 years ago
Miles City Star: Board wraps up year's business

"Board wraps up year's business"

Published: Wed, 05/21/2014 - 3:41pm
By Don Cogger

. . .

"Also under staffing, all fall sports coaches at CCDHS were approved for rehire by the board, as was the boys basketball coach. As for girls basketball, Jacqui Engstrom was dismissed as head coach by a 5-4 vote. Jon Harris, the wrestling coach, will have to wait one more month to find out if he will return to that position. The vote was deadlocked at 4-4, with one board member abstaining from voting. The board will vote again in June."

. . .
Posted by Union Hall (+67) 9 years ago
How long is a coach given in Miles City before they are voted out? It seems to me that the Miles City School board is getting rid of coaches all the time. I'll even throw in a principal that could not work with the personal politics of empowerment. It just seems a little weird that they have a two hour meeting for the boys coach, with open discussion and he stays. Then no discussion for the girls coach and the wrestling coach to air concerns.

I would also like to see who voted no or yes. I think that the board should stand behind the vote given and be able to state a reason if asked.

I would like to know the reason why the girls coach was let go. The standards of having a winning program and going to state were met. I guess the board should let the community know what standards are being used to judge the coaches. Maybe the standards are being set by a select few parents that only communicate to the board.
Posted by MRH (+1576) 9 years ago
Be sure and read the letters to the editor in the 4 June 2014 Miles City Star.
Posted by luvlife (+283) 9 years ago
Does anyone know what happened here? I hear that a few parents (on the girls varsity team tried to get her fired) and it must be more then this to fire a coach? Wish someone would say SOMETHING??? Those whom "whine and complain" are usually the ones that want to just stay hidden in the background and won't speak up. Why not set the rumors straight? Thank you!
Posted by Jeri Dalbec (+3270) 9 years ago
An excellent letter to the editor in the Star last night, June 4th, titled "A Coach's Job is to Win Games" is a great reminder for all of us who have Kids and Grandkids that are involved in sports. There is that tendency to blame a coach for various issues that we don't like or that affect our interests. A shame when a person accomplishes what they are hired for and then lose their job. Just sayin'.
Posted by BP (+115) 9 years ago
A coach's job is to win games! That should tell you everything right there! I don't think so!!!
Posted by BP (+115) 9 years ago
Open gyms are starting Saturday.

[This message has been edited by BP (6/5/2014)]
Posted by Union Hall (+67) 9 years ago
"A coach's job is to win games! That should tell you everything right there! I don't think so!!!" by BP.

BP you seem to have the inside information on the subject of Cowgirl Basketball. Since you know that they will be having open gym. So, I have a couple of questions to ask and would like your opinion.

1) What do you think the coach is evaluated on if not wins? I think everybody knows that this is the main evaluation of a coach. So, if not wins then what is the evaluation process?
a) I believe the school district has somebody in place for the evaluation process. This person is called an Athletic Director. This is the person that evaluates the coach and the program. I believe that they go to school for a certificate and are paid for this position.
1) Someone is paid to do this position with going to school.
b) The AD gave an evaluation for rehire with high marks on the head coach. The coach is responsible for evaluating the other coaches.
1) What's the use of the AD position in the evaluation process? It seems that others such as the board are doing the evaluation.
2) Do the board members go to school or have training in the evaluation process? Or for that fact do the people sitting in the bleachers?

2) Did the parents go through the necessary channels and chain of command with a grievance against the coach? (Since we are going on the idea of not dealing with wins)
a) Did the parents talk directly to the coach about any questions or concerns? This could be done by phone or in person.
1) Did board members ask this question to the parent if they were trying to communicate with them. If the parent answers no, then you end the conversation and tell them the chain of command.
b) Then after you talk with the coach and the problem has not been resolved you speak with the AD.
1) This meeting should also have the coach involved at some point. If you feel that nothing has been resolved and no understanding was met on the situation, you go to the next step.
c) You will be setting up a meeting with all parties including Mr. Campbell (Super)
d) The last resort is a conversation with a school board member.

3) Was the coach made aware of what she did wrong to loose her position?
a) Was she given the same opportunity to face the grievances as the boy's coach?
1) The boys coach was allowed to go through the process. Mr Campbell came out and said that they were going through the correct steps. The parents were allowed to have a meeting with board members, administrators and the coach to air concerns.
2) It seems that this was a positive and everybody became informed of the issues. Then it seems like it resolved the problem with the coach keeping his job.

4) What do you think the coach should be evaluated on?
a) Equal playing time for all players?
b) Should they keep score?
c) Should coaches learn sign language?
1) The point being that this is a competitive sport. Emotions are part of athletics and with this misunderstandings happen. A child does not always tell the entire story to a parent. A parent always will take the side of their child. This is why the district has trained professionals in place to do the evaluation. Also why the district has a chain of command for communication.

5) How do you think the girls coach feels on her treatment? Is she not someone that deserves respect and understanding.
a) What did you accomplish but make things worse by showing your child the incorrect values?

[This message has been edited by Union Hall (6/5/2014)]

[This message has been edited by Union Hall (6/6/2014)]
Posted by BP (+115) 9 years ago
My OPINION is that a coach teaches, mentors and molds their team and the result is wins. It takes time depending on the team and their opponents and how talented the team is when you get them. Sometimes the success is in the improvement and the wins come with time! I did not like the letter. I also know for a fact that the letter was not based on fact. You can spout questions till the cows come home but when I read them I realized that you already think you know all the answers and frankly I will not get into a debate with you. I have better things to do and I encourage you to go to someone that knows the facts and not listen to those that do not have a clue. I care deeply for all involved and that is why that letter was so disturbing and the fact that it had so many inconsistencies added insult to injury.
Posted by MRH (+1576) 9 years ago
WOW, that really cleared up any questions that I had on the subject!!
Posted by Union Hall (+67) 9 years ago
"My OPINION is that a coach teaches, mentors and molds their team and the result is wins." by BP

The evaluation said that she covered those things. So, that would be a check in her favor.

Could you point me in the right way to ask these informed people. At this point I have not been able to find them. These people said nothing at the meeting and as I said no discussion happened. Now it's possible the discussion happened on the phone with a board member.

I also believe that these people started the firing process around divisional and state tournament. This was the time that the team took second at divisional and went to State for the first time in seven years. Seems an odd time to add distraction to a teenagers life when they should be celebrating the accomplishments. Not to mention making it tougher on the coaching staff and dividing a team.

So, you that choose to sit in the stands and critic the coaching, will you apply for the job? Will you allow for discussion on your parenting skills and values you are teaching your child? We should have a board that questions you on how you raise "your team". What we feel that you have do wrong and take away "your team" without discussion. I'm sure you would like to know the reason.

I'm sure that you have had to make tough choices that your child didn't agree with. I'm sure that you have raised your voice at your child. The question is was your child allowed to go to DFS and say I want new parents?

[This message has been edited by Union Hall (6/6/2014)]
Posted by DGM24 (+6) 9 years ago
I can tell you that the letter did indeed have fact because the letter came from a coach herself. She has been coaching college basketball for the past four years which is way more intesne than high school and has seen these situations first hand and how parents getting involved doesn't benefit their kids. In the college level I would love to see a parent come to the AD and say they don't like how the coach is coaching with a winning record. I can gurantee you they won't get very far. Yes, this is high school basketball but for those girls who want to go on wouldn't you think you would want them to be prepared to have to work for their position and be mentally prepared for the intesnsity of college basketball because I can tell you one thing college coaches won't stand for this crap one bit and will tell you to hit the highway ESPECIALLY if you are on scholarship and having your school paid for. I don't believe the young lady who wrote the letter meant to start any kind of feud or debate I think she clearly wanted to give a coaches perspective on the situation and how she feels it was wrong. Every side of the story deserves to be told and since Coach Engstrom is a class act and will not stoop to any level below her other coaches are coming to her defense because every single one of them have been in her position. I believe the young lady who wrote the letter wanted to show her support for Coach Engstrom and let her know that she supported her out in the open and not just behind closed doors like most have been doing. The letter will never change what happend and I don't think she hoped it would I think she just wanted to make a point that it's hard enough coaching basketball in high school, college, etc but it's extremely hard when you have other people telling you how to do your job and then when you don't do it the way they like they try to take it away from you. I have seen this first hand and have had loved ones experience the same thing. When you are hired as a coach you are hired to help mentor the kids and help shape and mold them but it's extremely hard to do so when you aren't producing wins. Why would anyone want to buy into a Coachs program when they don't have a winning record or can show them they can take them to the top? This whole situation was crap and I feel for Coach Engstrom and hope she doesn't let Miles Citys poor decesion affect her wanting to continue to coach becasue I gurantee you wherever she goes she will be successful and it won't be here which doesn't benefit us at all..... Good luck to you Coach Engstrom and I hope you are able to coach at a place where you are fully supported and don't have to worry about losing your job because of your "outlandish" expectations like be a dedicated player......
Posted by MRH (+1576) 9 years ago
I see there is a rebuttal to the letter in Friday's Miles City Star. However, none of the questions relative to the process taken with the coach were addressed. I think that is what concerns most folks, what happened and how did it happen, in light of positive evaluations.

Relative to the rebuttal, I think the original letter was written in the vain of 'if the shoe fits' and not a condemnation of all parents. She does not know all parents involved, so how could it be written any other way? Also, I've never known anyone that is perfect, and expecting one to be is a bit much. I think this young lady (original letter writer) knows a lot more about the situation than you give her credit for knowing.

As I said before, folks are wondering about 'due process'!

[This message has been edited by MRH (6/6/2014)]
Posted by luvlife (+283) 9 years ago
I felt the letter to the editor in tonight's paper, written by Mrs. Blaquiere was very well said. None of us (except the team and the parents) know what exactly what took place. I do not believe the most IMPORTANT part of a coach is to "win" games.
Coach Veis won many games and was very well respected and loved by many players through out his years of coaching.
I have heard many rumors as to why this coach was not rehired. I won't repeat rumors, but...mainly it seems to come down that she was a little immature for the job??? You don't get "let go" for NO reason. Many wonderful girls on the team and I wish everyone well involved.
Posted by 0624 (+6) 9 years ago
So what I'm understanding is if Coach Engstrom didn't expect anything from the girls, didn't push them, played everyone, no matter if they had the skills or not, lost every game, and hugged and kissed every boo boo she would still have a job? Pretty sure the parents complaining had a blast watching their daughters play at state!! Do you think they would of got that far having a "immature" coach!! The letter to the editor tonight was just another mom trying to justify all the wrong that went into Coach Engstroms being let go. Best of luck to the new coach, they have big shoes to fill, Coach Engstrom it's going to be exciting seeing what you accomplish with your next team! I hope they treat you with the respect you deserve!!
Posted by Union Hall (+67) 9 years ago
"Coach Veis won many games and was very well respected and loved by many players through out his years of coaching."

This brings up a very important point in this situation. Mr. Veis was allowed to coach many years and during this time he matured. He learned with time the in's and out's of coaching while going over some bumpy roads. The thing was he was allowed to smooth those bumps and grow as a person. He was also told what he needed to improve on through communication.

I believe that Mrs. E had players that loved her also but still was going through a transition phase. Mr. Veis was coaching that program along time and things were done different by Mrs. E. It's tough to replace a hall of fame coach that led a program for many years and was very well liked by the community. This community showed patience with him while he was building his program.

Now I'm not sure what the difference is in the intensity of two parties. I will say that Mr. Veis was a very intense coach and was not afraid to yell and push his players. The "look" could alone make players cry and draw a technical foul. So, I'm not sure what the immaturity comment is based on. I also don't know why the parents did not go through the proper channels. Most of all I'm not sure why they did not communicate with coach and show maturity by doing this as an adult.

I also question what type of coach they are looking for to lead the program? I question what message the school board is sending about coaching in our community? This community is getting a bad name for the personal politics allowed by the school board. It's to the point that people are not wanting to apply for positions and we are not drawing in the more qualified applicants.

This community needs to look into balance of power with the board. The paper needs to do a better job of covering the meetings. This means all meetings that they are having and even the ones during the day when more then two are present. The paper needs to print how the members are voting on the issues. Also covering the recommendations by the school administration to the board fully and what the board is doing with those recommendations.

I would like to know who the board members are at this time. What committees they are on? Who is high school? Who is elementary ? Who is rural? Who is allowed to vote on the items? Basically the same coverage given to city council. More of a checks and balances on the board to make sure that they are following policies allowed by the state. It should be an even playing field that the rules are being followed by all parties.

Maybe it would be a good idea to put Mrs. E on the agenda for the upcoming meeting. This way they could have a do over with following the correct procedures and correct steps to be followed. Or at least have some communication and if the parents won't come to discuss the matter...Then I guess it must not be that important to say if you can't do it the proper way in the open.

One last thing for consideration is having the meetings in more of an inviting space for the public. This means in a space that has more room and doesn't feel like closet. Have the board facing the public... Why not in the Auditorium with the board on the stage?

These are just ideas and me trying to understand while being hopeful for positive changes. I want the best for all parties involved with everyone being treated with respect.
Posted by Union Hall (+67) 9 years ago
"None of us (except the team and the parents) know what exactly what took place."

This is an important point in this saga. Were the parents direct witnesses and did not hear it from their child. They saw these things happen that were being questioned. Or they didn't even hear it from a third party with the facts being distorted. I have said this before that emotions are part of athletics. So, did the child come home after having the ability questioned or not playing as much as they wanted? Or my favorite was the child comparing the abilities of themselves versus a teammate?

I just hope that as an adult you listened but you took the next step by communicating with the coach. This would allow you to talk with them directly and make the coach hear that their is a misunderstanding or something to work on. I'm hoping that as parents that are adults we are doing the right things and not for personal motivation. It's alright if your kid sits on the bench. You should still be proud of the team and rooting for all players. You should not be trying to live though your child and be embarrassed if they are on the bench. It should not be about you and you should not care what others think. Be proud of your child no matter what and be their to listen. Remember coaches want the best for all the players.
Posted by luvlife (+283) 9 years ago
Union Hall,
You do have very valid points and I can see that you are emotionally attached to Coach E. and I am emotionally concerned as I am raising a young daughter that loves BB and hopefully when she is of HS age will make the team as a "Cowgirl"!
I will not repeat anything that I know or have heard as to why Coach E was not re-hired as I don't claim to know the specific's.
I am very sorry if everything was done "incorrectly"....but, I also do not understand why she was not re-hired if so many felt that things weren't being done "correctly" as a coach to their children???
Thank you for explaining in great detail how you feel and again, I hurt for everyone involved.
I do appreciate your information. Thank you.
Posted by ike eichler (+1224) 9 years ago
Coach Veis was arguably the best HS BB coach in the state of Montana. He was a stern task maker and demanded the best from his players. He pressured them further than they realized they could go. Ask any of his former players. At the time there was maybe some love-hate feelings, but as they matured and realized they were taught much more than just BB, and were a far better person because of it. Today, in private if asked why did he step down? He may tell you, as he has told others, "I just got tired of dealing with the parents".

Yes, he was once a first year coach that was given the opportunity to achieve the greatness that was to follow.
Posted by Union Hall (+67) 9 years ago
I wouldn't say that I'm emotionally attached to Mrs. E. What I'm attached to is the hope that the correct process will be followed. That's what this is about and parents not being held accountable to follow the process. The fact is that parents in this community spend more time evaluating and firing coaches then any where else. It's amazing that they take such an interest in the coaches at the high school level. When have they showed this same interest in their child's teachers? Are these same standards being held for their teachers in the class? This is where their true focus should be and most likely where the future of their child will be decided. The difference is that the community is not watching and having water cooler talk about how fast Jimmy solved that Algebra equation.
Posted by Vince (+217) 9 years ago
Fire a lot of coaches? Since you are such an expert, who have they fired besides this one?
Posted by Union Hall (+67) 9 years ago
No,not an expert by any means. Firing or tabled or forced resignations however the means they have gotten the same result. I think most people know about the subject matter at hand and no reason to pick at old wounds. Just looking to solve the issue and have people treated fairly across the board. I understand parents involvement is at different levels depending on the age or family friends to their involvement. It's just something that needs looked at by the public and needs to be corrected.

I'm sure you can find the expert your looking for in the stands. They seem to know what is best and how to get results.
Posted by MRH (+1576) 9 years ago
Nice 'Letter to the Editor', Ike!
Posted by Jeri Dalbec (+3270) 9 years ago
That is a great letter in the paper tonight, Ike. Certainly "says it all".
Posted by Union Hall (+67) 9 years ago
I've enjoyed all points of view on this subject matter. I understand that it's hard when it's your child. I also agree that a coach should not be let go due to conflict or misunderstandings with a parent. I believe that the issue of communication needs to be improved but not by the coach. I'm sure that you are not told all information for changes at work and the reasoning is not explained.

I guess the adult thing to do if it involves you personally is ask your supervisor. I think that this is also the responsibility of the parent and the coach should not have to clear it with you. Your child should be learning this process and ask the coach. Then if your child says that they asked and are not sure of the situation. You should call and help with the communication piece. At the same time you may not like the reasoning but it's not your program to control.

I'm glad people are looking at this issue. I hope that we as a community feel their needs to be a resolution and policy used. This can not keep happening and is sending the wrong message.

[This message has been edited by Union Hall (6/9/2014)]

[This message has been edited by Union Hall (6/9/2014)]
Posted by MRH (+1576) 9 years ago
An article and letter are in the 12 June 2014 issue of the Miles City Star.
Posted by Union Hall (+67) 9 years ago
Good points made by a player and her parent in the paper. These would be individuals with insider information into the program. I would call these people the real experts of the program.

I really don't think that the administrator and board member looked to be telling the full truth. Sort of came across as backtracking in my view by the two individuals.

Congrats to Mr. Harris going from a 4-4 vote to a 9-1 vote. I wonder what happened to the three other votes against? Also a better job by the star on giving the board members votes. Although I didn't see who voted against Mr. Harris.

It makes you wonder if due process was followed for the girls coach and all information checked out before the vote.. What would it be a month later?

[This message has been edited by Union Hall (6/12/2014)]
Posted by Kyle Stanton (+317) 9 years ago
Nice letter to the editor by Beth Sutter. She made some great points. Also the article pointed out the names of the 5 individuals on the school board who voted against the coach. I feel that each of these 5 should individually provide a statement as to why they voted to fire Coach E.
Posted by Tom Masa (+2202) 9 years ago
So what are the rumors? Us out of towner's can't hang out in the local bars to find out?
Posted by ike eichler (+1224) 9 years ago
Great letter by someone who was there. Perhaps one of the 5 NAY voters will step forward with their reasoning?

[This message has been edited by ike eichler (6/12/2014)]
Posted by luvlife (+283) 9 years ago
Very impressive letter written by Beth Sutter. I am just the out sider looking in---the fan in the stands cheering on the Cowgirls. I have a much younger girl that is quite talented at BB and LOVES watching the Cowgirls and looks up to these girls very much. I believe, to my knowledge these are a very wonderful group of athletes as well as role models for my child. I do know some of the varsity girl's parents and have heard "rumors" (and that is all---I have NO facts and REALLY, as of yet---have YET to really understand what took place here)??? To say it is none of our business is just wrong--I really am confused about all of this--and, I believe as I learn more about this whole incident with Coach E. that she had to have been more than a bit "blind-sided" by what took place. It sounds like a very few parents went on a mission to get her fired without ever coming forward and talking with her during the year??? This is where I am (as a parent) confused? If Coach E was doing something to my child I did not like---I would bring it to her attention right away and see what happened after visiting one on one. These few parents did not do right by "kissing up" to Coach E. during the beginning of the season and than---turn around and TRY to get her fired??? As I am beginning to learn more of the facts of this whole situation---I am thinking these parents should of all talked with Coach E about their concerns and go from there. I have to admit in the beginning I had heard a few "rumors" and that is all I knew. I have a young child and I understand very much about wanting the best for her and being protective--BUT, none of this makes sense. It would sure be interesting to hear the story from the few parents that wanted her OUT and WHY? I am a fair person, I believe and if I have said something out of line here--I apologize. BUT, when the facts are not laid out on the table---what is a interested citizen suppose to think? I believe every Cowgirl parent should of been involved in this---not just a few
Posted by Union Hall (+67) 9 years ago
I really just question the statement that said board members research the facts before voting? I think the board members should share the info given to them before the vote if done by phone. Just say what you were told (without names if not present)and see if someone has something to add. Meaning disagreeing or agreeing with the information given to you on the phone. This would get the facts out in the open along with communication.

I hope the vote is not based on being annoyed by phone calls or public comments. So, will just vote no to make it go away. Check out the facts and don't just listen to biased opinions or because you are acquaintances with ties in some form. Talk to people before giving a vote and have both sides of the situation.

I hope the paper will keep the news coverage at the same level as the city council meetings. Telling the public the issue and the way the board voted listed by name with their vote. I also hope that the public will push for policies to be followed across the board.
Posted by Oddjob (+191) 9 years ago
Union Hall said:

"I really just question the statement that said board members research the facts before voting?"

I was going to stay out of this, but some of the statements being made here about School Board Trustees are getting really annoying.

Union Hall. If you don't like the way your School Board does business, there is nothing stopping you from getting off of your dead ass and running for a seat. Speaking as someone who did exactly that, I can tell you that when it's you making the decisions to hire or fire, discipline or spend money, your perspective will be a little different.

For starters; by law, most issues dealing with personnel are not public information. All business concerning personnel matters and evaluation is done in closed session for the protection of the employee. In these discussions, the Board will have relevant performance information and input that comes from sources more reliable than the newspapers, from 11:00PM phone calls to their home or endless speculation from jack-jawed neighbors.

The Board does not vote in closed session. All votes are in the public forum. That's when you and your faction have the opportunity to express your dissatisfaction in person. That's the "fun" part of the job. Watching the side that "won" melt away, while being hammered by the side that "lost."

I will give you some advice up front. Here's what I took away from my School Board experience. No good deed goes unpunished. Prior to being on the School Board, I had a few friends. By the end of my term, I had no friends and a pretty tenuous marriage to boot. Once was enough.

Have at it.
Posted by Union Hall (+67) 9 years ago
Rule: 10.55.701

(1) The local board of trustees shall ensure that the school district complies with all local, state, and federal laws and regulations.

(2) Each school district shall make available to the staff and public:

(a) goals that reflect the district's strategic plan of education;

(b) sequential curriculum for each program area that aligns to the content standards, specific grade-level learning progressions, and program area standards;

(c) policies establishing student assessment procedures that ensure evaluation of the district's curriculum and student learning. These procedures shall specify how and when data are to be collected, analyzed, and reported;

(d) policies that delineate the responsibilities of the local board of trustees, superintendent, and personnel employed by the school district. The local board of trustees shall review these policies on a regular basis;

(e) a policy on student, parent, and school employee due process rights;

(f) policies addressing bullying, hazing, intimidation, and harassment of students and meeting the requirements in ARM 10.55.719;

(g) an equity policy;

(h) a transfer policy for determining the appropriate placement of incoming students;

(i) an academic freedom policy;

(j) a materials selection policy, including a challenge procedure, for all curricular and support materials;

(k) a copyright policy;

(l) a policy that defines the use of school facilities and resources;

(m) comprehensive family engagement policy aligned to meet the following goals:

(i) families actively participate in the life of the school and feel welcomed, valued, and connected to each other, to school staff, and to what students are learning and doing in class;

(ii) families and school staff engage in regular, two-way meaningful communication about student learning;

(iii) families and school staff continuously collaborate to support student learning and healthy development both at home and at school and have regular opportunities to strengthen their knowledge and skills to do so effectively;

(iv) families are empowered to be advocates for their own and other children, to ensure that students are treated equitably and have access to learning opportunities that will support their success;

(v) families and school staff partner in decisions that affect children and families and together inform, influence, and create policies, practices, and programs; and

(vi) families and school staff collaborate with members of the community to connect students, families, and staff to expand learning opportunities, community services, and civic participation;

(n) a policy incorporating the distinct and unique cultural heritage of American Indians, ensuring integration of the history and contemporary portrayals of Indians, and that is aligned with district goals;

(o) a policy addressing distance, online, and technology-delivered learning as defined in ARM 10.55.602;

(p) a policy that defines a significant writing program; and

(q) a policy that addresses student health issues that arise in the school setting.

(3) The local board of trustees shall have valid, written contracts with all regularly employed licensed administrative, supervisory, and teaching personnel.

(4) The local board of trustees shall have written policies and procedures for regular and periodic evaluation of all regularly employed personnel. The individual evaluated shall have access to a copy of the evaluation instrument, the opportunity to respond in writing to the completed evaluation, and access to his or her files. Personnel files shall be confidential.

(a) The evaluation system used by a school district for licensed staff shall, at a minimum:

(i) be conducted on at least an annual basis with regard to nontenure staff and according to a regular schedule adopted by the district for all tenure staff;

(ii) be aligned with applicable district goals, standards of the Board of Public Education, and the district's mentorship and induction program required under ARM 10.55.701(5)(b);

(iii) identify what skill sets are to be evaluated;

(iv) include both formative and summative elements; and

(v) include an assessment of the educator's effectiveness in supporting every student in meeting rigorous learning goals through the performance of the educator's duties.

(b) The Superintendent of Public Instruction shall develop and publish model evaluation instruments that comply with this rule in collaboration with the MEA-MFT, Montana Rural Education Association, Montana School Boards Association, School Administrators of Montana, and Montana Small School Alliance. A school district adopting and using one of the model instruments shall be construed to have complied with this rule, though use of one of the models shall not be required provided that the district's evaluation instrument and process substantially conforms to the requirements set forth in this section.

(5) The local board of trustees shall:

(a) establish conditions that contribute to a positive school climate which:

(i) keep parents/guardians up to date on students' progress;

(ii) engage in a continuous school improvement process; and

(b) establish mentoring and induction programs to assist licensed staff in meeting teaching standards as defined in ARM 10.55.701(4)(a) and (b).

History: 20-2-114, MCA; IMP, 20-2-121, MCA; NEW, 1989 MAR p. 342, Eff. 7/1/89; AMD, 2000 MAR p. 3340, Eff. 12/8/00; AMD, 2006 MAR p. 755, Eff. 3/24/06; AMD, 2007 MAR p. 692, Eff. 5/25/07; AMD, 2012 MAR p. 2042, Eff. 7/1/13; AMD, 2013 MAR p. 961, Eff. 6/7/13.

[This message has been edited by Union Hall (6/15/2014)]
Posted by Union Hall (+67) 9 years ago

(1) The local board of trustees shall:

(a) develop policies, procedures, and rules that respect the rights of all learners, promote an awareness of and concern for the well-being of others, and address bullying, intimidation, and harassment of students and school personnel;

(b) create teaching and learning conditions that meet the district's educational goals and recruit and maintain a quality staff;

(c) offer programs and services which, in content and presentation, endeavor to be free of stereotyping in terms of age, sex, religion, race, national origin, or handicapping condition;

(d) provide programs and services that meet the needs of students which the school has identified as at-risk;

(e) inform students, parents, families, and guardians of the school's expectations and of students' rights and responsibilities;

(f) encourage students to take responsibility for their education, including preparing for and participating in class and school activities, taking full advantage of learning services provided, helping design their educational goals, and conducting themselves respectfully and appropriately;

(g) encourage the active involvement of parents, families, and guardians in their children's education and in their school; and

(h) provide opportunities for parents, families, guardians, educators, and members of the community to take active roles in developing and reviewing district and school educational goals.

[This message has been edited by Union Hall (6/15/2014)]
Posted by Union Hall (+67) 9 years ago
20-3-322. Meetings and quorum. (1) The trustees of a district shall hold at least the following number of regular meetings:
(a) an organization meeting, as prescribed by 20-3-321;
(b) a final budget meeting, as prescribed by 20-9-131; and
(c) (i) in first-class elementary districts, not less than one regular meeting each month; or
(ii) in any other district, regular meetings at least quarterly.
(2) (a) The trustees of the district shall adopt a policy setting the day and time for the minimum number of regular school meetings prescribed in subsection (1)(c)(i) or (1)(c)(ii) and, in addition, any other regular meeting days the trustees wish to establish. Except for an unforeseen emergency or as provided in subsection (2)(b), meetings must be conducted in school buildings or, upon the unanimous vote of the trustees, in a publicly accessible building located within the district.
(b) This section does not prohibit the trustees from meeting outside the boundaries of the school district for collaboration or cooperation on educational issues with other school boards, educational agencies, or cooperatives. Adequate notice of the meeting as well as an agenda must be provided to the public in advance. Decisionmaking may occur only at a properly noticed meeting held within the school district's boundaries.
(3) Special meetings of the trustees may be called by the presiding officer or any two members of the trustees by giving each member a 48-hour written notice of the meeting, except that the 48-hour notice is waived in an unforeseen emergency or to consider a violation of the student code of conduct, as defined in accordance with district policy, within a week of graduation.
(4) Business may not be transacted by the trustees of a district unless it is transacted at a regular meeting or a properly called special meeting. A quorum for any meeting is a majority of the trustees' membership. All trustee meetings must be public meetings, as prescribed by 2-3-201, except that the trustees may recess to an executive session under the provisions of 2-3-203.
(5) For the purposes of this section, "unforeseen emergency" means a storm, fire, explosion, community disaster, insurrection, act of God, or other unforeseen destruction or impairment of school district property that affects the health and safety of the trustees, students, or district employees or the educational functions of the district.

History: En. 75-5930 by Sec. 59, Ch. 5, L. 1971; R.C.M. 1947, 75-5930; amd. Sec. 2, Ch. 154, L. 1991; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 50, L. 1993; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 211, L. 1997; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 467, L. 1999; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 86, L. 2003; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 438, L. 2005; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 444, L. 2009.
Posted by Union Hall (+67) 9 years ago
20-3-323. District policy and record of acts. (1) The trustees of each district shall prescribe and enforce policies for the government of the district. In order to provide a comprehensive system of governing the district, the trustees shall:
(a) adopt the policies required by this title; and
(b) adopt policies to implement or administer the requirements of the general law, this title, the policies of the board of public education, and the rules of the superintendent of public instruction.
(2) The trustees shall keep a full and permanent record of all adopted policies and all other acts of the trustees. Minutes of each regular and special board meeting shall include wording of motions, voting records of each trustee present, and all other pertinent information, including a detailed statement of all expenditures of money with the name of any person or business to whom payment is made and showing the service rendered or goods furnished. A written copy of the minutes shall be made available within 5 working days following the approval of the minutes by the board at a cost of no more than 15 cents a page to be paid by those who request such a copy. One free copy of the minutes shall be provided to the local press within 5 working days following the approval of the minutes by the board. The board shall approve the minutes of each special and regular meeting no later than 1 month following the meeting if it meets on a regular monthly basis. If a board does not regularly meet on a monthly basis, it shall approve the minutes of each special and regular meeting at the next regular or special meeting. The approval of the minutes of a prior meeting shall not occur more than 40 days after the meeting, except that no board shall be required to meet to approve the minutes of a meeting at which no substantive business was conducted.

History: En. 75-5932 by Sec. 61, Ch. 5, L. 1971; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 192, L. 1975; amd. Sec. 6, Ch. 266, L. 1977; R.C.M. 1947, 75-5932; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 360, L. 1979.
Posted by Union Hall (+67) 9 years ago
20-3-324. Powers and duties. As prescribed elsewhere in this title, the trustees of each district shall:
(1) employ or dismiss a teacher, principal, or other assistant upon the recommendation of the district superintendent, the county high school principal, or other principal as the board considers necessary, accepting or rejecting any recommendation as the trustees in their sole discretion determine, in accordance with the provisions of Title 20, chapter 4;
(2) employ and dismiss administrative personnel, clerks, secretaries, teacher's aides, custodians, maintenance personnel, school bus drivers, food service personnel, nurses, and any other personnel considered necessary to carry out the various services of the district;
(3) administer the attendance and tuition provisions and govern the pupils of the district in accordance with the provisions of the pupils chapter of this title;
(4) call, conduct, and certify the elections of the district in accordance with the provisions of the school elections chapter of this title;
(5) participate in the teachers' retirement system of the state of Montana in accordance with the provisions of the teachers' retirement system chapter of Title 19;
(6) participate in district boundary change actions in accordance with the provisions of the school districts chapter of this title;
(7) organize, open, close, or acquire isolation status for the schools of the district in accordance with the provisions of the school organization part of this title;
(8) adopt and administer the annual budget or a budget amendment of the district in accordance with the provisions of the school budget system part of this title;
(9) conduct the fiscal business of the district in accordance with the provisions of the school financial administration part of this title;
(10) establish the ANB, BASE budget levy, over-BASE budget levy, additional levy, operating reserve, and state impact aid amounts for the general fund of the district in accordance with the provisions of the general fund part of this title;
(11) establish, maintain, budget, and finance the transportation program of the district in accordance with the provisions of the transportation parts of this title;
(12) issue, refund, sell, budget, and redeem the bonds of the district in accordance with the provisions of the bonds parts of this title;
(13) when applicable, establish, financially administer, and budget for the tuition fund, retirement fund, building reserve fund, adult education fund, nonoperating fund, school food services fund, miscellaneous programs fund, building fund, lease or rental agreement fund, traffic education fund, impact aid fund, interlocal cooperative fund, and other funds as authorized by the state superintendent of public instruction in accordance with the provisions of the other school funds parts of this title;
(14) when applicable, administer any interlocal cooperative agreement, gifts, legacies, or devises in accordance with the provisions of the miscellaneous financial parts of this title;
(15) hold in trust, acquire, and dispose of the real and personal property of the district in accordance with the provisions of the school sites and facilities part of this title;
(16) operate the schools of the district in accordance with the provisions of the school calendar part of this title;
(17) set the length of the school term, school day, and school week in accordance with 20-1-302;
(18) establish and maintain the instructional services of the schools of the district in accordance with the provisions of the instructional services, textbooks, K-12 career and vocational/technical education, and special education parts of this title;
(19) establish and maintain the school food services of the district in accordance with the provisions of the school food services parts of this title;
(20) make reports from time to time as the county superintendent, superintendent of public instruction, and board of public education may require;
(21) retain, when considered advisable, a physician or registered nurse to inspect the sanitary conditions of the school or the general health conditions of each pupil and, upon request, make available to any parent or guardian any medical reports or health records maintained by the district pertaining to the child;
(22) for each member of the trustees, visit each school of the district not less than once each school fiscal year to examine its management, conditions, and needs, except that trustees from a first-class school district may share the responsibility for visiting each school in the district;
(23) procure and display outside daily in suitable weather on school days at each school of the district an American flag that measures not less than 4 feet by 6 feet;
(24) provide that an American flag manufactured in the United States that measures approximately 3 feet by 5 feet be prominently displayed in each classroom in each school of the district no later than the beginning of the school year starting after July 1, 2014, except in a classroom in which the flag may get soiled. Districts are encouraged to work with civic groups to acquire flags through donation, and this requirement is waived if the flags are not provided by a civic group.
(25) for grades 7 through 12, provide that legible copies of the United States constitution, the United States bill of rights, and the Montana constitution printed in the United States or in electronic form are readily available in every classroom no later than the beginning of the school year starting after July 1, 2014. Districts are encouraged to work with civic groups to acquire the documents through donation, and this requirement is waived if the documents are not provided by a civic group.
(26) adopt and administer a district policy on assessment for placement of any child who enrolls in a school of the district from a nonpublic school that is not accredited, as required in 20-5-110;
(27) upon request and in compliance with confidentiality requirements of state and federal law, disclose to interested parties school district student assessment data for any test required by the board of public education;
(28) consider and may enter into an interlocal agreement with a postsecondary institution, as defined in 20-9-706, that authorizes 11th and 12th grade students to obtain credits through classes available only at a postsecondary institution;
(29) approve or disapprove the conduct of school on a Saturday in accordance with the provisions of 20-1-303;
(30) consider and, if advisable for a high school or K-12 district, establish a student financial institution, as defined in 32-1-115; and
(31) perform any other duty and enforce any other requirements for the government of the schools prescribed by this title, the policies of the board of public education, or the rules of the superintendent of public instruction.

History: (1), (3) thru (18), (23)En. Sec. 62, Ch. 5, L. 1971; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 69, L. 1973; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 280, L. 1973; Sec. 75-5933, R.C.M. 1947; (2), (19) thru (22)En. Sec. 63, Ch. 5, L. 1971; Sec. 75-5934, R.C.M. 1947; R.C.M. 1947, 75-5933(1) thru (18), 75-5934; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 682, L. 1979; amd. Sec. 72, Ch. 575, L. 1981; amd. Sec. 2, Ch. 135, L. 1987; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 145, L. 1987; amd. Sec. 2, Ch. 498, L. 1989; amd. Sec. 9, Ch. 11, Sp. L. June 1989; amd. Sec. 3, Ch. 767, L. 1991; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 402, L. 1993; amd. Sec. 5, Ch. 633, L. 1993; amd. Sec. 6, Ch. 22, L. 1997; amd. Sec. 2, Ch. 311, L. 1997; amd. Sec. 102, Ch. 584, L. 1999; amd. Sec. 5, Ch. 133, L. 2001; amd. Sec. 2, Ch. 377, L. 2001; amd. Sec. 3, Ch. 21, L. 2003; amd. Sec. 2, Ch. 340, L. 2003; amd. Sec. 8, Ch. 138, L. 2005; amd. Sec. 21, Ch. 44, L. 2007; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 266, L. 2013.
Posted by Union Hall (+67) 9 years ago
Now, Oddjob who said that I never have been on the school board or have not done my part in community service? Maybe if you had a policy about phone calls in place and enforced it might help. I think that they should have to come and speak directly in the open. Especially if they want to skip the correct steps of communication.

This would be some good reading for those interested on looking into policy.

So, I'm sorry about your marriage and feeling of being punished for your term on the board. It might help to have policies in place and people in a position that you hire to handle those phone calls.
Posted by cubby (+2687) 9 years ago
DANG, this is good!!!!

[This message has been edited by cubby (6/15/2014)]
Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr. (+15535) 9 years ago
Actually, it is pretty distructive.
Posted by Amorette Allison (+12745) 9 years ago
Nothing like school sports to teach sportsmanship, cooperation and community spirit.
Posted by Oddjob (+191) 9 years ago
That's good, Union Hall. Printing out the policy manual. Probably the least read document in any District. But just because you read the rule book doesn't mean you can play poker.

"Now, Oddjob who said that I never have been on the school board or have not done my part in community service?"

Just a wild guess......??

Let's find out..Union Hall. Have you ever been elected to and served time on a school board or held any other public office?

Community service? Picking up trash on the side of the road isn't the same because nobody bitches at you for doing it.

"Maybe if you had a policy about phone calls in place and enforced it might help."

Jaw-dropping.....I just don't know where to go with that...

Having prior experience with similar circumstances, all I can say is it would appear there is more to this story than a win-loss record or who's kid got played and who's didn't. That part probably isn't open for public discussion. What's destructive here, is idle speculation and assigning motives to people without all the facts.

My guess is they are simply doing the job that you hired them to do.
Posted by Union Hall (+67) 9 years ago
It should be read and followed. So, your saying that you did not go by this as a board member... Interesting.



Speculation is what the purpose of communication is about in this matter. By saying that it does not have to deal with a parent or playing time is speculation on your part. The person has a choice to have a open or closed meeting. If the person chooses to have it open then they would be allowing for discussion.

They are not hired and far as I know unless things have changed not paid. They are voted in by the public and serve the public. I forgot they can also be placed if a vacancy happens before elections.

Now back to the subject of due process and communication while following a set policy. This is not meant to be destructive or put board members (present or past) in defensive mode. If anything you should look outside the box and think that it would make your term more pleasurable.

Also get back to core reason of being on the board and not to be put in the position to evaluate the coaches of the district. Allow the people that you approve and hire to evaluate.

Thanks again for input on the subject and info I provided was for the PUBLIC if interested.

[This message has been edited by Union Hall (6/16/2014)]
Posted by Oddjob (+191) 9 years ago
"So, your saying that you did not go by this as a board member... Interesting."

I said nothing of the kind. Don't put words in my mouth.


Is that your answer to my question as to whether or not you have ever been elected to and served on a School Board? If so, good for you. Nonetheless, I find it rather curious that you seem to know very little about how it works.

"The person has a choice to have a open or closed meeting."

No, they don't. The Board has to follow State Law covering personnel matters.

Yes. By assuming there is more to this than win-loss records or who's kid got played and who's didn't, I am guilty of idle speculation. Just call it a gut-feeling. It's a bad habit of mine I picked up from 25 years of experience in managing people.
Posted by Union Hall (+67) 9 years ago

(e) any information in which the demand of individual privacy clearly exceeds the merits of public disclosure but the applicant has expressly waived his right to privacy

An administrator shall not use unsubstantiated hearsay as a basis for formal evaluations.

Due Process Standards
Employee Should:
Know clearly what rules must be followed
Be informed of expected standards of performance
Have the right to be given appropriate feedback
Be given the chance for improvement
Receive professional assistance, if necessary

For The Employee To Improve Performance…the administrator should:
F = Facts of the incident
R = Rule that was broken
I = Impact of employee behavior
S = Suggestions for improvement
K = Knowledge of what should be done

F= Facts:
What did the employee do?

Pinpoint the specific conduct and describe the conduct in complete and explicit terms. If necessary, supplement general statements with specific examples to provide a proper foundation. Avoid factual errors.

R= Rule:
What should the employee have done?

Include the rule, authority or expectation relating to the deficient performance, such as board policies or administrative regulations, labor contract provisions, adopted curriculum, administrative directives, job description, Montana Code sections, recognized professional standards, AND include prior same rule violations.

I = Impact:
What was the impact of the employee’s conduct on the district?

Include facts which describe the negative or adverse effect of the employee’s conduct on the District, other employees, students, and parents.

S= Suggestions:
When and what do you want the employee to do to improve performance? What will happen if there is no improvement? How can you help the employee to improve?

Include clear and unequivocal directions on the proper conduct you expect the employee to follow, the effective timelines, and the consequences if the employee fails to comply, AND include specific suggestions for improvement.

K= Knowledge:
Does the employee have knowledge of the document as required by the Collective Bargaining Agreement?

Include language notifying the employee of the right to file a response to a derogatory document prior to the document’s placement in the personnel file.

Summary for F R I S K

The statement of facts should be a self-contained record of the employee’s conduct and should clearly identify the problem.
Examples and samples of the employee’s work should be used to supplement general statements to add detail

Directions must be clear and unequivocal and include timelines and consequences for the employee’s failure to comply.
Suggestions for improvement are important to demonstrate that the employee was given adequate opportunity to correct a deficiency.

The general rule is that any document that could serve as a basis for affecting employment status in the future should be provided to the employee and placed in the employee’s personnel file within a reasonable period of time after recognizing and validating the performance problem.

Progressive Discipline

Goal: give employee notice and an opportunity to remedy performance problems.

Goal: not to punish, but to strongly alert the employee of the performance problems.

Goal: to justify further disciplinary action if remedial efforts unsuccessful

Examples of Progressive Discipline
Oral warning
Conference meeting/Conference summary
Letter of warning/Memo of concern
Letter of reprimand
Performance Improvement Plan

Steps of a Reprimand

Get Facts First Hand
Plan Your Approach
Arrange for a private meeting
Get the employee’s side of the story
Design the reprimand to fit the employee
Criticize the action not the person
Have the employee take ownership for the problem
Make sure the employee knows that repeating the action will result in further disciplinary action

This is what I have been trying to get across for a answer to the situation. I'm not trying to prove myself to you Oddjob or micromanage. I hope that with all your years of supervising and being on the board that you looked for the correct answers. This means listening to both sides before making judgment and following a process. I'm not looking to point fingers but resolve in the correct manner.

[This message has been edited by Union Hall (6/17/2014)]
Posted by 0624 (+6) 9 years ago
It all goes back to a powerful last name these two families had backing them up! It's sad it comes down to who your related to verses what's right or wrong! Sickening that a last name has that much power in this town! The two families that did this are cowards and couldn't even show up to the board meeting! Cowards never deal with things face to face though!!
Posted by Oddjob (+191) 9 years ago
Union Hall. What you have been posting (policy) is predominately irrelevant in this case, as it applies to full time employees(FTE's)of the District. That would be predominantly Administration and support staff. Union teachers would be subject to the provisions and protections as outlined in a Master Contract, if one exists. Otherwise, they are most likely, year to year contract employees.

I assume the coach was a year to year contract employee and not an FTE. In that case, the Board is under no obligation to renew any year to year contract, and has no obligation to explain why a further offer was not extended. Her contract was expiring and all comers were welcome to apply for the job. Four members were willing to offer that person a contract for next school year. Five Board members declined. Why the vote went that way could be for any number of reasons, but the bottom line is; the job's open.

Welcome to life. It's not "fair". The "Brother-in-Law" effect is always in play in any organization with the power to hire and fire and there will be winners and losers.

Everybody (including you) has an agenda.
Posted by Union Hall (+67) 9 years ago
Oddjob get a clue on the idea and open your mind for positive communication. What I have been talking about is allowing for a process to take place. Don't be so against growth and allowing for something more then gut feelings. It's easier to win a game of poker when the cards are down on the table facing up. Then everybody is allowed to understand the situation that would be involved.

I understand how the current process works and the way current contracts work with coaches. Do I think it might need to be tweaked and looked at? YES. Do I think that the steps that I have listed might help? YES. These steps would be a good thing to have in our district for the coaching staff. As it is now with the evaluation process we are not following the AD's recommendation or communicating correctly.

"has no obligation to explain why a further offer was not extended."

This is the problem that we are speaking about and the attitude that needs changed. I have no agenda other then a fair process that will lead to a better environment for employees. It does not matter if it's a one year contract in my book. Everybody needs to be treated with respect and allowed to grow properly in the system. We can't keep voting for a nonrenewal (firing) or were not going to find qualified applicants.
Posted by MTM (+12) 9 years ago
Would the school board really hire a parent for 1 of the 3 coaching positions open after the fiasco they just went through last month??
Posted by 0624 (+6) 9 years ago
And that surprises you???