July 13, 2020 Minutes

SAULT STE. MARIE AREA PUBLIC SCHOOLS

SAULT STE. MARIE, MICHIGAN 49783

SPECIAL MEETING, BOARD OF EDUCATION

Phone 906/635-6609

 

Minutes – Monday, July 13, 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/93381751596 Meeting ID:  933 8175 9923

 

A.     ROLL CALL OF BOARD

 

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

 

Board Members Absent:  None

 

2.     B.     ADOPTION OF THE AGENDA

 

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

 

Add:  IV. Personnel New Hire – Jodie Kapuscinski – Lincoln School

 

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

Nays:  None

Absent:  None

Motion Carried.

 

3.     C.     ESTABLISHMENT OF BOARD MEETING DATES

 

It was moved by Member Curtis, supported by Member Wilson, that the Board of Education adopt the schedule of meetings for 2020-2021

 

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

Nays:  None

Absent:  None

Motion Carried.

 

4.     D.     DESIGNATION OF PERSON FOR POSTING NOTICES OF MEETINGS

 

It was moved by Member Wilson, supported by Member Wolski, that the Board of Education designate Judy Sirk for posting notices of Board meetings.

 

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

Nays:  None

Absent:  None

Motion Carried.

 

5.     E.     APPROVAL OF FORMAT FOR REGULAR MEETING AGENDAS 2020-2021

 

Superintendent Hall presented two agenda options based on previous comments and Board discussion.  The Board approved the agenda format listed below.

 

It was moved by Member Wilson, supported by Member Pingatore, that the Board of Education approve the Board meeting agenda.

 

     AGENDA FORMAT

 

     I.     CALL TO ORDER

            A.  Adoption of Agenda

            B.  Approval of Minutes

            C.  Business Report

 

     II.    COMMUNICATIONS

             A.  Reports to the Board

             B.  Superintendent's Report

             C.  Audience Participation 

 

     III.   ACTION ITEMS

            A.  Personnel

            B.  Others

 

     IV.   BOARD GOVERNANCE AND BOARD POLICY ISSUES

 

      V.    FUTURE PLANNING

 

     VI.   ADJOURNMENT

 

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

Nays:  None

Absent:  None

Motion Carried.

 

6.     F.     APPOINTMENT OF ELECTION CLERK

 

Superintendent Hall was appointed to serve as Election Clerk by the Board Secretary.                     

 

Board Secretary Melissa Pingatore administered the Oath of Election to Dr. Tim Hall. 

 

 CONTINUE IN SESSION - REGULAR MEETING

 

7.     A.     APPROVAL OF MINUTES

                Special Meeting - June 8, 2020

                Special Meeting – June 22, 2020

                Special Meeting – June 30, 2020 

 

It was moved by Member Wilson, supported by Member Wolski, that the Board of Education approve the minutes as listed.

 

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

Nays:  None

Absent:  None

Abstain:  Curtis

Motion Carried.

 

8.     B.     BUSINESS REPORT AND APPROVAL OF BILLS – Mrs. Michelle Bennin

 

Mrs. Bennin presented the June bill lists for approval.

 

Mrs. Bennin reported the district is recording year-end adjustments to present financial statements on the accrual basis and the revenues and expenditures and balance sheet and graphs have been omitted from the report as the numbers will change significantly over the next few weeks.   

 

Mrs. Bennin reported the auditors have begun working on the audit and will be working off site this year throughout the week of August 24.

 

Mrs. Bennin reported on the need for double signatures on two checks, and the anticipation of receiving an efficiency check for the change-out of tube lights to LED lights at the Sault High and Middle School.

 

It was moved by Member Wilson, supported by Member Curtis, that the Board of Education approve the June General Fund Bill List in the amount of $2,007,816.92 and $33.60 for Food Service Bill. 

 

President Smith confirmed there were no questions.

 

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

Nays:  None

Absent:  None

Motion Carried.

 

III.    PUBLIC COMMUNICATION AND CORRESPONDENCE

 

9.       A.     AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION

 

Mrs. Lisa Young thanked the Board for amending their agenda format.

 

Ms. Sara Sloat sought information on what the district’s procedures are for students and staff who need to be quarantined for Covid-19, how the district plans to inform substitutes on procedures, what the expectations are for staff who need to be absent from work to care for extremely ill or quarantined family members, and what the procedures are for staff who need to travel out of state.

 

President Smith stated a committee is expected to present a Return to School Plan to the Board at its next meeting and several of her questions should be answered then. 

 

Upon inquiry by Dr. Hall, there were no other questions.

 

B.     REPORTS TO THE BOARD

 

1.     Virtual Blue – Mrs. Amy Scott-Kronemeyer

 

Dr. Hall introduced Mrs. Scott-Kronemeyer and indicated she would be reporting on the rapidly developing online program called Virtual Blue that will support many of Ms. Sloat’s questions.

 

Mrs. Scott-Kronemeyer reported the Virtual Blue Program for the elementary and secondary students was not yet final, but she wanted everyone to be aware of the direction the district was heading.

 

Mrs. Scott-Kronemeyer reported the district is looking at offering an online classroom platform for students in grades Kindergarten through 12 who want to access their curriculum in either a blended or full online concept.

 

Mrs. Scott-Kronemeyer indicated parents will have to make a decision by mid-August if they want their children enrolled in the full online concept better known as Virtual Blue.  She noted a commitment needs to be made by mid-August so planning can be made and teaching platforms secured for the necessary courses.

 

Upon inquiry from President Smith, Mrs. Scott-Kronemeyer confirmed Virtual Blue is a full semester program and students will not be allowed to enroll or withdraw after the semester begins. 

 

Member Curtis indicated she is aware of some teachers who are more comfortable teaching online through the pandemic as opposed to in-person instruction.

 

Upon inquiry from President Smith, Mrs. Scott-Kronemeyer reported the Virtual Blue online program would not be utilized for a student who suddenly got ill and could not attend in person.  She stated the program is designed for the student to attend 100% online for a full semester.  She noted if a student was previously enrolled with in-person instruction had to be absent for medical reasons, he or she could access their homework through the Google online platform.

 

Mrs. Scott-Kronemeyer indicated that a thorough discussion needs to be communicated with parents, students, and staff on what the expectations and requirements are for 100% online learning.

 

Upon inquiry from Member Wilson, Mrs. Scott-Kronemeyer indicated an online standardized platform is being addressed in the following Learning Management Systems (LMS).

 

Dr. Hall reported no decisions have been made on a specific type of teaching platform as that is still part of the committees’ discussion in the Return to School Plan.  He noted teachers, staff, and parents are part of those committees.

 

Upon inquiry, Mrs. Scott-Kronemeyer reported instruction could include a blend of live teacher and Odysseyware or PowerPoint learning so smaller groups of students could attend school in person on alternating days.

 

Upon inquiry from Member Cochran, Mrs. Scott-Kronemeyer indicated parents will need to make a firm commitment if they want to enroll their children in Virtual Blue about three weeks prior to the start of school so everyone is aware of the expectations, requirements, and instruction needed for the start of school.

 

Upon inquiry from Member Cochran, Dr. Hall indicated the district is looking into offering a device for online student instruction for every student. 

 

Dr. Hall indicated the Board needs to hold their meeting in public and it is their time to review the presented information.  He encouraged the audience to refrain from commenting at this time, and to please contact Mrs. Kronemeyer or him after the meeting with questions.

 

2.     Elementary Return 2 School Committee – Ms. Jessica Rondeau, Mrs. Diane Chevillot

 

Ms. Rondeau reported the feedback she received from staff and parents indicate students in grades Kindergarten through grade 6 learn best in person and next with mailed home packets.  She stated students in grades 7 and 8 know how to work more independently and with a standardized on-line platform more easily.

 

Ms. Rondeau reported the Elementary Return 2 School Committee wss composed of parents, bus drivers, teachers, paraprofessionals, counselors, administrators, school nurse, central staff, transportation, and food service staff.  She indicated it was a very diverse group that had met for two hours thus far.

 

Ms. Rondeau reported the Upper Peninsula was in Phase 5 of the Governor’s coronavirus reopening plan and all learning plans are currently being considered.

 

Ms. Rondeau briefly discussed the three MI Safe Start Plans of A (Phases 1 through 3), Plan B (Phases 4 and 5), and Plan C (Phase 6)s.

 

Ms. Rondeau reported on the preferred method of instruction and learning platforms for each plan ranging from in-person, blended, and on-line learning.

 

Ms. Rondeau reported on the transportation offerings and restrictions for all three plans that ranged from no availability, transportation with health precautions, and regular transportation.

 

Ms. Rondeau reported on the food service requirement to feed students in each of the plans.  The procedures ranged from meal distribution, as what was done this year during the shutdown, to a regular lunch schedule with enhanced health protocols.

 

Ms. Rondeau reported the Return 2 School Committee briefly discussed options for on-line learning platforms of instruction, students eating in their classrooms, social distancing in the classrooms, adding a fourth lunch period at the middle school with 15 minute intervals, improved social distancing in the halls, health precautions for extracurricular activities, and face coverings. 

 

Ms. Rondeau provided additional considerations discussed for each plan including building level pick-up and drop-off times, deployment of Chromebooks, being flexible to accommodate parent work schedules, an isolation room for students with symptoms at school, cleaning cohorts and available cleaners, music and art options to keep shared items and space clean, moving STEM to digital learning, and shifting physical education to include social and emotional wellness.

 

Upon inquiry from Member Curtis, Ms. Rondeau indicated Positive Behavior Interventions (PBIs) could be used for such things as student handwashing/hand sanitizing, wearing masks, and social distancing.

 

Upon inquiry from Member Curtis, Dr. Hall reported DM Burr is prepared to do whatever we need them to do to keep the buildings clean.

 

Member Curtis expressed concern for parents to take their children’s temperature prior to sending them off to the bus or school to lessen the possibility of an inaccurate reading due to the effects of the outside elements prior to getting on the bus or upon arriving at school, and so they are aware of their children’s health and safety needs for the day.

 

Upon inquiry from Member Curtis, Dr. Hall indicated there has been discussion about the requirement to have teachers wear face masks, but a final agreement hasn’t been determined.

 

Upon inquiry from Member Cochran, Dr. Hall acknowledge the need to keep bus drivers and all staff safe.  He indicated a dynamic plan is being developed depending on which phase the Governor places our region in.

 

Member Wilson commended the committee members and the district involved in the planning, but indicated the plan will never appease everyone.   Upon further inquiry, Dr. Hall confirmed if the students had to return to school now, the district is in Phase 5 and the students would need to wear face masks to school.

 

Member Wilson reported there are parents on both sides of the requirement to have students wear masks. 

 

Ms. Rondeau indicated at the current phase, elementary students would need to wear masks in the bathroom, hallway, on the bus, or whenever they are not in their classroom, and when students in the older grades switch rooms or are with a different group of kids, desks and items will need to be sanitized before and after leaving a classroom.

 

Upon inquiry from Member Wilson, Dr. Hall reported after the Board approves a plan, parents will be surveyed for their preference and opinion on how they want their children to be educated.

 

Members Smith and Wolski thanked Ms. Rondeau for her report.

 

3.     Secondary Return to School Committee – Mr. Carl McCready, Mrs. Sandy Sawyer

 

Mr. McCready presented the Sault Area High School, Career Center, Malcolm High School, and Middle School Return to School Roadmap.

 

Mr. McCready reported the secondary committee members consists of teachers, administrators, the school nurse, a bus driver, parent, secretarial staff, central administration and maintenance staff.   He noted the plan is very fluid to accommodate the MI Safe Start Plan for the different phases our region is in.

 

Mr. McCready reviewed the plans for A (Phases 1-3), B (Phases 4 & 5), and C (Phase 6) and indicated what the protocols would be for Transportation, Food Service, Extra Curricular events, Instruction, Face Coverings, Passing Times, Before and After School, as well as how they plan to sanitize stations in each classroom and in high traffic areas, increase signage to remind everyone about handwashing, sanitizing, wearing facemasks, and social distancing, creating an isolation room, increasing cleaning and disinfecting of high traffic areas, individual student supplies, chrome book assignments, and the implementation of Virtual Blue as an option for parents.

 

Member Cochran raised concern for families who could not provide their children with supplies or masks.  He noted the suggested time frame for wearing a disposable mask and the need for washing a cloth mask.

 

Member Wilson inquired on what the protocol is for staff and students who may be in a mandated 14 day quarantine.

 

Dr. Hall reported if a student is in a homebound situation because of a mandated 14 day quarantine, the district will provide whatever system in place for homebound instruction mostly likely in a virtual setting depending on the phase our region is in.  He noted the district would not penalize a student for a doctor excused medical absence. 

 

Member Wilson expressed concern for a staff member who has to be quarantine because of a possible exposure and whether he or she would receive paid or non-paid leave.

 

Superintendent Hall acknowledged Member Smith’s concern and stated the plan is in its very early stages and nothing is finalized yet.  Member Wilson further expressed concern for a certain English teacher that he would not like to be exposed to a student who had Covid-19 every 15-18 days.

Mr. McCready emphasized the need to maintain and enforce a seating chart in the classroom and on the bus that meets the needs for social distancing should the health department need to assist with contact tracing.

 

Upon inquiry from Members Wilson and Cochran, Dr. Hall reported the HIPPA act can only allow for the release that a person was tested positive with Covid-19 and give any name or identification as to who it is.  Member Curtis confirmed it is up to the health department to take care of contact tracing.

 

President Smith thanked Mr. McCready for his report.

 

Dr. Hall stated once the plan is adopted, the district will release the details through the parent portal.

 

IV.     ACTION ITEMS AND BOARD REPORTS

 

10.     A.        PERSONNEL – Superintendent Hall

 

Dr. Hall reported that former Washington School Principal Diane Chevillot is now the Lincoln School Principal as that position was recently vacated by Mr. Chevillot.

 

Mrs. Chevillot presented the following recommendation.

 

New Hires

 

        1.  Kathryn Murphy – Art Education Teacher – Washington and Lincoln Schools

 

It was moved by Member Curtis, supported by Member Pingatore, that the Board of Education approve the hiring of Kathryn Murphy as roving Art Education Teacher for Washington and Lincoln Schools.

 

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

Nays:  None

Absent:  None

Motion Carried.

 

Mrs. Chevillot presented the following.

 

        2.  Jackson Lawrence – Grade 1 Teacher – Washington School

 

It was moved by Member Wilson, supported by Member Wolski, that the Board of Education approve the hiring of Jackson Lawrence as Grade 1 Teacher for Washington School.

 

Yeas:  Cochran, Pingatore, Curtis, Smith

Nays:  None

Absent:  None

Motion Carried.

 

Mrs. Chevillot presented the following.

 

        3.  Samantha Lorusso – Grade 1 Teacher – Washington School

 

It was moved by Member Wilson, supported by Member Wolski, that the Board of Education approve the hiring of Samantha Lorusso as Grade 1 Teacher for Washington School.

 

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

Nays:  None

Absent:  None

Motion Carried.

 

Mr. McCready presented the following.

 

        4.  Cody Wetton – English Language Arts Teacher – Sault Area High School (ELA & Biology)

 

It was moved by Member Wilson, supported by Member Wolski, that the Board of Education approve the hiring of Cody Wetton as English Language Arts Teacher for Sault Area High School.

 

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

Nays:  None

Absent:  None

Motion Carried.

 

Mr. Steve Lockwood presented the following.

 

        5.  Jessica Murawski – Varsity Volleyball Coach – Sault Area High School

 

It was moved by Member Cochran, supported by Member Wilson, that the Board of Education approve the hiring of Jessica Murawski as Varsity Volleyball Coach for Sault Area High School.

 

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

Nays:  None

Absent:  None

Motion Carried.

 

Mrs. Chevillot presented the following.

 

        6.  Jody Kapuscinski – Administrative Assistant – Lincoln School

 

It was moved by Member Cochran, supported by Member Wilson, that the Board of Education approve the hiring of Jody Kapuscinski as Administrative Assistant for Lincoln School.

 

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

Nays:  None

Absent:  None

Motion Carried.

 

11.     B.     AUTHORIZE BORROWING – Mrs. Michelle Bennin

 

Mrs. Bennin reported the borrowing resolution allows the district to solicit local banks for the smallest payments possible if it should run into a cash shortage.

 

It was moved by Member Wolski, supported by Member Curtis, that the Board of Education approve the resolution to enable the district to borrow funds to cover cash flow when necessary and authorize the Superintendent to coordinate the execution of the paperwork.

 

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

Nays:  None

Absent:  None

Motion Carried.

 

12.     C.     POLICIES – Superintendent Hall

 

The following policies were presented for their first reading. Superintendent Hall asked the Board to contact him with questions or concerns prior to the August meeting.

 

No action was required or taken.

 

Vol. 34 No. 2

Policy 2210 – Curriculum Development – Approved Courses

Policy 2412 – Homebound Instruction Program

Policy 2414 – Reproductive Health and Family Planning

Policy 3362.01 – Threatening Behavior Toward Staff Members

Policy 4162 – Controlled Substance and Alcohol Policy for CMV Drivers and Other Employees who Perform Safety-Sensitive

                    Functions.

Policy 5200 - Attendance

Policy 6107 – Authorization to Accept and Distribute Electronic Records and to Use Electronic Signatures

Policy 8210 – School Calendar

Policy 8462 – Student Abuse and Neglect

Policy 8600 – Transportation

 

13.     D.     GIFTS AND DONATIONS

 

Superintendent Hall presented the following donation and stated the Elks participate in a variety of events and give a lot of time to support students.

 

  1. Elks Youth Committee sponsored $1,800 to support the Sault High Blue Liners Club, Sault High Athletic Booster Club, Sault High Hockey Team, 2021 Senior Graduation Party, Sault High Cross Country Team, and Sault High Business Professionals of America Team.

 

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

 

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

Nays:  None

Absent:  None

Motion Carried.

 

14.     V.     ADMINISTRATION REPORTS

A.     Superintendent Report

Superintendent Hall indicated he had nothing to report, but would comment on the Board’s vacancy in the Board Governance section.

 

15.     VI.     FUTURE PLANNING

  

President Smith reviewed future events.

July 16 – Special Board Meeting – 5:30 p.m. – Electronic Meeting

August 10 – Regular Board Meeting – 7:00 p.m. – Location to be announced

 

 

16.     VII.   BOARD GOVERNANCE AND BOARD POLICY ISSUES

 

Superintendent Hall and President Smith raised for discussion the process to conduct board candidate interviews.

 

By mutual Board consent, Superintendent Hall will present questions to each of the candidates and provide their letter of interest to the Board prior to the interview.

 

Superintendent Hall reported he had received two letters of interest from community members about serving on the board. 

 

Superintendent Hall asked the Board to contact him if they had specific questions for the candidates prior to Thursday’s meeting. 

 

Superintendent Hall confirmed the meeting would be held electronically.

 

President Smith thanked Mr. McCready and Mrs. Sawyer for offering a graduation ceremony for the graduates during these difficult and changing times.

 

Member Curtis stated she appreciates all of the work administrators have done over the last few months and understands how difficult and time consuming it is trying to create plans when the future is uncertain.  President Smith stated he concurred with Member Curtis.

 

17.     VIII.     CLOSED SESSION – M.O.M.A. § 15.268, 8(c)

 

A.     MOTION TO GO IN CLOSED SESSION

 

It was moved by Member Wilson, supported by Member Wolski, that after a short recess at 8:58 p.m., the Board of Education move into closed session in accordance with the Michigan Open Meetings Act §15.268, 8(c), for strategy and negotiations.

 

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

Nays:  None

Absent:   None

Motion Carried.

 

The Board went into closed session at 9:00 p.m.

 

The Board reconvened in open session at 9:27 p.m.

 

18.     IX.     ADJOURNMENT

 

There being no further business to come before the Board at 9:28 p.m., it was moved by Member Wilson, supported by Member Wolski, that the meeting be adjourned.

 

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

Nays:  None

Absent:  None

Motion Carried.