November 11, 2019 Minutes

SAULT STE. MARIE AREA PUBLIC SCHOOLS

SAULT STE. MARIE, MICHIGAN 49783

REGULAR MEETING, BOARD OF EDUCATION

Phone 906/635-6609

 

Minutes – Monday, November 11, 2019
 

 

70.       I.          CALL TO ORDER

 

President Smith called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. in the Sault Area Middle School, 684 Marquette Avenue.

 

The Pledge of Allegiance was recited.

 

                        A.        ROLL CALL OF BOARD

 

Board Members Present:  Esther L. Proulx, Christine M. Curtis, Jay D. Wilson, Daniel L. Smith, Martin R. Wolski, Melissa S. Pingatore, Joseph A. Cochran

 

Board Members Absent:  None

 
71.                   B.        ADOPTION OF THE AGENDA
 

It was moved by Member Cochran, supported by Member Wilson, that the Board of Education adopt the agenda as presented.

 

Yeas:  Proulx, Curtis, Wilson, Smith, Wolski, Pingatore, Cochran

Nays:  None

Absent:  None

Motion Carried.

 

72.                   C.        APPROVAL OF MINUTES

 

Special Meeting – October 14, 2019 - 6:00 p.m.

Closed Meeting – October 14, 2019 - 6:00 p.m.

Regular Meeting – October 14, 2019

 

It was moved by Member Curtis, supported by Member Wolski, that the Board of Education approve the above minutes as presented.

 

Yeas:  Proulx, Curtis, Wilson, Smith, Wolski, Pingatore, Cochran

Nays:  None

Abstain:  None

Motion Carried.

 

 

73.                   D.        BUSINESS REPORT AND APPROVAL OF BILLS – Mrs. Michelle Bennin

 

Mrs. Bennin sought approval for the October Bill Lists and reported on the first State Aid Payment with the 2020 foundational allowance of $8,111.  She noted the year to day changes will be reflected in the district’s first budget amendment.

 

Mrs. Bennin reported the timing of federal drawdowns resulted in an overall decrease in the fund balance for the month, but the total expenditures are on track with the budgeted percent for the month and remain lower than that of  the 14-month fiscal year.

 

Mrs. Bennin reported employee health insurance rates increased less than one percent for this fiscal year. 

 

President Smith reported the Finance Committee reviewed the finances at last week’s meeting and there were no questions.

 

It was moved by Member Wolski, supported by Member Proulx, that the Board of Education approve the September General Fund Bill List in the amount of $1,676,067.16 and Food Service Bill List in the amount of $1,550.62.

 

Yeas:  Proulx, Curtis, Wilson, Smith, Wolski, Pingatore, Cochran

Nays:  None

Absent:  None

Motion Carried.

 

  

            II.        PUBLIC COMMUNICATION AND CORRESPONDENCE

 

74.                   A.     AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION

 

Ms. Sarah Gobler addressed the Board concerning the circumstances surrounding her son’s football suspension stemming from a game against Gladstone on October 4.  She expressed disappointment with how things were handled by Athletic Director Steve Lockwood and Principal Carl McCready, and indicated she retained a lawyer, and is filing a formal complaint.

 

Superintendent Hall reported he previously gave the Board a summary about the situation and will continue to keep them informed.

       

 

75.                   B.     REPORTS TO THE BOARD

 

1.     Dreamstarter Grant – Mrs. Lisa McRorie

                   

Superintendent Hall introduced Mrs. Lisa McRorie.

 

Mrs. McRorie reported on and presented pictures of the scavenger hunt she incorporated in her history class from funds she received from a Billy Mills grant.  She indicated the rich history of the area enabled her to highlight 21 different sites for the students to learn about.

 

Mrs. McRorie introduced students Jacob Hamacher, Alex Captain, and Michael Belanger who reported on some of the cool sites they visited and the tasks performed while teambuilding with the other students in their group. 

 

Mrs. McRorie reported the grant allowed her to expand the classroom outside and to get the students excited for the school year.  She displayed one of the tee shirts that were made up for the event with the Malcolm School logo on front and a geography graphic on back.

 

Mrs. McRorie reported the students used geography tools to navigate the hunt and were given some discretion on how to get to the sites.  She thanked Linda Hoath, Lacy Winnerowski, Adam Buchmiller, Carrie Wilson, North of Chicago Pizza, and several others who helped make the event a success. 

 

Mrs. McRorie reported Jacob and Alex’s team took second place, and anniversary pins and coins were used for awards.

 

President Smith thanked them for their report. 

       

2.     Recognition

        a.     Teacher of the Month (Symantha Morley) – Mr. Edward Chevillot

 

Mr. Chevillot introduced Mrs. Symantha Morley as the Teacher of the Month and reported on her many outstanding qualities.  Mrs. Morley was given a Parker Ace Hardware Helpful Teacher tee shirt and a $50 Parker Ace Hardware gift certificate sponsored by Doug LaPrade Agency MEEMIC Insurance and Parker Ace Hardware.

 

3.     Afterschool Program – Mrs. Symantha Morley

 

Mrs. Morley reported the Afterschool Program operates with 4 teachers, 2 paraprofessionals, occasional volunteers, and herself as the supervisor until 5:30 p.m. everyday.  She stated the program provides a safe, consistent, and academic environment for approximately 70 students (34 from Washington and 36 from Lincoln).

 

Mrs. Morley reported the program starts with a snack that either the students bring or the program provides, and then they move on to the reading or homework lab.  She reported the program offers a rotation of STEM activities and community service projects to keep the students engaged.  She highlighted the survival bags and inspirational community rocks as being some of the favorite projects.

 

Upon inquiry from Member Cochran, Mrs. Morley confirmed the program is designed as an academic program, not a camp, and it is not a daycare drop off program.

 

President Smith stated the program sounds helpful and awesome.  He thanked Mrs. Morley for taking the program on and for the presentation.

 

4.     2018-2019 Audit Presentation – Ms. Kari Kortz, Rehmann

                   

Ms. Kortz, CPA and Audit Manager for Rehmann, presented the Board with a hard copy of the Audit Communications for the Financial Statements of the Governmental Activities, the Audit for year ended June 30, 2019, and a visual aid to follow along with the overhead presentation. 

 

Ms. Kortz reported the district received an unmodified opinion that the financial statements are presented fairly in all material respects, in accordance with the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP).  She indicated this is the best opinion districts should strive to receive each year. 

 

Ms. Kortz reviewed the highlights of having approximately $17.8 million in total capital assets (not including all of depreciation), capital asset additions of $1.0, and depreciation expense of $1.1 million on the balance sheet.

 

Ms. Kortz reported the district had approximately $9.6 million in long-term debt at year end, which was down from the previous year.  She indicated the debt was largely comprised of payments for the 2014 general obligation bonds, 2017 school facility and site bonds, the high school purchase agreements, equipment & construction for the HVAC Controls, re-roofing, new fire alarms, and purchasing for two Massey Ferguson tractors.

 

Ms. Kortz noted the unrestricted deficit on the district Statement of Net Position was $33.32 million and is the result of the reporting of the net pension and post liability based on the GASB 68 & 75 Schedules.

 

Ms. Kortz reported on the fund balance of the Governmental Fund Financials.  She reported the total fund balance of $4,588,970 with $20,438 in non-spendable, $275,406 in restricted, $489,052 in assigned, and $3,804,074 in unassigned.  She highlighted the fund balance from the prior year was $827,266, indicating the unassigned fund balance to be 16.3% of the current year’s expenditures.

 

Ms. Kortz indicated an unmodified opinion was given on the financial statements of the governmental activities for the year ended June 30, 2019.  She noted the district was within the 10% to 25% threshold for requiring a single audit, and it expended about $2,323,532 in federal awards.

 

Ms. Kortz presented a General Fund pie graph showing the percent of

13 general fund expenditures: Basic Program Instruction 37.7%, Added Needs Instruction 18.76%, Operations and Maintenance 10.02, School Administration 6.32%, Transportation 5.69%, Pupil Services 5.51%, Supporting Services 4.25%, Instructional Staff Services 4.15%, Community Activities 2.23%, Business Services 1.79%. General Administration 1.52%, Facility Improvements 1.33%, and Debt Service .7%.   She noted those expenditures have stayed consistent from year to year and are comparable to other districts in the state.

 

Ms. Kortz presented the General Fund Revenues compared to General Fund Expenditures over the last 5 years.  She highlighted the increase in revenues over expenditures for the last four years

 

Ms. Kortz presented the comparison of General Fund Revenues and other financing sources to the Final Budget and Actual Budget over the last 5 years.

 

Mrs. Kortz presented the General Fund Expenditures and other financing Uses to the Final Budget and Actual Budget.

 

Mrs. Kortz presented the trend of increase in the General Fund Total Fund Balance compared to Expenditures and Other Financing over the last 5 years.  She indicated the district is in a good spot should something unexpected arise. 

 

Mrs. Kortz presented the General Fund Revenues per Pupil over the last four years as obtained from MDE Bulletin 1014.  She listed the differences among four different types of revenue 1) Local/Interdistrict/Non-educational/Entity 2) State Sources 3) Federal Sources, and 4) All Sources.

 

Mrs. Kortz presented Select General Fund Expenditures per Pupil over the last three years as obtained from the MDE Bulletin 1014.  She compared the expenditures of the state average to the district based on 1) Basic Programs 2) Added Needs 3) Instructional Support 4) Business & Administration, and 5) Operation & Maintenance.  She suggested last year’s Operation & Maintenance may have been slightly higher than the state averages due to the significant flooding at the high school.

 

Mrs. Kortz presented a comparison of the General Fund Operating Expenditures per student to other Northern Michigan Schools as obtained from the MDE Bulletin 1014 for 5 years starting with 2014 and ending 2018.

 

In summary, the unqualified opinion of the financial statements and single audit, show administration is doing a good job with educating the district’s students.

 

Upon inquiry, there were no questions.  Ms. Kortz asked that any future questions be addressed through Mrs. Bennin as she would know how to contact her.

 

President Smith indicated the Finance Committee reviewed the audit and did not have any questions.

 

Ms. Kortz thanked the Board for the business and indicated it was a pleasure working with Mrs. Bennin and the staff.

 

 

           III.        ACTION ITEMS AND BOARD REPORTS

 

76.                   A.        PERSONNEL – Superintendent Hall

 

New Hires

 

Dr. McFarlane presented the recommendation to hire Erin Brady as Special Education Paraprofessional in the Lincoln School Resource Room.  

 

1.     Erin Brady – Special Education Paraprofessional – Lincoln School

 

It was moved by Member Proulx, supported by Member Wilson, that the Board of Education approve the recommendation to hire Erin Brady as part-time Special Education Paraprofessional for Lincoln School.

 

Yeas:  Proulx, Curtis, Wilson, Smith, Wolski, Pingatore, Cochran

Nays:  None

Absent:  None

Motion Carried.

 

Mr. Lockwood presented the recommendation to hire Douglas Harkema as Seventh Grade Boys Basketball Coach.

 

2.     Douglas Harkema – Grade 7 Boys Basketball Coach – Sault Middle

        School

 

It was moved by Member Wolski, supported by Member Proulx, that the Board of Education approve the recommendation to hire Douglas Harkema as Grade 7 Boys Basketball Coach for Sault Middle School.

 

Yeas:  Proulx, Curtis, Wilson, Smith, Wolski, Pingatore, Cochran

Nays:  None

Absent:  None

Motion Carried.

 

Mr. Lockwood reported on the recommendation to hire Matthew Romatz as Freshmen Boys Basketball Coach. 

 

3.     Matthew Romatz – Freshmen Boys Basketball Coach – Sault High

        School

 

It was moved by Member Cochran, supported by Member Curtis, that the Board of Education approve the recommendation to hire Matthew Romatz as Freshmen Boys Basketball Coach for Sault High School.

 

Yeas:  Proulx, Curtis, Wilson, Smith, Wolski, Pingatore, Cochran

Nays:  None

Absent:  None

Motion Carried.

 

Mr. Lockwood presented the recommendation to hire Jason Wojnaroski as Eighth Grade Girls Basketball Coach.

 

4.     Jason Wojnaroski – Grade 8 Girls Basketball Coach – Sault Middle

        School

 

It was moved by Member Proulx, supported by Member Wilson, that the Board of Education approve the recommendation to hire Jason Wojnaroski as Grade 8 Girls Basketball Coach for Sault Middle School.

 

Yeas:  Proulx, Curtis, Wilson, Smith, Wolski, Pingatore, Cochran

Nays:  None

Absent:  None

Motion Carried.

 

77.                   B.        SUMMER TAX COLLECTION – Mrs. Michelle Bennin

 

Mrs. Bennin reported the Summer Tax Collection has been a routine fall presentation with a request to collect 50 percent of the taxes in the winter and the other 50 percent in the summer to allow for an easier cash flow for the district.

 

It was moved by Member Wolski, supported by Member Wilson, that the Board of Education approve the resolution and agreement to impose the summer property tax levy for 2020.

 

Yeas:  Proulx, Curtis, Wilson, Smith, Wolski, Pingatore, Cochran

Nays:  None

Absent:  None

Motion Carried.

 

78.                   C.        2018-2019 AUDIT APPROVAL – Mrs. Michelle Bennin

 

It was moved by Member Cochran, supported by Member Wolski, that the Board of Education accept the 2018-2019 audit as presented by Rhemann.

 

Yeas:  Proulx, Curtis, Wilson, Smith, Wolski, Pingatore, Cochran

Nays:  None

Absent:  None

Motion Carried.

 

79.                   D.        SALE OF VACANT LOTS – Superintendent Tim Hall

 

Superintendent Hall reported the Board, Facilities & Grounds Committee and the Finance Committee had been kept abreast of the Sault Tribe’s interest in purchasing some of the district’s unused lots that are located east and south of the A.J. VanCitters Athletic Field and most of them landlocked.  He noted there had been multiple Facility & Grounds and Finance Committee meetings that where this has been discussed and the district and tribe have now come to an agreement on a price for the lots.

 

Upon inquiry from President Smith, Dr. Hall indicated the district attorney would review the sales agreement so they would not have to go through a realtor.

 

It was moved by Member Curtis, supported by Member Wolski, that the Board of Education approve the sale of vacant lots to the Sault Tribe as presented, and authorize the Superintendent to sign the necessary documents.

 

Yeas:  Proulx, Curtis, Wilson, Smith, Wolski, Pingatore, Cochran

Nays:  None

Absent:  None

Motion Carried.

 

80.                   E.        PARENT ADVISORY COMMITTEE (PAC) – Dr. Sheri McFarlane

 

It was moved by Member Pingatore, supported by Member Cochran, that the Board of Education approve the recommendation to appoint Kelli Fenlon to serve as Representative on the EUPISD Special Education Parent Advisory Committee (PAC). 

 

Yeas:  Proulx, Curtis, Wilson, Smith, Wolski, Pingatore, Cochran

Nays:  None

Absent:  None

Motion Carried.

 

81.                   F.        OVERNIGHT TRAVEL REQUEST – Mrs. Heather Suggitt and Mrs. Kellie Greener

 

Mrs. Lussier presented the request for Mrs. Suggitt and Mrs. Greener to take approximately 60 students during the second week in January to the regional BPA Conference.  She indicated their desire to bring another request for the group to compete at States and then Nationals.

 

It was moved by Member Wolski, supported by Member Wilson, that the Board of Education approve the overnight travel for students to participate in the BPA Regional Conference in Escanaba as presented.

 

Yeas:  Proulx, Curtis, Wilson, Smith, Wolski, Pingatore, Cochran

Nays:  None

Absent:  None

Motion Carried.

 

 

82.       IV.       ADMINISTRATION REPORTS

 

A.        Superintendent Report

 

Dr. Hall reported on the Parent Teacher Conference participation percentages by school for last week.  He noted the gradual decrease in participation for the higher grades.

 

 

83.       V.        BOARD GOVERNANCE AND BOARD POLICY ISSUES

 

President Smith thanked all of veterans in the audience for their service.

 

President Smith congratulated the football team for earning their way into playoffs, and expressed desire that they keep moving forward next year. 

 

President Smith indicated he had received comments on how nice the Sault High Veterans Day Assembly was again this year.

 

Member Cochran wished everyone a happy and safe Thanksgiving.

 

Member Proulx reported the Lincoln School Veterans Assembly and songs and Wall of Veteran Family Pictures was very nice.  President Smith responded that it is good to know the younger generation is aware of what Veterans Day and our freedom is all about.

 

84.       VI.       FUTURE PLANNING

 

Dr. Hall reviewed the following events and invited the Board to the Malcolm School Thanksgiving Celebration.

 

November 27 - Malcolm Thanksgiving Celebration - 9:30 a.m.

December 3 - Middle School Band & Performing Arts - Middle School Gym – 6:00 p.m.

December 4 – National Honor Society Induction – Strahl Theater – 7:00 p.m.

December 5 - High School Choir & Band Concert - First United Presbyterian Church - 7:00 p.m.

December 9 - Regular Board Meeting - Middle School Media Center - 7:00 p.m.

December 10 – Kindergarten and 1st Grade Christmas Program – Sault High Gym – 7:00 p.m.

December 11 – 2nd, 3rd, 4th Grade Christmas Program – Sault High Gym – 7:00 p.m.

December 12, 13, 14 – Christmas Express Play – Strahl Theater – 7:00 p.m.

December 15 – Christmas Express Play – Strahl Theater – 2:00 p.m.

January 13 - Regular Board Meeting - Middle School Media Center - 7:00 p.m.

 

 

85.       VII.     ADJOURNMENT

 

There being no further business to come before the Board at 7:58 p.m., it was moved by Member Cochran, supported by Member Wilson, that the meeting be adjourned.

 

Yeas:  Proulx, Curtis, Wilson, Smith, Wolski, Pingatore, Cochran

Nays:  None

Absent:  None

Motion Carried.

 

________________________________

                                    Daniel L. Smith, President
 

________________________________

                                                        Melissa S. Pingatore, Board Secretary

 

            ________________________________

                                                                                   Judy L. Sirk, Recording Secretary