June 22, 2020 Minutes

SAULT STE. MARIE AREA PUBLIC SCHOOLS

SAULT STE. MARIE, MICHIGAN 49783

SPECIAL MEETING, BOARD OF EDUCATION

Phone 906/635-6609

 

Minutes – Monday, June 22, 2020

 

  1. I.  CALL TO ORDER

 

President Smith called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. via Zoom at https://eupschools.zoom.us/j/92064300535 with Meeting ID: 920 6430 0535

 

      A.  ROLL CALL OF BOARD

 

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

 

Board Members Absent:  None

 

  1. B.  ADOPTION OF THE AGENDA

 

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

 

Add Item II. Action Items & Board Reports

  1.   Audience Participation
  2.   Board Work Session – Budget Discussion

                     

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

Nays:  None

Absent:  None

Motion Carried.

 

 II.     PUBLIC COMMUNICATION AND CORRESPONDENCE

 

  1. A.  AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION

 

   There was none.

 

  1. B.  BOARD WORK SESSION – BUDGET DISCUSSION

 

Dr. Hall opened the 2021 budget discussion by reviewing the district’s Mission Statement.  He indicated Mrs. Bennin would provide the detail on the historical trends from 2016 through the current year.

Mrs. Bennin reviewed the declining enrollment trends for school years 2016 of 2,270 students, through 2020 of 1,962 students.

 

Mrs. Bennin reported on the per pupil foundational allowance over the past 5 years and the anticipated reduction of $650 per student for the 2021 school year.

 

Mrs. Bennin reported the employee retirement rate has steadily increased from 36.64% in 2017 to 42.5% for 2021.

 

Mrs. Bennin reviewed the following 2021 budget assumptions leaving an estimated total net deficit of $1,845,636.

  • Current Budget Deficit - $1,292,628.
  • Enrollment reduction of 75 students - $559,575
  • Foundational reduction - $945,500
  • Cares Funding after St. Mary’s School allocation + $459,827
  • Increased Retirement Rate to 42.5% - $151,835
  • Savings from Closures + $241,417
  • Required SIS and Finance Software Purchase/Upgrade - $60,000
  • No Bus Replacement + $47,478
  • Savings from pay off of Capital Projects + $298,676
  • Staffing Changes + $598,388

 

Upon inquiry for questions by Mrs. Bennin, Member Cochran inquired on the status of approximately $100,000 of city/county reimbursement surrounding the Soo Township Complex water pump issue.  Dr. Hall reported discussions have been on going with the township, county, and city but they haven’t reached a resolution.

 

Upon inquiry from Member Cochran, Dr. Hall confirmed the $650 per pupil funding reduction that was factored in the budget was an estimate and cannot be firm at this time. 

 

Upon inquiry from Member Wilson, Dr. Hall confirmed the staffing changes that were factored in the budget reflect the employees who left and the best cost estimate for replacement.  

 

Upon inquiry from Member Wilson about a secretarial position, Dr. Hall confirmed the staffing estimate did not take into consideration any anticipated labor contractual costs.

 

President Smith indicated the preliminary budget followed the same process the district presented in April or May of normal years, and it still has a lot of unknowns because of the uncertainty of the state and last minute staffing changes.

Upon inquiry from Member Curtis, Dr. Hall reported the idea of not purchasing a new bus this year was approved by Mr. Nelson at the bus garage, but the primary reason was budgetary. 

 

Upon inquiry from Member Curtis, Mrs. Bennin reported the district has to allow all non-public schools to share in the Cares Act funding which is based on their per pupil allotment, and St. Mary’s applied for it.

 

Dr. Hall and Mrs. Bennin reported on the Fund Equity balance of $4,588,970 from July 1, 2019, through the anticipated $1,450,706 on July 1, 2021.  Dr. Hall noted the amount on July 1, 2021, is about 6% of expenditures.

 

Dr. Hall reported Mrs. Bennin spoke with the auditing firm’s accountants in preparing the budget.  He noted there will most likely be two budget amendments given the amount of unknowns at this time.

 

Dr. Hall reported the preliminary budget will be the same one presented for action at the June 30 meeting.

 

Upon inquiry from President Smith, there were no questions.

 

 

  1. III. FUTURE PLANNING

 

President Smith reported on the following events.

 

June 30 – Special Board Meeting – Middle School – 7:00 p.m.

 

Superintendent Hall reported he would check to see what the executive order is prior to June 30, as the current one requires no more than 50 people in attendance, and they must wear a mask and social distance.   He stated he would rather not make a decision on the location this week. 

 

President Smith indicated everyone should be aware and understanding of the difficulties and restrictions of reopening.

 

July 10 – Sault High Graduation Ceremony – AJ VanCitters Athletic Field –

                7:00 p.m.

 

Dr. Hall reported he would notify the Board on the graduation ceremony details once they were confirmed.

 

July 13 – Sault Middle School – 7:00 p.m.

 

Dr. Hall reported the July 13 organizational meeting will be held in the Middle School for now.

 

Mr. Carl McCready reported the July 6 Sault High Academic Awards Ceremony will be held at the Soo Locks Music in the Park location.

 

Dr. Hall reported the July 7 Sault High CTE Awards Ceremony will be held in the Strahl Theater.

 

Mrs. Sandy Sawyer reported the July 9 Malcolm Graduation Ceremony will be held at the Casino.

 

Dr. Hall indicated he would provide more details on the events later in the week.

 

 

  1. VIII. ADJOURNMENT

 

With no more business to come before the Board at 7:21 p.m., it was moved by Member Wilson, supported by Member Wolski, that the meeting be adjourned.

 

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

Nays:  None

Absent:  None                              

Motion Carried.

 

President Smith expressed his desire to return to in person meetings in the very near future.

 

________________________________

Daniel L. Smith, Board President

________________________________

Melissa S. Pingatore, Board Secretary

________________________________

Judy L. Sirk, Recording Secretary