June 8, 2020 Minutes
SAULT STE. MARIE AREA PUBLIC SCHOOLS
SAULT STE. MARIE, MICHIGAN 49783
SPECIAL MEETING, BOARD OF EDUCATION
Minutes – Monday, June 8, 2020
191. I. CALL TO ORDER
President Smith called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. via electronic meeting https://eupschools.zoom.us/j/91437388589 Meeting ID: 914 3738 8589
A. ROLL CALL OF BOARD
Board Members Present: Daniel L. Smith, Jay D. Wilson, Melissa S. Pingatore, Martin R. Wolski, Joseph A. Cochran
Board Members Absent: Christine M. Curtis, Esther L. Proulx
Member Curtis arrived at 7:05 p.m.
- B. ADOPTION OF THE AGENDA
It was moved by Member Wilson, supported by Member Wolski, that the Board of Education adopt the agenda as presented.
Yeas: Smith, Curtis, Wilson, Pingatore, Wolski, Cochran
- C. APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Special Meeting – May 18, 2020
Closed Meeting – May 18, 2020
It was moved by Member Wilson, supported by Member Wolski, that the Board of Education approve the minutes listed above.
Yeas: Curtis, Pingatore, Wilson, Wolski, Smith
- D. BUSINESS REPORT AND APPROVAL OF BILLS – Mrs. Michelle Bennin
Mrs. Bennin sought approval for the minimal, May General Fund and Food Service Bill Lists.
Mrs. Bennin reported revenue was higher this month due to receipts from local sources for the final tax payment, collection of biannual and annual reimbursements from the ISD, and second semester payments from the Sault Tribe.
Mrs. Bennin reported several budgeted expenditures remain similar to last year’s percentages and are slightly under the expected percentages for the fiscal year completed on a 14-month basis.
Mrs. Bennin reported the overall budget amounts are on track and the ending cash and fund equity balance is higher than that of the past four years at this time. She highlighted the district is heading into an unknown and unusual year.
President Smith stated the report was reviewed in depth at the last Finance meeting.
Upon inquiry from President Smith, there were no questions.
It was moved by Member Wilson, supported by Member Curtis, that the Board of Education approve the General Fund Bill List in the amount of $1,852,911.63 for May including $9.00 for Food Services.
Yeas: Cochran, Pingatore, Wolski, Smith, Wilson, Curtis
II. PUBLIC COMMUNICATION AND CORRESPONDENCE
- A. AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION
Mrs. Lisa Young requested the Board accept public comment at the end of the meeting or in addition to the beginning of the meeting, so the public could participate and comment on all of the agenda items in a timely manner. She noted the Board chose to retain its current format after she had previously sought the same request a while ago.
President Smith acknowledged Mrs. Young’s request and noted the Board would take her suggestion into consideration.
- B. REPORTS TO THE BOARD
Superintendent Hall introduced Mr. Lockwood for a report on the re-opening school sports.
- MHSAA Guidance for Opening School Sports – Mr. Steve Lockwood
Mr. Lockwood reported there cannot be any organized onsite athletic activity until after the June 12 “Safer-at-Home” order is lifted and the 2019-20 school year has ended, but a May 29 Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) update provided a timeline on how and when activities and facilities can plan to reopen for future activity.
Mr. Lockwood reported MHSAA guidance for re-opening is based on direction provided by MHSAA, the National Federation of High School Association’s (NFHSA) Sports Medicine Advisory Committee, state and federal government reopening plans, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDD), and the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee.
Mr. Lockwood reported the MHSAA/NFHS plan recommends a three-step process to returning to full athletic participation, and each step outlines actions to be taken in following five major areas.
- Pre-workout/contest screening of athletes and coaches for sickness
- Limitations on the number of participants who may be involved in a gathering
- Proper cleaning of facilities
- Proper cleaning of equipment used during activity
- Best practices for keeping participants safely hydrated
Upon inquiry from President Smith, Mr. Lockwood reported he has been in contact with other Athletic Directors around the state through Zoom meetings, and they have discussed how they plan to move forward with opening.
Mr. Lockwood reported the plan also places sports into categories based on risk for transmitting the virus from low to moderate, and high, with adjusted return to activity steps based on that level of risk. He noted Step 1 begins with a limit of 10 people outside, and schools may move to the next steps as defined in the plan based on appropriateness.
Mr. Lockwood reported MHSAA suggests fall sports to start conditioning/practices outdoors after June 12 providing everyone passes the specific sport’s guidelines for prescreening and logging of temperatures (100.3˚F being the cut off), maintains social distancing adherence of 6 feet, and the coaches ensure shared equipment is disinfected/wiped down.
Member Proulx arrived at 7:15 p.m.
Mr. Lockwood reported if fall sports are allowed, social distancing on buses would have to be adhered to and it will have to be limited to players and coaches first.
Mr. Lockwood confirmed indoor facilities would be open in Step 1, and they will not reopen until all is cleared per MHSAA guidelines.
Per inquiry from the Board, Mr. Lockwood indicated a student who had a temperature of 100.3, would be sent home and his/her parent(s) contacted. He confirmed thermometers and sanitizing equipment/products would be kept in the athletic office for the coaches to use.
Upon inquiry from Member Curtis, Mr. Lockwood stated football conditioning/practice will be able to start outside with strict adherence to the number of participants, cleaning and hydration rules as outlined for that specific sport. He further confirmed MHSAA has communicated that change is constant, and they will continue to communicate with the Athletic Directors as things develop.
Upon inquiry by President Smith, there were no questions.
- Maintenance Update – Mr. Tom Nelson
Mr. Nelson reported work is being done on the electrical panels for the strobe lights, lightbulbs are being switched out with more efficient LED bulbs at the high school and middle school, and much needed work is being done at the fieldhouse. He further noted that general maintenance, painting, and mowing will be done at the athletic field over the summer.
Upon inquiry from President Smith, Mr. Nelson indicated he sought estimates for work at the fieldhouse, and Great Lakes Roofing will be repairing on the roof.
- Virtual Blue – Mrs. Amy Scott-Kronemeyer
Mrs. Scott-Kronemeyer reported on the professional development she has been working on for all teachers who may want to increase their understanding of online teaching for the move to all or blended online teaching in the fall if necessary.
Mrs. Scott-Kronemeyer reported the district’s virtual teacher training called “Virtual Blue” is one of the best in the country and is offered by the University of California Irvine for free due to the district’s free and reduced lunch rate.
Mrs. Scott-Kronemeyer reported on Virtual Blue’s five-part modules.
Module 1: Foundations of Virtual Instruction and the ethical and legal issues to consider.
Module 2: Emerging Trends and Technologies in the Virtual K-12 Classroom to help instructors learn how to design individualized student instruction for learning at a faster rate.
Module 3: Advanced Instructional Strategies in the Virtual Classroom for the greatest impact on student learning.
Module 4: Performance Assessment in the Virtual Classroom to ensure student performance through management system features.
Module 5: Virtual Teacher Final Project for a comprehensive online or blended instruction plan that utilizes the materials learned to help multiple students working on multiple individualized techniques to mobilize students to help them feel engaged and working on their goals.
Mrs. Scott-Kronemeyer reported the course certificate requires a grade of 80 percent or more and is comprised of peer assessment, four quizzes, and a final quiz.
Mrs. Scott-Kronemeyer reported over 25 percent of district teachers have enrolled in the course and their stipend is being covered by the Coronavirus Cares Act.
Upon inquiry from President Smith, Mrs. Scott-Kronemeyer reported teachers from all general and specialties have enrolled in the course.
Upon inquiry from Member Wilson, Mrs. Scott-Kronemeyer indicated there cannot be one standardized online program to deliver instruction because of the variable subject curricula, materials, and mode of effectiveness the teachers need to work with.
Member Wilson expressed concern for the multiple online platforms students have to understand.
Mrs. Scott-Kronemeyer indicated the abrupt and extended school closure did not provide teachers with enough time to review their online teaching methods with their students, and they worked hard with the resources they had.
III. ACTION ITEMS AND BOARD REPORTS
- A. LETTER OF AGREEMENT – Superintendent Hall
Superintendent Hall reported he worked with the Sault Education Association (SEA) leadership on the Letter of Agreement language prior to obtaining approval. He indicated the agreement basically removes the Intervention Specialists from the SEA collective bargaining unit and into the Non-Union Support Group. He stated the move is more appropriate because the job does not provide direct instruction to students.
Upon inquiry by President Smith, there were no questions.
It was moved by Member Wilson, supported by Member Curtis, that the Board of Education approve the amendment between the Sault Education Association and the District as presented.
Yeas: Wilson, Curtis, Wolski, Pingatore, Cochran, Proulx, Smith
- B. STAFF REDUCTION – Superintendent Hall
Superintendent Hall reported staff reduction is necessary due to class size and it is in no reflection on the teacher(s). He noted the proposed position was filled by a true professional, and upon receiving layoff notice, she expressed eagerness to move on with finding another position.
It was moved by Member Wilson, supported by Member Proulx, that the Board of Education approve the reduction of status as presented.
Yeas: Wolski, Pingatore, Curtis, Smith, Cochran, Wilson, Proulx
- C. COURSE OFFERINGS – Mrs. Amy Scott-Kronemeyer
Mrs. Scott-Kronemeyer presented the 2021 Sault Middle, Sault High, and Malcolm High Course Offerings as required by the Pupil Accounting Guidelines.
Upon inquiry by President Smith, there were no questions.
It was moved by Member Wilson, support by Member Wolski, that the Board of Education approve the list of course offerings for Sault Middle, Sault High, and Malcolm High Schools.
Yeas: Curtis, Proulx, Pingatore, Cochran, Smith, Wilson, Wolski
- D. MICHIGAN HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION – Superintendent Hall
Superintendent Hall indicated the MHSAA membership resolution is voluntary, but allows students to participate in MHSAA tournaments within its parameters.
It was moved by Member Wilson, supported by Member Pingatore, that the Board of Education approve the resolution for membership in the Michigan High School Athletic Association for Sault Area High School and Sault Area Middle School for August 1, 2020 through July 31, 2021.
Yeas: Curtis, Wolski, Cochran, Proulx, Smith, Wilson, Pingatore
- E. MICHIGAN ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOL BOARDS MEMBERSHIP – Superintendent Hall
Superintendent Hall reported the annual MASB membership rate is based on district enrollment. He noted the fee has been relatively consistent for some time, and one of its biggest assets is access to legal matters. He stated the membership is very helpful and the money is well spent.
It was moved by Member Wilson, supported by Member Proulx, that the Board of Education approve the Michigan Association of School Boards membership and legal trust fund fees for 2020-2021 in the amount of $4,526.
Yeas: Cochran, Pingatore, Smith, Wolski, Curtis, Wilson, Proulx
- F. 2020 TAX RATE REQUEST (Form L-4029) – Mrs. Michelle Bennin
Mrs. Bennin reported on the annual tax rate request and noted it was prepared with PFM financial to ensure the district does not go over or under its debt collection.
Upon inquiry by President Smith, there were no questions.
It was moved by Member Wilson, supported by Member Wolski, that the Board of Education approve the 2020 Tax Rate Request (Form L-4029) of 18 mills on non-homestead property for school operations, and 2.48 mills on all property for school debt.
Yeas: Cochran, Pingatore, Proulx, Curtis, Smith, Wilson, Wolski
- G. CHROMEBOOK REPLACEMENT – Mrs. Michelle Bennin
Mrs. Bennin referenced the report to the Board Mr. Galer presented on technology needs back in December. She sought approval for the total purchase of 600 units over the next two years.
It was moved by Member Wolski, supported by Member Wilson, that the Board of Education approve the purchase of 600 units for a total price of $128,400 and utilize $64,200 out of the 2020 technology budget and the remaining $64,200 out of the 2021 technology budget as presented.
Yeas: Cochran, Pingatore, Proulx, Curtis, Smith, Wolski, Wilson
- H. 2020 BUDGET AMENDMENT – Mrs. Michelle Bennin
Mrs. Bennin reviewed the proposed, second 2020 General Fund Budget Amendment for revenue, expenditures, building activity, revenue from political/state/federal sources, staff salary and benefits, supporting services, instructional support, special education Impact Aid, transportation, technology equipment, USF funds, curriculum, instruction, operations/maintenance, and athletics by function and detail.
Upon inquiry from Member Cochran, Mrs. Bennin confirmed the best estimate being discussed among the professional groups administration has been involved with is a per pupil funding reduction of $650.
Superintendent Hall reported the proposed 2021 budget would account for the estimated per pupil reduction, and an amendment would be brought to the Board early in the year should another funding level dictate.
It was discussed that the estimated per pupil funding deficit of $650 was the largest reduction in a long time, and since state funding is received through August, the state could impose a proration at any time after the 2021 budget is approved. Superintendent Hall confirmed the district is budgeting conservatively and will adjust as appropriate.
It was moved by Member Wilson, supported by Member Curtis, that the Board of Education approve the second 2020 Budget Amendment to the general fund budget as presented.
Yeas: Cochran, Pingatore, Proulx, Wolski, Smith, Wilson, Curtis
- I. SET BOARD ORGANIZATIONAL MEETING FOR JULY
President Smith indicated his desire to hold the board meetings consistently in the Middle School library starting with the July organizational meeting.
President Smith called the July organization meeting for July 13, 2020.
- J. GIFTS AND DONATIONS
Superintendent Hall presented the following donation.
- Robert Beckman donated a 2004 Nissan Maxima to the Sault Area Career Center Automotive Program.
It was moved by Member Wilson, supported by Member Proulx, that the Board of Education accept the above donation with thanks and appreciation.
Yeas: Pingatore, Cochran, Wolski, Curtis, Smith, Wilson, Proulx
- IV. ADMINISTRATION REPORTS
- SUPERINTENDENT REPORT
Superintendent Hall reported Spencer Hazley and Tanner Burleck received two of the three Michigan Career Placement Association Student Scholarships. He stated Spencer was the CTE winner and Tanner was the Transition Work Based Learning winner, and both were very good students.
Dr. Hall announced he was proud to be chosen to sit on the Rural Work Group Committee to advise the Governor’s counsel on possible issues with re-opening rural schools after the COVID-19 closure. He reported on several possible options with reopening, but stated he would update the Board when something more concreate is solidified.
- V. BOARD GOVERNANCE AND BOARD POLICY ISSUES
Upon inquiry for questions by President Smith, Member Cochran inquired on the qualifications and/or cost for a student who attends a virtual school to be able to participate in a CTE course and/or sport program.
Superintendent Hall reported MHSAA guidelines require a student be enrolled in school 80% of the time in order to participate in that school’s athletic program(s). He further stated he would review CTE enrollment guidelines and report back on its requirement(s).
Member Wilson expressed support for moving or adding another Audience Participation agenda item toward the end of the meeting.
President Smith indicated the Board is required to hold their meetings in public and the public can contact them after the meetings, by phone, or email at any time. He noted his preference was to hold the meetings in public.
Discussion ensued on the possibility of making a change to the Board’s meetings to offer more public participation.
Upon inquiry from Member Curtis, Superintendent Hall indicated the necessary field house maintenance would at least be partially funded by the maintenance department’s budget and/or district capital funds.
Mrs. Curtis expressed the need to be responsible in how money is spent and in how the repairs are made as there is a lot of work that needs to be done on the district’s buildings.
Superintendent Hall reported Mr. Nelson would be presenting an update on district repairs at the August Board meeting.
Member Curtis expressed the need to have some plans in place for reopening school in the fall so parents have plenty of time to prepare for the different scenarios.
Superintendent Hall indicated it was premature to present plans for reopening, but on-going discussions have begun with Administrators, Teachers, Maintenance, DM Burr, and the School Nurse.
Upon inquiry from Members Curtis and Cochran, Superintendent Hall indicated he plans to present a plan(s) by August 1 with the understanding it is contingent upon the Governor’s orders.
Member Curtis reported she appreciates what the teachers and administrators did with trying to stay in contact with their students and finishing out the school year, especially since they were unexpectedly thrown into the situation.
Upon inquiry from President Smith, various board members shared theirs and other’s experiences with keeping child (ren) engaged in learning during the school shut down.
President Smith indicated he understood the learning curve of working online as the Board has had to transition to virtual zoom meetings.
- VI. FUTURE PLANNING
Superintendent Hall confirmed the following meetings.
June 22, 2020 - Board Workshop – 7:00 p.m. Middle School
June 30, 2020 - Special Meeting – 7:00 p.m. Middle School
President Smith announced the following meeting.
July 13, 2020 – Regular Board Organizational Meeting - 7:00 p.m. – Middle School
- VII. CLOSED SESSION – M.O.M.A. §15.268, 8(c)
President Smith reported there would not be any action items after closed session other than adjournment.
It was moved by Member Wilson, supported by Member Wolski, that the Board of Education move into closed session after a short break at 8:28 p.m. in accordance with the Michigan Open Meetings Act §15.268, 8(c), for strategy and negotiations.
Yeas: Pingatore, Curtis, Proulx, Cochran, Smith
President Smith thanked the audience for their attendance.
The Board returned to open session at 9:01 p.m.
- VIII. ADJOURNMENT
With no more business to come before the Board at 9:01 p.m., it was moved by Member Wolski, supported by Member Curtis, that the meeting be adjourned.
Yeas: Pingatore, Proulx, Cochran, Wilson, Smith
Member Curtis and Superintendent Hall and wished everyone a good night.
Daniel L. Smith, Board President
Melissa S. Pingatore, Board Secretary
Judy L. Sirk, Recording Secretary