School  Board

Bear Lake County School board reviews changes in policy

The Bear Lake School District Board of Trustees held its regular monthly meeting on Oct. 8 at 7 PM. Earlier that day, they held a work session which began at 3 p.m. The board approved bills to be paid in the amount of $250,424.01. Under Public to be Heard, a teacher requested consideration of an idea to donate sick days to a fellow teacher in need, which Chairman Kolby Romrell said they would discuss.

As part of the Superintendent’s report, Gary Brogan asked trustee Bill Pettis to report on parent concerns on the lack of Life Skills Classes for high school seniors. Pettis relayed that many parents have asked about this, so he had consulted with HS counsellor and coach Cameron Crane. Crane provided that life skills learning does take place, but is spread out among the grades. Pettis further asked for specifics, such as, did students know how to change a tire on a car, or how to budget for a grocery shopping trip, and stated that he would prefer to have a full class curriculum of such skills for seniors to prepare them for the “real world.”

The first action item on the agenda was a hearing to possibly increase the Drivers Education Fee. However, Brogan stated he discovered that many schools were using the Advanced Opportunities fund to pay for this, thus eliminating this fee altogether. This state fund gives each student an allotment of $4,600 in their MS and HS years to earn college credits, professional certifications, and other extracurricular endeavors. According to Brogan, no student in the district is using their full amount, even those taking many college classes. The current fee is $100, and the request was to raise it to $125, which could now be applied to this fund. Brogan stated they might request a bit more, and added the program may need a car soon. The board voted to table the item indefinitely from the board on next steps. Romrell stated he thought skills learning spread over four years was okay. Brogan pointed out that economics/personal finance is a required class. Trustee Kendell Roberts added it would be good to teach any students interested in higher learning how to apply for scholarships, and have them spend any free time doing so.

For the “What’s Right” portion of the agenda, Brogan spoke of an upcoming local radio interview concerning the Summit Learning platform. Roberts added that the broadcast would be a prerecorded interview with Tammy Stephens, based on questions from the community. Romrell stated he liked the slogan, “Bear Lake Strong,” currently painted on a wall of the high school. Pettis reported he is pleased with the increase in newspaper coverage of positive student accomplishments, and noted most of the information was being provided by parents. Roberts commended students for keeping the school clean after the homecoming game.

Also approved were specifications and a call for bids on a new route bus. There is $254,000 in the depreciaRelations. Trustee Paul Alleman asked if anyone was assigned to oversee the part of the letter concerning crowd funding. Brogan replied that they just didn’t want their name attached to any fundraising the district may not approve of. Several policy revisions with minor changes were also approved, with little discussion.

The Mastery Connect contract for 2019-2020 was also approved. Principal Laurel Jensen explained it is a learning/instructional management system, required and paid for by the state. It is utilized by all three district elementary schools, and is the equivalent of the Canvas system. Business manager Joey Probst added that initial payment is budgeted through the district’s technology fund.

Brogan requested direction on the fund for this. Romrell stated that since this fund cannot be used for a travel bus, specifications for it will be discussed next month, and budgeted from the plant facilities fund. The oldest bus in the district’s fleet is a 1995, and used as a spare. They are selling a 2000 model, which has a leaking fuel tank.

The board approved three new policies: Conflicting Policies and Procedures, which Brogan stated was recommended by the Idaho School Board Association (ISBA), Computer Science, which Brogan reported the district was already following, and Community The last action item was to vote on the election of Kendell Roberts as Zone Three Trustee. Because there were no other candidates for the position, write-in or regular, and the ballot would otherwise be blank, state statute allows the school board to declare the singular candidate as the elected trustee for the full term. The board voted unanimously to do so. The meeting was then adjourned at 7:45 PM. For more information, please visit the district website at, or call the district office at 208-945-289.

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