The Cut Bank School Board met on Tuesday, Nov. 9, and approved paying each employee in the district a $1,500 “retention” stipend from the American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ARP ESSER) Funds, authorized under the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act.

“The School District No. 15’s Board of Trustees and our administration are very proud of the fact that our entire staff continue to face unknown challenges from this pandemic. We pride ourselves on our unified belief in our mission, and our collective determination to do what is best for our students,” stated Johnson in making the recommendation for the stipend.

“In the spring of 2021, we lost several teachers to happy retirements, a few others left for what they perceive as greener pastures, and we chose to hire additional staff to accommodate learning loss due to continued remote learning for some students. This year, we are very pleased with the group of teachers and staff we have assembled, and we wish to keep everyone on staff in Cut Bank,” he explained.

Following Johnson’s recommendation, the board unanimously approved a $1,500 staff retention stipend to be paid with the December payroll to all contracted employees.

“We are very hopeful that this gesture, along with generous compensation packages will result in keeping the great staff we have assembled here,” said Johnson.

The board also reviewed and approved the recommendations of the Facilities Committee, and the funding mechanisms which will be used to pay for the projects:

Current and Completed Projects

-High School Gym Roof Sealant                                                     

-Crowsnest Addition                                         11-21        (ESSER)                  –$99,000

Proposed Projects for Spring/Summer of 2022

-Anna Jeffries Roof Replacement               (ESSER)                                   –$750,000

-North Bleacher Replacement   (ESSER)–$200,000 Estimate

-Auditorium Roof Seal–ant–                                                                                $181,500 (MCS)

-Track and Softball Sound Systems                                                                –$20,000 Estimate

-High School Gym Lighting–                                                                               $25,000 Estimate

-H.C. Davis Gym Drainage                                                                                   $20,000 Estimate

-Locker Room Showers                                                                                          $20,000 Estimate

Long Range Plans

-Pod and Lobby Roof Sealants

-Wrestling Room Ventilation     (ESSER)

-Heating Maintenance (Controls and Potential Boilers)                     

-Sidewalk Replacement


According to the draft minutes from the meeting, the board also:

•Reviewed the completed FY 2021 audit with Business Manager Lindsey Milender. The audit took three weeks to complete and the auditor stated it was a clean audit.

This year the district also underwent a federal audit due to receiving more than $750,000 in federal funds, reported Milender.

Milender noted the district had one finding in the activity funds due to how journal voucher adjustments were made.

•Set the date for the annual  evaluation of Superintendent Wade Johnson. The evaluation will be conducted on Tuesday, Dec. 14 at 6:45 p.m. in the board room.

•Approved updating the district’s substitute list, pending background checks.

•Approved student attendance agreements for Wynter VanBuren, Kaidyn Coe, Dillon Gray, Nathan Gray, Nicholas Gray, William Gray and Kenai Wolfe.

•Approved the list of outdated records and the request from Milender to discard them in accordance with the state retention schedules.

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