Busy meeting for Blackfoot School Board

Kelsey Bender, advisor for the Blackfoot High School Future Farmers of America Floral Club, gave a presentation at Monday's school board meeting on the progress of the floral program at the high school.
Catie Clark

The Blackfoot school board met Monday night and discussed multiple items, including the new floral program at the high school, the school starting-time survey, monthly finances, inclement weather policies, and new five-year transportation contracts.

BHS floral program

A new floral program began this school year at Blackfoot High School under the auspices of Future Farmers of America. Kelsey Bender, a BHS agricultural sciences teacher, is the floral club's advisor. She gave a 10-minute presentation on the program's progress, including the club's sale of floral arrangements which helps to buy floral supplies for the students to work with.
The floral club has several different floral packages for sale. For example, floral packages for both the winter and spring are available, where $60 will purchase four winter- or spring-themed arrangements. Delivery of flower arrangements is also available, Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
For questions, more information or to purchase floral club flower arrangements, send an email to bendkels@d55.k12.id.us or visit the club's Facebook page at www.facebook.com/BHSFFAFloralDesign.


The district distributed a survey in October asking the parents and guardians of students for their opinion on when schools start in the district. The district administration is investigating whether to push back school starting times by 30 minutes.
The district received 760 survey responses. The results have not been analyzed yet.

Monthly finances

The district's balance at the end of October was $3,806,225. This was $1,584,321 more than this time last year.

Dancing with the stars

Blackfoot Superintendent Brian Kress will be competing in the local Dancing with the Blackfoot Stars event on Saturday, December 1, at the Blackfoot Performing Arts Center. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are for sale for $10, $15 or $20 at blackfootpac.com or (208) 317-5508.
Kress did mention at the meeting that he would be dancing the foxtrot.

Inclement Weather

The district presented the inclement weather and school closure policies to the board. At the urging of trustee Sonja Harris, the board asked that the non-school activities usage of district's buildings be clarified in the policy statement. The clarification will make it clear that on days when the schools are closed due to bad weather, non-school groups who also use district buildings will not have access to the closed school facilities.
The inclement weather and school activities policies will be available through a link on the splash page of the district's website at www.d55.k12.id.us. The link to the policies was not yet active when this article went to press on Tuesday evening.

Transportation contracts

The current 5-year transportation contracts for busing expire at the end of the current 2018-19 school year. At the October board meeting, the trustees asked Kress to clarify several issues before the district starts the process of bidding or extending contracts. Because the previous district superintendent before Kress told different busing contractors contradictory information on whether contracts could or would be extended, it is still not clear what action the board will take with regards to its transportation contracts.
With regards to how the Blackfoot district bids its bussing contracts, Kress remarked, "We are one of the only districts that has bidding on separate routes. Most districts bid all their routes in one package."
Because the district is still gathering information on how it wants to approach the new 5-year bus contracts, no action will be taken at the December board meeting. The board decided to deal with the new transportation contracts in January after all of its fact finding on busing is complete.
The district is dealing with these contracts earlier than it did five years ago because of its previous difficulties.
"Because the awarding of contracts was contested last time, we made a decision about our transportation contractors three days before school started (in 2014)," Kress remarked. "We don't want to do that again."