By Tim Leeds/Havre Daily Newsfirstname.lastname@example.org
The Hill County superintendent of schools will hold a public forum to explain how an interim board would be set up if the Blue Sky and Kremlin-Gildford school districts consolidate.
Superintendent Shirley Isbell said she won't announce at the June 2 forum who she will appoint to the board.
"It will be to tell everybody what the process will be," she said.
The school boards of both districts have set elections for June 22 on the issue of consolidation. If voters in both districts approve it, Isbell will appoint an interim board to oversee the consolidation process.
Montana law says a high school board is composed of the elementary district board members of the elementary districts the high school is located in, plus any members required to represent outlying elementary districts.
The combined population of the KG and Blue Sky districts was 1,193 in the 2000 census, the most recent figures available, Isbell said. That would create a Class 2 elementary district if the two districts consolidate, which under state law is required to have a five-member board.
Isbell said Monday afternoon that she doesn't know how many people will be on the high school board. She said she is still reviewing the state statute governing the issue of how many high school board members would come from outlying elementary districts.
The outlying elementary districts in the KG system could require one or two more members on the high school board to represent those districts on high school and districtwide issues, she said.
Isbell said that while the population determines how many people would be on the interim elementary school board, it doesn't determine where the members come from.
The 2000 population of the Blue Sky district is 670; KG's is 523, Isbell said. But that doesn't require that Blue Sky has to have three board members on the elementary board and KG has to have two, she said.
"Population has nothing to do with it, nothing to do with the interim (elementary) board (makeup)," she said.
If the high school board has six members - five from the elementary board and an additional person from an outlying KG elementary district, Isbell said she intends to appoint an equal number of members from KG and Blue Sky. However, if two representatives are required from the outlying KG elementary districts, the KG area could end up with an extra representative, she added.
She said it's unlikely that the elementary districts will require two additional trustees.
Isbell said she will work with the existing boards and superintendents to find qualified people who want to be on the interim board.
"They have to want to work toward the successful completion of the consolidation process," Isbell said.
She said she will give priority to members of both existing boards if they want to be on the interim board.
"I would be ill-advised not to consider elected trustees," Isbell said.
Interested people should contact her about being appointed if voters approve consolidation, she added.
Isbell noted that the interim board is temporary.
"The important thing to remember, for everybody, is this board is only in force six to eight months, tops," she said.
All positions on the interim board will be up for election in the 2005 school election, Isbell said. After the permanent board is elected, Montana law requires that members of the board draw lots to see who will have one-year, two-year and three-year terms. Isbell said the reason the term lengths are staggered is to ensure continuity in experience on the board.