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Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Commission
Education Committee Meeting
Office of Public Instruction, Helena, Montana
December 2, 1999
Present were: Clint Blackwood, Mike Cavey, Jeanne Eder, Kris Gallas, Ann Goldhawn, Denise Juneau, Jonathan Matthews, Hal Stearns, Carla Wambach, and Rita Cortright, recorder.
Mr. Blackwood opened the meeting, noting that Mike Cavey, MUS Extension Service, MSU, Bozeman, will be joining the Education Committee and will join today's meeting in progress. Members introduced themselves.
Mr. Stearns asked Mr. Blackwood for a quick update of his activities since the last Education Committee meeting. Mr. Blackwood reported on the six community planning workshops held around the state in October. These were a cooperative project with Travel Montana to help communities understand the ABC's of planning. During November Mr. Blackwood has been working on creating a prioritized statewide list of Bicentennial projects. This is at the request of the National Park Service and the National Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Council. The National Council will combine Montana's information with that from the other Trail States and will take this information to the House and Senate caucuses to raise the level of awareness, and hopefully, obtain funding for the projects from the Federal Government. Mr. Blackwood said he expects that the budgets of BLM, NPS, and FS will be increased for L&C projects, as opposed to providing the funding directly to the state L&C Commissions. Mr. Blackwood has contacted state bicentennial groups at the county or multi-county level, asking them for their short list of prioritized projects, which may total around 100 projects. During December, the Commission will put these projects through a scoring screen from a state perspective and provide Montana's report to the National Council.
Mr. Blackwood said there are currently two openings on the Commission as a result of Leif Johnson's and Terry Korpela's resignations, and Darrell Kipp's and Betty Stone's terms are up; however both are seeking reappointment.
Mr. Blackwood said one proposal has been received and is being reviewed as a result of the recent RFP for the development of a State Bicentennial Master Plan and Product Licensing and Sponsorship Program. He said the collection of project ideas from state bicentennial groups will feed into and become a significant segment of the Master Plan.
The Bicentennial Focus Team, comprised of representatives from state and federal agencies, has taken on the project of developing a L&C Interpretive Strategy for Montana. They are looking at existing signs, making recommendations on where the story needs to be better told, identifying what pieces are not told at all, and developing design standards. A planning team with the Forest Service out of Washington, has been working with the Focus Team during the past year, and they have reached the point where the Interagency Team needs to add some final touches prior to the release of the Interpretive Strategy in the Spring of 2000. With the strategy almost developed, now implementation must be determined. Mr. Blackwood said this is also where the Education Committee is with several good ideas; ready for implementation. The Commission must now decide what resources are needed to coordinate the implementation of the Committee's goals.
Mr. Stearns asked Mr. Blackwood to recap his travel in November. Mr. Blackwood began with the Statewide Bicentennial Conference in Lewistown in late September. He then traveled to the six community planning workshops around the state in October; was home for a week; traveled to Portland for the Trail States Coordinating Meeting for four days in early November; was home for two days and went to St. Louis for another L&C Community Planning Workshop. He said it is obvious with his schedule that coordinators for specific projects will be necessary to enhance the Education Committee's efforts. Mr. Stearns said many of the goals and focus areas the committee has identified require someone to perform or supervise the work. He cited the example of a workshop or Lewis & Clark "101 crash course," saying someone must coordinate the effort to provide a meaningful experience for educators. He said these are wonderful ideas, but they must now be carried to the next step. Ms. Goldhawn asked about the possibility of paid staff to accomplish some of this work. Mr. Blackwood said there is the possibility of adding administrative staff if the Commission chooses to spend its money that way. Mr. Blackwood distributed copies of the Education Committee's revised Goals and Focus Areas that resulted from the October 25, 1999, committee meeting. Mr. Blackwood said the tasks he sees on the immediate horizon are to flesh out some of the action items, and then by June, develop a recommendation for possible additional staff and the implementation strategies to accomplish the Education Committee's Goals. He said the Commission meets next in January, and then in early June, at which time the budget for the next fiscal year will be presented.
Mr. Stearns asked committee members if they felt that teachers are desiring L&C materials at this time for their classrooms. Several members agreed that interest is growing and that teachers at all levels are now ready for materials. Mr. Matthews said teachers at the college level see this as an opportunity to bring a subject that is often not at the forefront more to the forefront. He reported on his contact with Yvonne Gritzner, Montana Committee for the Humanities, regarding the possibility of a symposium and their discussion of a grant application. Mr. Blackwood said in his mind the Education Committee was created to help define how the Commission could best function and do the right thing with regard to education for the Bicentennial. He questioned if the committee should be developing curriculum and programs or whether they should focus on being the clearinghouse of existing curriculum and programs.
Mike Cavey joined the meeting at 2:30 p.m. and introduced himself to the Committee. The Committee introduced themselves to Mr. Cavey and Mr. Stearns recapped the structure of the L&C Bicentennial Commission and the purpose of the Education Committee for Mr. Cavey's benefit. A copy of the Committee's Goals was provided to Mr. Cavey.
Mr. Blackwood continued by saying, if the Commission is going to accomplish all of these goals, they must decide whether a person should be hired to be the Education Committee Coordinator for special projects. Or, if someone in the private sector, such as Carroll College, wants to take on a project, they would simply proceed with assistance from the Committee. The Education Committee would continue to feed information to the website and through the newsletter, serving as the clearinghouse. Mr. Stearns said someone will still have to field the calls from teachers regarding curriculum needs. Mr. Blackwood referred to the new Intranet Site, saying an Education Section will be developed, and one thing this committee could help with is the identification of pertinent information for inclusion on the site. He agreed it will then require someone to actually add the information to the site. Mr. Stearns said the point has been reached where Mr. Blackwood needs assistance with keeping the website updated. Mr. Blackwood said the Commission has recently contracted to have the new website refined and updated. Ms. Goldhawn identified the need to develop an organizational structure over time.
Mr. Blackwood cited the Symposium as an example and proposed two options. Option A would be that the Commission would be very involved with planning the program. Option B would involve an existing entity that would take the lead and plan the Symposium for the Bicentennial. He questioned the reality of an entity's willingness to do this. Mr. Stearns asked Ms. Juneau for OPI's response to the possibility of them serving as the entity in Option B. Ms. Juneau said everyone at OPI is very busy and she did not feel they could take on additional duties unless there was money to hire additional staff. The use of Metnet was suggested, but it was agreed that it is not being widely utilized. Mr. Stearns asked Mr. Matthews for a recap of his conversation with Ms. Gritzner. He explained her response, that the Symposium was definitely something MCH would be interested in, and would welcome a proposal from Mr. Matthews. He said they had discussed the components of the proposal; location, keynote speakers and honorariums, expenses, costs for the facility rental, meals, and presenters. He suggested Carroll College as the location and said Carroll has a staff person who handles these kinds of arrangements. Mr. Matthews offered to obtain and prepare the grant forms from Ms. Gritzner. Mr. Stearns said he has served on the MCH and said the key to obtaining a grant is the inclusion of a humanities aspect in the grant request. Mr. Blackwood asked Mr. Matthews how he envisioned Carroll College being involved with the Symposium. Mr. Matthews said he could see himself as the coordinator of the project. Mr. Stearns said if the event was held Thursday evening through Saturday, teachers could attend without missing too much classroom time. He suggested one segment could deal with the personalities of the men on the expedition; another could deal with the military aspects. Still others could address the literature, science, math, and Indian role of the Expedition. He suggested the inclusion of the various L&C teaching trunks from Missoula, the Interpretive Center and the Society. Copies of the Curriculum Guide could be made available for sale. Mr. Matthews suggested a general session with break out sessions on the last afternoon by interest groups. Mr. Blackwood said the Commission could sponsor or co-sponsor of the event, but would, with Mr. Matthews as the project coordinator, not be directly responsible for all of the the planning and implementation details. Mr. Stearns said the Lewis & Clark 101 curriculum could result from this event.
Kris Gallas arrived at 3:00 p.m. and was introduced by Mr. Blackwood.
Mr. Stearns said the Symposium could be co-hosted by a number of organizations and named OPI, the Society, MSU Extension Service, University System, and Carroll College as potential sponsors. Mr. Blackwood recapped for Ms. Gallas that if someone such as Carroll College assumed the role for planning the Symposium, then the Commission would not have to hire someone to coordinate the project. The Commission would however support it financially and would have input into planning and development efforts. . Ms. Gallas suggested contracting with Mr. Matthews to plan the Symposium with the assistance of other members of the Committee. Mr. Stearns said all of these components are covered in the grant application form. Mr. Blackwood said the Commission does have limited funds, but their priorities, such as new community grants program, may have to be shifted to accommodate the expense of sponsoring a Symposium. Mr. Stearns said that in-kind contributions are taken into account by MCH, which means the Commission would not have to come up with much in the way of actual dollars. Mr. Blackwood addressed the time frame, saying if they could use the time between now and April or May to flesh out the concept and determine a dollar amount, he could incorporate it into the budget request for review by the Commission. Ms. Goldhawn asked about the possibility of traveling the Symposium, and suggested using different speakers at other significant locations, and making the event more state-inclusive. Mr. Matthews said Carroll College would not necessarily be a sponsor, but would serve as the location. Mr. Stearns suggested that the University of Great Falls or the University of Montana could also serve as host locations. Mr. Cavey spoke in favor of holding a Symposium first and developing a traveling component later on to avoid lessening the attendance at the main event. Ms. Goldhawn said many areas of the state get left out, especially Eastern Montana. Mr. Cavey agreed, but felt this would dilute the program. Mr. Matthews said a network may develop out of the Symposium that would allow for distribution to smaller communities. Mr. Stearns suggested a segment in which regional groupings could take place to facilitate planning. Mr. Blackwood said there was support at the First L&C Bicentennial Conference to have an educational component at next year's conference. He sees the two events as being different, but suggested they could be held concurrently. He suggested holding the Symposium the day before the Second Annual Conference in 2000. Mr. Matthews asked who attended the First Annual Conference and Mr. Stearns said 175 people attended from across the state. This included representatives from every chapter in Montana, interested locals, retirees, educators, business people, and community and county government representatives. Ms. Gallas suggested not limiting the Symposium to one day, but instead having one day of core education activities, and then extending them throughout the rest of the conference to hold the audience. Ms. Juneau suggested holding the Symposium in conjunction with MEA in order to avoid the need for teachers to request additional time away from the classroom. Mr. Stearns suggested holding the Symposium in late June or early Fall of 2001. Mr. Blackwood recapped, saying there seemed to be consensus that the Symposium could happen with the participation of an entity like Carroll College serving as the central coordinator of the event, but tied into the Commission. He said the next step would be to hold a series of planning meetings over the next couple of months to work out the details.
Ms. Goldhawn announced that Gary Moulton will be the Scholar in Residence at the L&C Interpretive Center from June 12-July 14, 2000. She suggested he would be an appropriate speaker. The Center is planning a summer exhibit comprised of a collection of memorabilia from 1904-1906, and 1954-1956. Beginning in March they will host a series of speakers one night a month on the Louisiana Territory Purchase.
Mr. Blackwood said the funding request would be based on when in the calendar year of 2001 the Symposium would be held; if it is held prior to June 30, 2001, that would fall in Fiscal Year 2001. After that time, funding would fall in Fiscal Year 2002. He suggested the formation of a Planning Group that would meet over the next couple of months. Volunteers to this Group included Jonathan as chair, assisted by Carla, Kris, Mike, and Hal. Mr. Matthews suggested a tentative date in June of 2001, after school is out, for the Symposium. The Planning Group will meet two times over the next couple of months to rough out the plan. Mr. Stearns asked Ms. Gallas if the theme for next year's History Conference has been determined and she responded that it will be "The Lure of the Park", as the conference will be held in West Yellowstone. The year after that the location will be in eastern Montana, and the theme has not been determined, but it probably will not be Lewis & Clark, so as to avoid competing with the Commission's conference. Mr. Stearns, as chair of the committee, will deliver the Education Committee's report to the Commission. Mr. Matthews agreed to obtain the grant application from MCH and will speak with Ms. Gritzner regarding keynote speakers and honorariums. Mr. Matthews suggested a meeting in January and the 10th from 2-5 p.m. was suggested. An informal dinner invitation may be extended to the Commission for that evening. Mr. Matthews will work with Clint and Rita to get a meeting notice sent to the Education Committee regarding the January 10 meeting. (no meeting date was confirmed at this time)
Mr. Blackwood reviewed the Education Committee's Goals, and said that an overriding role of the Commission, as it relates to education, is to be the connector and clearinghouse of information. He said if an administrative assistant is hired by the Commission, one of their duties would be to contact key people to collect information on educational events for inclusion on the website. He noted that Goal 2 could be partially satisfied by holding the Symposium and the Lewis & Clark 101 education packet may be an outgrowth of that event. Mr. Blackwood briefly reviewed the Focus Areas and noted that Focus Area 1B is done. It was agreed that Focus Areas 2A-2D would be touched on or addressed through the Symposium. Goal 3 could also be fulfilled in some areas as well. Mr. Blackwood suggested that the Planning Group refer to the Focus Areas as they begin work on planning the Symposium. Ms. Gallas recommended identifying all the audiences, and then developing sessions to meet their various needs. Mr. Blackwood recapped that the Education Committee has taken on as its two main projects for this next year, the continued role of serving as a clearinghouse and the planning of a Symposium by June of 2001, with the idea that the Symposium will serve as the kick-off for many of the education efforts identified in the Goals and Focus Areas. Ms. Gallas said it is crucial to identify and involve people statewide that can help make this event successful. She suggested planning for a PIR day in each region and Mr. Matthews will include in the grant, a request for funds for a PIR day in each region. Mr. Stearns said the 2001 date provides an opportunity for long-range planning on the part of many groups that hold annual meetings, such as the Society, MAM, and MEA/MFT.
Mr. Blackwood said there is no need to hold Planning Group meetings and Education Committee meetings separately, as they are really one in the same. In essence, the January Education Committee meeting will serve as the next meeting for the Symposium Planning Group as the committee has taken on the Symposium as their flagship education project. Mr. Blackwood said budget preparation will be simplified as a result of this course. In the upcoming January issue of Journal Notes Mr. Blackwood will provide a follow-up article on the Education Committee's decision to zero in on addressing their goals by hosting the Symposium. Mr. Matthews asked Mr. Blackwood to check the Commission's mailing list to determine if Education Committee members are included. Ms. Gallas estimated the cost of the Society's History Conference of 210 participants at about $20,000. Registration was $90 per person for three meals, and Friday and Saturday sessions. Mr. Matthews said he would like to keep the cost for the Symposium below that figure, possibly through grant funds. Mr. Stearns said because the Symposium will fall at the end of the school year some districts will not provide funds; therefore, some teachers will have out-of-pocket expenses, as well as college credits, and motel expenses.
Ms. Goldhawn raised the issue of how to get the word to the front line tourism industry people. Mr. Blackwood said it is still his priority to build a true "101" session. He said the Montana Superhost Program is a logical starting point, and suggested that the Commission may direct some funds toward helping to get it established. Ms. Goldhawn volunteered to work on this project. Mr. Stearns suggested holding a one-day crash course on Lewis & Clark. He envisions the locals developing information appropriate to their own areas. Ms. Goldhawn said the workforce turnover is so great that a creative delivery needs to be developed. Mr. Blackwood said he envisions a steering committee made up of a couple of Commissioners, Trail Chapter representatives, and people like Ms. Goldhawn, who could brainstorm ideas related to target audiences and determine the best approach. He added this topic to the list of priorities for the Education Committee for the coming year (#1- Continue "clearinghouse" efforts; #2- Plan L&C Symposium for 2001; #3- Develop "L&C 101" Education Program). Ms. Goldhawn asked if Travel Montana will help with this as she feels that a simple brochure, available at all the Town Pumps and Super 8 Motels, would be the most effective means of providing information to the traveling public. Mr. Cavey offered to carry back to the Superhost program the need for more printed materials of this type, as well as the need for training front line people in disseminating the information. He spoke about the "Teens in Tourism", program that provides 7-8 weeks of training for young people to learn hospitality skills, which includes Superhost training.
Mr. Blackwood said the meeting minutes are posted on the new L&C Intranet site as quickly as possible following committee and Commission meetings. Mr. Stearns asked if teachers are calling and requesting information from Mr. Blackwood, and he answered they currently are not. Ms. Goldhawn said she is receiving calls requesting information and refers many students and teachers to the numerous L&C Internet sites. She has permission from the FS to package and sell lessons from last year in the Interpretive Center store. She is working on a list of relevant questions in four levels that can be sent out with the Center's pre-visit materials to better prepare teachers and students for a visit to the Center. Mr. Stearns asked how many trunks the Center has and Ms. Goldhawn said they have seven. The Society has one trunk on Lewis & Clark at this time. Mr. Blackwood asked for the name of the person who is compiling a list of teaching and education-related materials, but no one recalled the person's name.
Minutes of this meeting will be sent to the Education Committee and the full Commission. The next Committee meeting was set for January 12, from 9-12 noon. The location will be announced. Mr. Blackwood will call Ms. Eder and Mr. Kipp.
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