August 10, 2020 Minutes

SAULT STE. MARIE AREA PUBLIC SCHOOLS

SAULT STE. MARIE, MICHIGAN 49783

SPECIAL MEETING, BOARD OF EDUCATION

Phone 906/635-6609

 

Minutes – Monday, August 10, 2020

 

34.     I. CALL TO ORDER

 

President Smith called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. at Sault Area High School Cafeteria or via Zoom at  https://eupschools.zoom.us/j/93165981241 or Dial In: +1 646 876 9923   Meeting ID: 931 6598 1241

 

President Smith led the Pledge of Allegiance.

 

          A.     ROLL CALL OF BOARD

 

Board Members Present:  Lisa A. Young, Jay D. Wilson, Daniel L. Smith, Martin R. Wolski, Christine M. Curtis

Board Member Present Virtually:  Melissa S. Pingatore, Joseph A. Cochran

Absent:  None

 

35.     B.     ADOPTION OF THE AGENDA

                                   

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

 

Remove Item III. E. Policies and replace it with Item III F. Gifts & Donations.

 

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

Nays:  None

Absent:  None

Motion Carried.                   

 

VIRTUAL BLUE UPDATE – Superintendent Tim Hall

 

Superintendent Hall reported there were approximately 240 students, more than the estimated 10%, enrolled in the online Virtual Blue program.  He indicated neighboring schools are running close to 25%.  Dr. Hall suggested our numbers are indicative of parents feeling generally comfortable with sending their children to school.

 

Superintendent Hall reported it has been a significant task in creating the flexibility for record keeping, staffing, and scheduling of the Virtual Blue program.  He noted there has been very good cooperation from SEA leadership and staff to help work through the process and minimize the overall cost to the district.  He further noted that some neighboring schools have extended their enrollment date, but the district had to keep its deadline in order to offer a quality and manageable program.

 

Upon inquiry from President Smith, Superintendent Hall reported he will report back on the breakdown of the number of students by subgroups when the district has the final numbers.

 

Upon inquiry from Member Wilson, Superintendent Hall reported many staff have volunteered to teach for Virtual Blue. 

 

Upon inquiry from Member Wolski, Superintendent Hall reported teachers who will be teaching in person and with Virtual Blue will not be teaching in the same timeframe, and class size would be considered for possible reassignment. 

 

Upon inquiry from Member Wilson, Superintendent Hall reported staff would only be compensated for extra pay if they taught over a fulltime schedule.

 

Superintendent Hall reported he hopes to secure a former employee who was laid off due to a recent retirement.

 

36.    C.     APPROVAL OF MINUTES

                                   

Closed Meeting - June 8, 2020

Special Meeting - July 13, 2020

Closed Meeting - July 13, 2020

Special Meeting - July 16, 2020

Special Meeting - July 27, 2020

 

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

 

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

Nays:  None

Abstain:  Young

Absent:  None

Motion Carried.

 

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

 

Mrs. Bennin reported the July Business Report did not include a food service bill list and there were limited financial statements for the month due to the finalizing of the 2020 fiscal year.  She indicated a full set of statements will be presented in the August report.

 

Mrs. Bennin reported the Department of Education presented an update last week on state per pupil funding for 2020 and 2021.  She indicated the 2021 increase includes a pass through of federal funds for the extra costs associated with COVID-19, but it did not include a list of eligible expenditures for the increase.

 

It was moved by Member Wilson, supported by Member Young, that the Board of Education approve the July General Fund Bill List in the amount of $2,126,674.45.

 

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

Nays:  None

Absent:  None

Motion Carried.

 

 

II.     COMMUNICATIONS

 

38.    A.    REPORTS TO BOARD

 

1.   Athletic Update – Mr. Steve Lockwood

 

Mr. Lockwood reported fall sports have been modified per the MHSAA’s latest update.

 

Mr. Lockwood indicated it was the first day of football practice and they allowed to have 5 full days of practice by August 17. 

 

Mr. Lockwood reported Soccer, Volleyball, and Cross Country practices have not been modified so far.

 

Mr. Lockwood report MHSAA has developed specific guidelines for each fall sport and has reviewed them with the coaches.

 

Mr. Lockwood reported some of the sport specific guidelines include the absence of handshakes, participant/player face masks, cleaning and sanitizing, promoting social distancing, wellness checks, limited teams at scrimmages, limited cross country racers, and limited spectators/crowds.

 

Upon inquiry from President Smith, Mr. Lockwood indicated he would check with his coaches about runners not wearing masks.

 

Upon inquiry from Member Curtis, Mr. Lockwood indicated he could not confirm that a parent who transports a student(s) to an event would also be allowed to be a spectator at that event.

 

Mr. Lockwood indicated he cannot release any specific information on what limitations are placed on the district for indoor or outdoor events until MHSAA releases more detail

 

President Smith asked Mr. Lockwood to keep the Board informed on the updates.

 

39.     B.     SUPERINTENDNET REPORT

 

Dr. Hall reported it was brought to his attention at a meeting with the Chippewa County Health Department that people in the tri-county area are concerned with keeping their kids safe at school.  He indicated the district will do its best to keep its students and staff safe.

 

Due to extra time and cleaning of the buildings, Superintendent Hall reported he is looking into the practicality of outside groups utilizing district facilities.  He indicated he will bring a recommendation to the Board at next month’s meeting. 

 

ELEMENTARY SCHOOL UPDATE – Dr. McFarlane and Mrs. Chevillot

 

Dr. McFarlane and Mrs. Chevillot reported they are offering virtual open houses/tours at Washington School and Lincoln School in order to manage crowd size and keep the building sanitized.

 

Upon inquiry from President Smith, Dr. McFarlane and Mrs. Chevillot confirmed they are taking appointments for in person tours.

 

Upon inquiry from Member Wilson, Dr. McFarlane and Mrs. Chevillot reported they are planning to rotate recess time among the classes.

 

Ms. Rondeau-McCarthy reported the Middle School is providing virtual tours and she is offering a zoom meeting for parents.  She noted parents can also contact staff through the parent portal, email and phone. 

 

Mrs. Rondeau-McCarthy reported she is offering a drive up on September 1 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. so parents can pick up their child’s schedule if they do not want to get it off the parent portal. 

 

Mrs. Rondeau-McCarthy reported she is holding a Meet and Greet on September 3 from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. for incoming grade 5 students. 

 

Upon inquiry from Member Curtis, Mrs. Rondeau-McCarthy reported the student lockers will be available on the first day of school and there will be staff available to assist them with manipulating their lockers during the first week.

 

40.    C.     AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION

 

There was no comment.

 

 

III.     ACTION ITEMS

 

41.    A.     PERSONNEL – Superintendent Tim Hall

 

New Hire

 

Dr. McFarlane presented the following.

 

1.     Glenn Campbell – Special Education Resource Room Teacher – Lincoln School

 

It was moved by Member Wilson, supported by Member Wolski, that the Board of Education approve the recommendation to hire Glenn Campbell as Special Education Resource Room Teacher for Lincoln School.

 

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

Nays:  None

Absent:  None

Motion Carried.

 

Superintendent Hall reported a decision had not been made on the hiring of a Transportation Supervisor, but he would keep the Board informed of the situation.

 

42.    B.     LINCOLN LEARNING SOLUTIONS – Superintendent Tim Hall

 

Superintendent Hall reported Lincoln Learning Solutions was a necessary part of the Virtual Blue program.

 

It was moved by Member Wilson, supported by Member Cochran, that the Board of Education approve the agreement with Lincoln Learning Solutions for grades K-7 as presented.

 

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

Nays:  None

Absent:  None

Motion Carried.

 

43.    C.     MISTAR STUDENT INFORMATION SYSTEM – Superintendent Tim Hall

 

Upon inquiry from Member Wilson, Superintendent Hall reported the district conducted its own investigation on the new student software system and concluded MISTAR was a better value than the former Skyward system used years ago by the district. 

 

Mrs. Kronemeyer reported the Skyward package did not include the food service module that is needed.

 

Upon inquiry from Member Wilson, Mrs. Kronemeyer reported there is a small increase in the second year cost of the program, but the bid was a state-wide bid but the product is used by major districts in Wayne and Oakland County and the company does not plan to sell its program like other vendors do.

 

Member Wilson expressed concern with the MISTAR program as staff had already been trained in the Skyward program and the district is the only one using it other than St. Ignace and Newberry.

 

Member Curtis indicated it would be nice to have one program that included the food service and SIS modules. 

 

Upon inquiry from Member Curtis, Mrs. Kronemeyer reported parents will be able to go through the program to reach another third party program to pay for sports fees, yearbooks, etc.  

 

Upon inquiry, Superintendent Hall reported he would look into the program to see if a parent could deposit money into the lunch account of all their children instead of allocating a certain portion to each.

 

Upon inquiry from President Smith, Mrs. Kronemeyer reported the district would be encouraging parents to sign up for MISTAR parent access for their elementary as well as secondary students.  She further indicated she would like the program used like that down state where parents confirm their personal information annually online instead of on paper. 

 

Member Cochran indicated his desire to utilize the program to send emails home to parents that have students with outstanding lunch accounts.  Mrs. Kronemeyer reported the district currently sends out emails as well as phone calls to parents when student lunch accounts have a $5 balance.

 

Upon inquiry from President Smith, Superintendent Hall indicated he was not aware of why the EUPISD chose not to go with MISTAR, but that the district felt it was the best program by far.

 

It was moved by Member Wilson, supported by Member Wolski, that the Board of Education approve the purchase of the MISTAR student information system and authorize the Superintendent to sign the contract with the integration period starting this fiscal year.

 

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

Nays:  None

Absent:  None

Motion Carried.

 

43.    D.     SUBSTITUTE TEACHER RATE – Superintendent Tim Hall

 

Superintendent Hall reported on the need to offer a better daily compensation rate to support the increased demand for substitute teachers.

 

It was moved by Member Wilson, supported by Member Young, that the Board of Education approve the increase of the substitute teacher rate of $125 per day as presented.

 

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

Nays:  None

Absent:  None

Motion Carried.

 

45.    E.     POLICIES – Superintendent Tim Hall

 

Superintendent Hall presented the following policies for their second reading.

 

President Smith confirmed there were no questions or comments.

 

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

 

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

 

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

Nays:  None

Absent:  None

Motion Carried.

 

Superintendent Hall reported there are some lengthily policies that will need to be approved prior to the start of school, and he will present them after thorough review.

 

46.    F.     GIFTS AND DONATIONS

 

Superintendent Hall presented the following.

 

1.     The Ninety-First District Court Probation Department donated 72 handmade blankets for students in need.

 

2.     The Kathy & Michael Williams Memorial Golf Scramble Tournament donated $4,700 for Homeless Students and $4,700 for students with special needs.

 

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

 

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

Nays:  None

Absent:  None

Motion Carried.

 

 

47.    IV.        BOARD GOVERNANCE & BOARD POLICY ISSUES

 

President Smith inquired on any Board comment.

 

Member Cochran expressed concern over spending additional money for increases in staff salaries and/or benefits when former Director of Maintenance & Grounds Gary Herschell had presented several items in his annual facilities report that needed maintenance or replacement in a 2-5 year plan.  He noted drainage problems at Washington and Lincoln Schools, asphalt replacement, lighting fixture replacement, asbestos floor tile replacement, bathroom fixture replacement, and unforeseen issues going into the fall and winter season.

 

Upon inquiry from Member Cochran, Superintendent Hall reported he had asked current director of Facilities and Grounds Tom Nelson to hold off on reporting until the September meeting due to all of the other immediate issues with the COVID restrictions.

 

Member Curtis stated the district needs to stick to the plan and work toward the goal. 

 

Upon inquiry from Member Curtis, Superintendent Hall reported the
Transportation department will be affected by enrollment and the Virtual Blue deadline is August 15.  He noted he is unable to give an update at this point.

 

Upon inquiry from Member Curtis, Superintendent Hall reported the school calendar is a negotiated item and he would have had to involve staff earlier if the district was considering changing spring break.  He noted he had not heard of any other school in the region changing or eliminating breaks.

 

Member Curtis recognized and thanked all of the work teachers, administrators, parents and the school nurse put in to plan for the school year during the pandemic.

 

Upon inquiry from President Smith, Superintendent Hall reported the Virtual Blue program was a full semester commitment and there were 40 students enrolled so far.  He stated he would email the Board with any updates.

 

 

48.    V.         FUTURE PLANNING

 

President Smith reviewed the following events.

September 8 - First Day of School

September 14 - Board of Education Meeting - 7:00 p.m. – Location TBD

 

 

49.    VI.      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 the Board of Education move into closed session after a short break at 7:51 p.m. in accordance with the Michigan Open Meetings Act 15.268, 8(c), for strategy and negotiations.

 

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

Nays:  None

Absent:  None

Motion Carried.

 

President Smith reported the Board would not have any action items after closed session other than to adjourn the meeting.

 

 50.    VII. ADJOURNMENT

 

There being no further business to come before the Board at 8:29 p.m., it was moved by Member Wolski, supported by Member Wilson, that the meeting be adjourned.

 

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

Nays:  None

Absent:  None

Motion Carried.

 

 ________________________________

Daniel L. Smith, President

 ________________________________

Melissa S. Pingatore, Board Secretary

________________________________

Judy L. Sirk, Recording Secretary