December 9, 2019 Minutes

SAULT STE. MARIE AREA PUBLIC SCHOOLS

SAULT STE. MARIE, MICHIGAN 49783

REGULAR MEETING, BOARD OF EDUCATION

Phone 906/635-6609

 

Minutes – Monday, December 9, 2019

 

86.       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:  Melissa S. Pingatore, Joseph A. Cochran, Daniel L. Smith, Martin R. Wolski, Jay D. Wilson

Board Members Absent:  Christine M. Curtis, Esther L. Proulx

 

87.     B.     ADOPTION OF THE AGENDA

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

Yeas:  Pingatore, Cochran, Smith, Wolski, Wilson

Nays:  None

Absent:  Curtis, Proulx

Motion Carried.

 

88.     C.     APPROVAL OF MINUTES

Regular Meeting - November 11, 2019

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

Yeas:  Pingatore, Cochran, Smith, Wolski, Wilson

Nays:  None 

Abstain:  None 

Absent:  Curtis, Proulx

Motion Carried. 

 

89.     D.     BUSINESS REPORT AND APPROVAL OF BILLS - Mrs. Michelle Bennin

 

Mrs. Bennin sought approval for the November General Fund and Food Service Bill Lists.

 

Mrs. Bennin reported the November state aid and cash flow was higher than projected due to the inclusion of the MPSERS cost offset and MPSERS UAAL rate stabilization.

 

Mrs. Bennin reported the first semester CTE tuition payments were being receipted in, federal drawdowns will be made later in the month, and the percent of budgeted year-to-date expenditures are lower than the percentage for the 14 month fiscal year.

 

Mrs. Bennin noted the need to have enough cash flow on hand at the start of the month to cover expenses as a large part of revenue is not received until the end of the month.

 

President Smith indicated the Finance Committee reviewed the report and there were no questions.

 

It was moved by Member Cochran, supported by Member Wolski, that the Board of Education approve  the General Fund Bill List in the amount of $2,094,813.57 for November including $105.50 for the Food Service Bill List.

 

Yeas:  Pingatore, Cochran, Smith, Wolski, Wilson

Nays:  None

Absent:  Curtis, Proulx

Motion Carried.

 

II.     PUBLIC COMMUNICATION AND CORRESPONDENCE

 

90.     A.     AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION 

On behalf of Superior Health Support Systems, Michele Callaghan and Sabrinia Neveau asked to speak on how adverse childhood experiences and trauma impact students/people.  Superintendent Hall asked that they contact his office prior to the next meeting if they wanted to be placed on the agenda.

 

91.     B.     REPORTS TO THE BOARD

1.      Middle School Robotics Team - Ms. Marcia Sgriccia

Co-coaches Ms. Sgriccia and Mrs. Hockersmith reported on the Middle School Robotics Team.

Ms. Sgriccia reported the FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) robotics team uses STEM skills by using engineering principals, hard work and innovation to build a robot and compete in an alliance format.

Ms. Sgriccia introduced four members of the FTC Middle School Deviators Robotics Team and indicated the team placed 3 out of 11 teams at their rookie competition in Petoskey and 12 out of 30 teams in Pellston. 

The Middle School robotics team demonstrated how their robot works and indicated it is designed to opoerate on tile floor as opposed to carpet like that at the high school level. 

Ms. Sgriccia reported the St. Mary's School's robotics team is in its second year, and they have earned a spot to compete at states this year. 

Ms. Sgriccia thanked Greg Rambo and the high school for helping the team build its nameplate and for the use of a room and tools to assemble their robot. 

Ms. Sgriccia reported funding is coming in late to cover this year's expenses, but it will allow for some start-up money next year. 

Upon inquiry from President Smith, Mrs. Hockersmith reported there were only 6 students on the team, but they wanted to keep the group small for the first year while everyone is learning during their first year. 

Upon inquiry from President Smith, team members reported they wanted to be on the team because of their exposure to the Lego league in elementary and their desire to build a robot and be involved.  They all agreed the competition was stressful but they enjoy it. 

Discussion ensued about the possibility of offering a fourth grade Legos robotics team.

2.     Recognition

a.     Teacher of the Month (Wendy Gilliard) - Ms. Jessica Rondeau 

Ms. Rondeau introduced Ms. Gilliard as the helpful Teacher of the Month.  She reported Ms. Gilliard is a valuable teacher who is positively involved in staff meetings and always willing to help out wherever needed.  She reported on several students activities she volunteers in. 

b.     Employee of the Month (Patrick Killips) - Mr. Gary Herschell 

Mr. Herschell introduced Mr. Killips as the helpful Employee of the Month.  He reported Mr. Killips does a phenomenal job with the large footprint he has to cover. He noted Mr. Killips takes pride in his work and is a positive employee. 

On behalf of the Board, President Smith thanked Ms. Gilliard and Mr. Killips for their outstanding service to the district.

3.     Innovator Educator Corps - Mrs. Rebecca Arbic 

Dr. Hall introudced Ms. Arbic and noted she was selected by MDE to join the Innovative Educators Corps for her instruction of Geometry in Construction Program at the high school. 

Mrs. Arbic reported six years ago Gary Herschell and she brought geometry into the context of building in the construction trades class.  She noted the district was one of two in the Upper Peninsula to propose the idea.  She indicated the recognition afforded a $5,000 member stipend plus an additional $5,000 to be used in partnership with their ISD to expand, replicate, and share their innovative practices with other Michigan educators. 

Mrs. Arbic stated she loves to teach Geometry in Construction as it helps give students different angles and tools to understand hard problems.  She indicated some trigonometry is incorporated into the program.  She displayed a graph showing increased student test scores over the past 5 years. 

Mrs. Arbic reported she is using the $5,000 grant to teach Algebra Manufacturing & Design and to buy a CNC router, engraver, and t-shirt press so students can produce and marekt shirts to learn marketing concepts like profit margin, etc.

4.     Academic Update - Mrs. Diane Chevillot

Mrs. Chevillot reported on the key components of the Washington School Building Plan. 

Mrs. Chevillot reported the school's focus is to use data to effectively guide instruction and ensure all students have the literacy skills to be competitive throughout their school career and into civic life. 

Mrs. Chevillot  reported the school uses a variety of strategies to promote early literacy skills.  She indicated Reading Recovery teachers frequently participate in training to provide optimal one on one instruction to students who score in the bottom 20 percent, classroom teacher collaborate in PLCs and work with literacy coaches to improve guided reading instruction, and trained paraprofessionals support student reading skills. 

Mrs. Chevillot reported teacher instruction supports students to be effective citizens and increases two-way communication for improving MAP growth.  She noted technology is also integrated and is a good source of differentiated instruction. 

Mrs. Chevillot stated the school promotes an environment for everyone to be safe, respectful, and responsible.  She reported the staff uses positive behavior supports to teach expectations and provided a reward system when appropriate behavior is used.  She noted Mr. Craven does an outstanding job in recognizing students who make good choices in gym class, assemblies, and around the school. 

Mrs. Chevillot reported the school extensively communicates the key components of literacy and a healthy school environment through staff meetings, the classroom, and in office newsletters, at monthly assemblies, in announcements, in student assistance team meetings, in individual reaidng improvement plan meetings, and literacy activities shared and highlighted on social media. 

Mrs. Chevillot reported site words and specific vocabulary words are regularly sent to student homes to help parents encourage and support student learning. 

Mrs. Chevillot reported the grade level NWEA assessments are used to understand the student's understanding of site words, reading, meaning clarification, and to identify various text features.  She noted by having students take these computerized adaptive tests, it gives teachers a better understanding of the individual strengths and weakness and how to adapt teacher instruction for improvement. 

Mrs. Chevillot reported the NEWA assessments for Kindergarten tests foundational skills of letter sounds, initial sound fluency, letter knowledge, listening, comprehension and vocabulary.  The first grade assessment tests language and writing skills, usage of writing strategies, and writing applications of mechanics and grammar. 

Upon inquiry from President Smith, Mrs. Chevillot confirmed the grade level building configuraiton is more beneficial when specific concentration is needed for improvement, and staff can relate and work together on its implementation. 

5.     Instructional Technology Needs - Mr. Eric Galer  

Mr. Galer reported the district continues to provide an excellent source of instruction with technology as the result of the voters passing the Safe·Secure·Connected bond millage about five and a half years ago. 

Mr. Galer reported part of the bond millage money was used to purchase Dell chrome books for every elementary classroom and secondary core subject area, laptop platforms, and charging and storage carts. 

Mr. Galer reported the Dell chrome books purchased between July and September 2015 will be nearing the end of their usage life in 2021.  He noted the platforms, operating systems, and software updates need to be evaluated to determine how long they will be supported, especially as they relate to MSTEP testing and other forms of instruction. 

Mr. Galer presented a phase one replacement proposal to purchase 600 new devices out of the June 2019-20 and July 2020-21 technology budgets, and the second phase would be to finance the remaining 1,580 devices over 5 years with the first payment due in July 2022. 

Upon inquiry from Member Wilson, Mr. Galer recommended purchasing Dell chrome books at an estimated cost of $225 per unit as opposed to HP models at an estimated $205 per unit because of durability and cost of replacement parts.  

 

III.     ACTION ITEMS AND BOARD REPORTS  

92.     A.     PERSONNEL - Superintendent Hall 

New Hires

Mr. Gary Herschell introduced Ronald MacDowell and reported on the committee's recommendation for hire. 

1.     Ronald MacDowell - Maintenance - Sault Area Public Schools. 

It was moved by Member Wolski, supported by Member Wilson, that the Board of Education approve the hiring of Ronald MacDowell for the full-time roving Maintenance position for Sault Area Public Schools.

Yeas:  Pingatore, Cochran, Smith, Wolski, Wilson

Nays:  None 

Absent:  Curtis, Proulx 

Motion Carried.

2.     James Shutt - Manufacturing/Math CTE Specialist - Sault Area Career Center

It was moved by Member Cochran, supported by Member Wilson, that the Board of Education approve the hiring of James Shutt as full-time manufacturing/Math CTE Specialist for Sault Area Career Center.

Yeas:  Pingatore, Cochran, Smith, Wolski, Wilson

Nays:  None  Absent:  Curtis, Proulx

Motion Carried. 

Mr. Lockwood introduced Heather Hemming and reported on the committee's recommendation for hire.

3.  Heather Hemming - Freshmen Girls Basketball Coach - Sault Area High School

It was moved by Member Cochran, supported by Member Wolski, that the Board of Educatin approve the hiring of Heather Hemming as Freshmen Girls Basketball Coach for Sault Area High School. 

Yeas:  Pingatore, Cochran, Smith, Wolski, Wilson 

Nays:  None 

Absent:  Curtis, Proulx 

Motion Carried. 

93.      B.     EMERGENCY OPERAITONS PLAN - Superintendent Hall 

Dr. Hall reported the state requires the Board to officially adopt an Emergency Operations Plan in conjunction with the Emergency Management Coordinator and police and fire departments, but the specifics cannot be discussed in open session.  He indicated all of the parties were in agreement with the plan and he will keep them informed of any updates or revisions. 

It was moved by Member Wilson, supported by Member Cochran, that the Board of Education approve the Emergency Operations Plan as presented. 

Yeas:  Pingatore, Cochran, Smith, Wolski, Wilson 

Nays:  None 

Absent:  Curtis, Proulx 

Motion Carried. 

94.     C.     2019-2020 BUDGET AMENDMENT - Mrs. Michelle Bennin 

Mrs. Bennin presented a general fund and resolution packet for the first 2019-20 budget amendement. 

Mrs. Bennin reported the first amendment is typically more accurate than the original budget as by this time it accounts for most all of the employees and changes to the fund balance based on audit appropriations and actual revenues received. 

Mrs. Bennin highlighted changes to the food services budget due to current state aid meals, and the fiduciary fund budget due to changes in agency and scholarship revenues. 

Mrs. Bennin noted local and state revenues increased due to changes in tax values, and the foundational allowance, student count, and employee differential and supporting services were amended to more accurately reflect actual dollars. 

Mrs. Bennin reported she anticipated the final cost for the high school project and final insurance payment this year. 

President Smith received confirmation from Mrs. Bennin that the district typically receives two amendments per year. 

It was moved by Member Wolski, supported by Member Wilson, that the Board of Education approve the 2019-2020 budget amendment as presented.

Yeas:  Pingatore, Cochran, Smith, Wolski, Wilson 

Nays:  None 

Absent:  Curtis, Proulx 

Motion Carried. 

95.     D.     COOPERATIVE BOYS AND GIRLS SOCCER AGREEMENTS - Mr. Steve Lockwood

Mr. Lockwood sought approval of a two-year Boys and Girls Soccer Agreement with Rudyard and Brimley Schools starting with the 2020-21 school year. 

Upon inquiry from Member Cochran, Mr. Lockwood indicated the team's home would be at Sault High. 

Upon inquiry from President Smith, Mr. Lockwood indicated the student participation fee would remain the same. 

Superintendent Hall reported the district is not expecting to see a lot of students come in for soccer, but it provides a good option for those who may want to. 

Upon inquiry from Member Cochran, Mr. Lockwood indicated he does not anticipate having to cut players and looks forward to offeirng more competition with additional players. 

Upon inquiry from Member Wilson, Mr. Lockwood indicated all players are required to follow the same academic requirements in order to participate, and each school is responsible for monitoring and reporting their students.  He futher indicated he has not been aware of any cooperative student who was in danger of losing his or her ability to play because of academics. 

It was moved by Member Cochran, supported by Member Pingatore, that the Board of Education approve the Boys Cooperative Soccer Agreement and Girls Cooperative Soccer Agreement with Rudyard High School and Pickford High School beginning with the 2020 school year as presented. 

Yeas:  Pingatore, Cochran, Smith, Wolski, Wilson 

Nays:  None 

Absent:  Curtis, Proulx 

Motion Carried. 

96.     E.     OVERNIGHT TRAVEL REQUEST - Mr. Tim Strader and Mr. Larry Warner 

Mrs. Lussier indicated the overnight travel request is for students in the Automotive Technology and Drafting Classes to tour Ferris State University, Henry Ford Museum, and attend the Autorama at the Cobo Center.

It was moved by Member Wolski, supported by Member Cochran, that the Board of Education approve the overnight travel request to Big Rapids and Detroit for first and second year students in the Automotive and Drafting Programs to explore industry careers. 

Yeas:  Pingatore, Cochran, Smith, Wolski, Wilson 

Nays:  None 

Absent:  Curtis, Proulx 

Motion Carried. 

97.     F.     OVERNIGHT TRAVEL REQUEST - Mrs. Marcia Sgriccia

Ms. Sgriccia sought approval for the Robotics Team overnight travel request and indicated 9 of the 14 members were in attenance.  She further explained the anticipated need for a follow-up travel request.

It was moved by Member Cochran, supported by Member Wilson, that the Board of Education approve the overnight travel request for the high school robotics team to participate in the Traverse City FIRST Robotics District Competition.

Yeas:  Pingatore, Cochran, Smith, Wolski, Wilson 

Nays:  None 

Absent:  Curtis, Proulx 

Motion Carried. 

98.     G.     OVERNIGHT TRAVEL REQUEST - Ms. Megan Burkitt

Mrs. Jeanine Sherman presented the overnight travel request, reviewed the number of students and adults in the itinerary, and indicated the students would be absent from school for 4 days.

Upon inquiry from Member Cochran, Mrs. Sherman indicated the group would most likely catch a soccer game in Spain if their schedule allowed.

It was moved by Member Wilson, supported by Member Wolski, that the Board of Education approve the overnight travel to France and Spain for high school students who have completed French II, Spanish II, or are in their second year of Art as presented.

Yeas:  Pingatore, Cochran, Smith, Wolski, Wilson

Nays:  None

Absent:  Curtis, Proulx

Motion Carried.

 

99.     H.     POLICIES - Superintendent Hall

Dr. Hall presented the following policies and asked the Board to contact him prior to seeking action at the January meeting if they had any comments or questions.

These policies were presented for theier first reading.  No action was taken.

Vol. 34 No. 1

Policy 1420      School Administrator Evaluation

Policy 3210      Staff Ethics

Policy 3220      Professional Staff Evaluation

Policy 5230      Late Arrival and Early Dismissal

Policy 5330.02 Opioid Antagonists

Policy 6800      System of Accounting

Policy 7300      Disposition of Real Property

Policy 7440.03 Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems

Policy 8400      School Safety Information

Policy 8462      Student Abuse and Neglect

 

100.     I.    GIFTS AND DONATIONS

Dr. Hall reported on the following.

1.     International Antique Auto Club Incorporated and Twin Sault Cruisers donated $250 to the Sault Area Career Center Automotive Technology Program, and $250 to the Students in Transition Program.

2.     Soo Motors donated $1,640 of matching funds from the Ford Drive 4 UR School Program to the Middle School PTO.

3.     Cooper Dental staff and patients donated $900 to the Middle School Kidz Klosit to support food, clothing, and hygiene needs for students.

4.     Walmart donated $150 to the Middle School Kidz Klosit to support food, clothing, and hygiene needs for students.

It was moved by Member Wilson, supported by Member Wolski, that the Board of Education accept the above donations with thanks and appreciation.

Yeas:  Pingatore, Cochran, Smith, Wolski, Wilson

Nays:  None

Absent:  Curtis, Proulx

Motion Carried.

 

101.     IV.     ADMINISTRATION REPORTS

A.     SUPERINTENDENT REPORT

There was none.

 

102.     V.     BOARD GOVERNANCE AND BOARD POLICY ISSUES

Member Cochran wished everyone a Merry Christmas.

Upon inquiry from President Smith, Dr. Hall indicated he has not had any inquires from the community about meal debt, but he would provide an update at next month's meeting.

President Smith reported he attended the annual Malcolm Thanksgiving Dinner and met Cara Lougheed - Teacher of the Year.  He noted Cara plans to return to the area to collaborate with teachers and bring positive ideas back to the state for improvement.

 

103.     VI.     FUTURE PLANNING

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.

 

104.     VII.     ADJOURNMENT

There being no further business to come before the Board at 8:23 p.m., it was moved by Member Cochran, supported by Member Wilson, that the meeting be adjourned.

Yeas:  Pingatore, Cochran, Smith, Wolski, Wilson

Nays:  None

Absent:  Curtis, Proulx

Motion Carried.