Charter schools

Bingham Academy and Bingham Charter Community Learning Center at 1350 Parkway Dr.

BLACKFOOT – They have been called a lot of things over the past year or so. Embattled, combative, disjointed and disorganized, but a new term may soon apply to Bingham Academy — transitioning.

They are in the midst of a new school “Board of Directors” and away from the traditional term of “Board of Trustees.”

At their regular monthly meeting on Thursday evening, the big news was supposed to be an election that was to be held via mail, that was going to replace at least two of the five-person panel that oversees the operation of the charter school in Blackfoot that resides in a portion of the Riverside Plaza.

What actually took place was the swearing in of two board members that have been mainstays of the current board of directors.

In September, Chairwoman Holly Lilya announced that she would like to step down as a member of the board, citing that she would like to have more time to spend with family. Her seat was added to an already vacant seat that became available when board member Teri Storey resigned in August after several months of inactivity and a third seat was up for re-election that was being filled by Tausha Wolfley.

The plan was to solicit interested parties from an emailing of a letter of interest sent to the parents of students. That was followed up by an actual mailing of a second letter seeking interested parties. There were no responses of interest and the options of replacing or filling the seats came down to being able to simply assign new board members. With no one running against Wolfley, one seat was filled. Lilya was convinced to remain as a board member if the board would reassign her duties as the chairwoman and that was agreed upon.

Both Wolfley and Lilya were sworn in as board members, which gave the board a quorum despite the one empty seat which they hope to have filled within a month. That seat will be filled by appointment.

An item that had been on the board’s agenda in both August and September but had been tabled each time was missing from the October agenda was a new lease agreement with the Woodbury Corporation, which owns Riverside Plaza. It was revealed to the Bingham County Chronicle that one of the items on the lease was the five-year term of the lease agreement. Bingham Academy is still attempting to negotiate a Conditional Use Permit with the City of Blackfoot and remains at odds with the city over a transition plan. That issue will be discussed again with the city in a Planning and Zoning Commission meeting scheduled for Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Blackfoot Performing Arts Center.

The board received the annual audit of finances report and entered into a discussion via teleconference with the auditor and for the most part, the audit passed for the year ending June 30, 2019. The audit was a 31-page report that basically reconciled expenditures to revenue and indicated that there were no glaring omissions in the report. The board voted unanimously to accept the audit report.

The rest of the meeting was a verification of bills that needed to be paid, a current financial report, an academic report, and a general report of operations.

The board broke into an executive session for the purpose of the lead administrator’s evaluation and reconvened an hour later.

The next scheduled monthly meeting is set for Nov. 21 at 7 p.m.