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By Nathan Bourne

SLE Gears Up for the Year

SLE School Board


August 24, 2017

SEELEY LAKE- The Seeley Lake Elementary School Board of Trustees hired a teacher and approved the 2017-18 budget at their Aug. 16 meeting. They were also updated on several topics ranging from preschool funding and the SLE Outside store, to firefighters using the school, a new website and resurfacing of the parking lot.

Stout said the Rice Ridge Fire incident management team using the school will be moved out around Aug. 23. That should give the school time to get ready for the students to return Sept. 5.

The school parking lot resurfacing has been put on hold due to the firefighters using the facility. Stout wasn’t sure if it would be done this year.

Stout recommended the money the school earned from the Rice Ridge Fire be used to pay off any debts and save the remainder to fund the preschool program if needed. The dollar amount was not known and will be discussed at a future board meeting.

The school is still waiting to receive official news that the Liz Claiborne Art Ortenberg Foundation will fund the preschool program another year.

The foundation has been funding the preschool for years but after Art Ortenberg passed away in 2014, the foundation has said it would no longer provide funding. Stout said the current preschool program receives approximately $60,000-70,000 from the foundation yearly.

The school has a new website using the same domain, The school saved money by switching the hosting company but it will take some time to get the site back to having all the information the old site had.

SLE Outside will vacate the retail space at the Bison and Bear Center by Sept. 1. Stout explained that the school will keep inventory like kayaks and paddleboards for the outdoor program.

The store plans to sell the retail inventory by having a sale leading up to moving out and then will continue trying to sell it in other locations, either at the school, online or at another business in town.

The Board discussed rehiring Brett Haines as the physical education teacher. Stout thought he did well as a first year teacher despite receiving a handful of complaints. Stout explained PE teachers generally receive more complaints partly due to the fact that PE teachers deal with all the students versus a standard teacher that deals with a single grade.

The board voted to hire Haines.

The next meeting is Tuesday, Sept. 19 at 5:30 p.m. at SLE.


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