October 12, 2020 Minutes

SAULT STE. MARIE AREA PUBLIC SCHOOLS

SAULT STE. MARIE, MICHIGAN 49783

REGULAR MEETING, BOARD OF EDUCATION

Phone 906/635-6609

 

Minutes – Monday, October 12, 2020

 

95.    I.     CALL TO ORDER

 

President Smith called the meeting to order at 7:02 p.m. in the Sault Area Middle School, 684 Marquette Avenue, Sault Ste. Marie, MI 49783

The Pledge of Allegiance was recited.

 

A.     ROLL CALL OF BOARD

 

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

Board Members Virtually Present: Melissa S. Pingatore, Joseph A. Cochran, Martin R. Wolski

Absent: None

 

96.    B.       ADOPTION OF THE AGENDA

 

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

 

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

Nays: None

Absent: None

Motion Carried.

 

97.     C.     APPROVAL OF MINUTES

 

Regular Meeting – September 14, 2020

 

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

 

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

Nays: None

Abstain: Young

Absent: None

Motion Carried.

 

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

 

Mrs. Bennin reported the September report reflects the first month in which all expenditures pertain to this fiscal year. She noted the steep decline in monthly cash balance was due to the timing of the first state aid payment.

Mrs. Bennin acknowledged the coronavirus relief funds had been received.

Mrs. Bennin reported the approved state budget restored the $8,111 per pupil allotment netting approximately $540,000 to be realized over the year.

Mrs. Bennin reported a slight increase in the 2020-21 MESSA life and long- term disability rates. She noted the district received a one month credit on the dental and vision insurance for the period of July and August due to the state shutdown.

Upon inquiry from President Smith, there were no questions.

It was moved by Member Wilson, supported by Member Wolski, that the Board of Education approve the September General Fund Bill List in the amount of $1,612,515.07 and the Food Service Bill List in the amount of

$2,114.55.

 

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

Nays: None

Absent: None

Motion Carried.

 

II.        COMMUNICATIONS

99.        A.     REPORTS TO THE BOARD

1.    Sault High MiPHY 2020 – Mrs. Susan Talentino

Mrs. Talentino reported on the bi-annual Mi-PHY survey taken by students in grades 7, 9, and 11. She noted the survey was conducted March 5 through 10, 2020, just prior to the March 13 shutdown.

Mrs. Talentino presented the Board with a hard copy of the Sault High Michigan Profile for Healthy Youth report. She noted the results are sent annually to every college our students apply to.

Mrs. Talentino highlighted 26 MiPHY topics and provided commentary for the years 2016, 2018, and 2020. She noted overall the results reflect what is happening with teenagers nationally.

Mrs. Talentino reported LSSU enrollment from the Class of 2020 were way up, and those of all the other schools down. She indicated the assumption is because of COVID-19, many students had to take on-line classes so they probably thought they may as well stay home and not pay for room and board.

Mrs. Talentino reported the number of students being called mean names or being bullied at school was down, but she is concerned more of that is being done online in the evenings.

Mrs. Talentino reported the amount of screen time for students went up.

Mrs. Talentino reported the number of students who felt unsafe and did not want to go to school, went up, but the number who almost always hated being at school, went down.

Mrs. Talentino noted a new question was added to the summary on the number of students who purposely hurt themselves without wanting to die. She stated further attention will be given to this in the future.

Mrs. Talentino report 37% of our students say they have experienced 2 or more of the following events during their life: Death of a Parent, Mental Abuse, Physical Abuse, Sexual Abuse, Saw Violence in the Home, Lived with a Person who had Mental Illness or Attempted Suicide, Lived with a Person who was an Alcoholic or Used Drugs, Lived with a Person who went to Jail or Prison.

Mrs. Talentino continued to report on the number of students who indicated they felt sad or hopeless every day for two weeks, which is a description of depression.

Mrs. Talentino stated her appreciation for having a fulltime social worker to help with the 750 students at Sault High.

Mrs. Talentino reported it has been very helpful to have the fulltime grant funded college advisor to help talk with the students about what their plans are after school.

Mrs. Talentino expressed concern for the slight increase in the number of students who considered suicide or had made a plan to attempt it.

Mrs. Talentino reported on the decrease in the number of students who drank alcohol or smoked, but indicated there was a slight increase in vaping.

Mrs. Talentino reported with the legalization of marijuana in November 2018, its use is climbing, and the students she has spoken to feel it is safe because of the legalization.

Mrs. Talentino indicated prescription drug use is down, and it appears overall students are not interested in pills.

Mrs. Talentino reported on the slight increase of students who carried a gun in the last 30 days. She contrasted students carrying a gun for hunting purposes in the U.P. to those in a big city.

Mrs. Talentino reported on the decline of students who have had sexual intercourse, but the rise in those who used drugs or alcohol before, and the decrease in those using a condom.

Mrs. Talentino indicated her one-page summary provides a quick look at what the trends are over the years, and it helps her make sense of what is important to students and in the ways in which she can help.

Upon inquiry from Member Cochran, Mrs. Talentino indicated the summary of topics reported was the shortened version of the full report, and the full report broke out responses by all races, gender, grade and age.

 

2.     Academic Progress Update – Mrs. Amy Scott-Kronemeyer

Dr. Hall reported the Academic Progress Report is combined into the Extended Continuity of Learning Plan that the Board is asked to take action on later in the meeting.

Mrs. Scott-Kronemeyer thanked Mrs. Talentino for her good MiPHY report and stated her work really helps the district in proving eligibility when applying for certain grants.

 

Mrs. Scott-Kronemeyer indicated her objective was to review program data and look at recommendations from staff who work with the program analysis and data.

 

Mrs. Scott-Kronemeyer reported on the reading recovery intervention that is being provided for students in first grade who are in the bottom 20% of their class. She noted the goal is to bring those students up to at least the mid-range of their class. She indicated last year’s first grade class was

 

small so the district was able to service 30% instead of usual 20% of the class. She noted the first half of the year went very well, and then packets were sent home to students during the second half due to the COVID shutdown.

 

Mrs. Scott-Kronemeyer presented the following commentary.

  • Allocate services by the number of students in each grade level
  • The need for teamwork/communication between intervention and grade level
  • Concern for incomplete/sufficient data and potential restructuring of contact with students that will impact efficiency
  • Finding time (build-in) to collaborate with classroom
  • Increase parent involvement at home and ongoing parent/teacher communication.
  • Find increased time for students who do not ready at home to read during the school day ad at

 

Mrs. Scott-Kronemeyer reported the What I Need (WIN) Program provides intervention to students in grades 1 through 4 for math, reading, and social/emotional support. She noted the specialists work in small groups for approximately 25 minutes per day on core curriculum while the classroom teacher(s) works with the larger group.

Mrs. Scott-Kronemeyer reported on the number of students served by the Literacy Groups in Grades 1 through 4. She noted the intended student demographics need to be served at a higher percentage than the enrolled population. She also included the need to appropriate the blocks of WIN time to sustain student engagement and serve more students.

Mrs. Scott-Kronemeyer reported the Literacy Lab for students in grades 6 through 8 use Achieve 3000 and Leveled Literacy Intervention (LLI) to support students who are reading two to three levels below grade level.

Mrs. Scott-Kronemeyer reported consistency in the Middle School reading lab is needed to help move students along.

Mrs. Scott-Kronemeyer reported the Middle School math intervention is limited because of the lack of resources. She indicated the desire to find time for intervention teachers to collaborate with the classroom teachers.

Mrs. Scott-Kronemeyer reported numeracy groups for students in grades kindergarten through 4 meet in small groups 15-30 minutes a day to help increase the speed and accuracy of math concepts. She noted assessments are given throughout the semester to determine if further intervention is needed as well as recommendations from the intervention specialist.

Mrs. Scott-Kronemeyer reported funding to support intervention is based on student demographics.

Mrs. Scott-Kronemeyer reported Mrs. Lehmkuhle supports the Middle School math labs for grades 6-8 and has graduated students out because of their success. She noted Mrs. Lehmkuhle uses the Add+VantageMR (AVMR) and Math Recovery assessments to enhance instruction and so all teachers can speak the language and understand the data.

Mrs. Scott-Kronemeyer reported ALEKS is the web based math program used for elementary students.

Mrs. Scott-Kronemeyer reported the Math Career and College Readiness program offered for students in grades 11 and 12 is doing very well. She noted 64 students are currently enrolled in that SAT prep program, and former students indicated they felt their knowledge of math concepts were stronger because of it.

Mrs. Scott-Kronemeyer reported the district is partnering with the ISD on student well-being with the use of 31A dollars, and this partnership should provide for 4 full-time, general and special education counselors at the high school, but she indicated they are needed in the other buildings as well.

Mrs. Scott-Kronemeyer reported Mrs. Cara DeNuccio and Mrs. Symantha Morley are counselors at the elementary level that have been very crucial in identifying students and getting the support they need. She stated they are very busy meeting with a lot of staff and parents.

Mrs. Scott-Kronemeyer reported the Middle School continues to support the Sault Alternative Innovative Learners (SAIL) program that works with at-risk students in multiple ways. She noted the program works with students to help hold them accountable for their attendance as well as support families if there are any underlying reasons. Mrs. Scott- Kronemeyer reported the program’s goal to have students be fully integrated back into general education by the time they leave grade 8.

Mrs. Scott-Kronemeyer reported the high school supports student wellness through similar avenues as the other schools by offering a food pantry, Kidz Klosit, offering awareness and diversity programs, and several other intervention services administered by the counselors, Native American Advisor, and other staff recommendations.

Mrs. Scott-Kronemeyer reported the district typically offers a large summer school program, but because of the COVID restriction, not as many students were able to receive instruction. Mrs. Scott-Kronemeyer reported 33 elementary students received math and reading instruction, and 73 high school students took 120 online courses and earned 32 credits for 43 courses.

Upon inquiry from Mrs. Scott-Kronemeyer, there were no questions.

 

3.    Extended Continuity of Learning Plan – Mrs. Amy Scott-Kronemeyer

Mrs. Scott-Kronemeyer reported the state requires the Board to review the Extended Continuity of Learning Plan on a monthly basis, to allow for public comment, to modify or reaffirm the plan, and to post or update it on the district transparency site.

Mrs. Scott-Kronemeyer reviewed the ECL plan’s assurances and confirmed the mode of instruction, and curriculum available to students.

Mrs. Scott-Kronemeyer reported the online two-way interaction rates between students and teachers has been good. She noted typically students who are in on-line programs need the flexibility in learning for a whole host of reasons. She stated the first part of the school year was focused on student proficiency and gaps based largely on the loss of instruction due to COVID-19, but the staff is doing an exceptional job and students are learning.

Upon inquiry, there were no questions.

 

B.     SUPERINTENDENT REPORT

Dr. Hall thanked the Chippewa County Health Department for its support with the multiple COVID questions through phone calls and emails about COVID, and especially today with the first student who tested positive.

Dr. Hall thanked Mr. McCready and his team at the high school for their communication to students and families about the current situation.

 

Dr. Hall stated he hoped the student recovers quickly. He further indicated that since there was no school on Friday, it allowed for more time to clean. He stated last year’s extra cleaning and sanitizing is this year’s routine.

 

Dr. Hall stated the district is not out of the woods yet, but if something does arise, the district will certainly contact the health department and they will use their matrix before we recommend school to close.

 

C.     AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION

Upon inquiry from President Smith, there was no comment.

 

100.      III.       ACTION ITEMS AND BOARD REPORTS

A.     PERSONNEL - Superintendent Hall

Mrs. Lucy Carrick introduced Mrs. Wales and presented the following recommendation.

New Hires

1.    Peggy Wales – Bus Driver – Sault Schools Transportation

It was moved by Member Wilson, supported by Member Wolski, that the Board of Education approve the recommendation to hire Peggy Wale as part-time Bus Driver for Sault Schools.

 

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

Nays: None

Absent: None

Motion Carried.

 

Mrs. Rondeau-McCarthy introduced Ms. Preston and presented the following recommendation.

It was moved by Member Wilson, supported by Member Pingatore, that the Board of Education approve the recommendation to hire Erica Preston as part-time Playground Supervisor for Sault Middle School.

 

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

Nays: None

Absent: None

Motion Carried.

 

101.      B.        MAINTENANCE TRUCK PURCHASE – Mrs. Michelle Bennin

Mrs. Bennin reported on the steps involved with obtaining a bid for the plow truck replacement.

It was moved by Member Wilson, supported by Member Young, that the Board of Education approve the recommendation to purchase a 2500 Dodge Tradesman pickup truck from O’Connor’s at a cost of $28,400 as presented.

 

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

Nays: None

Absent: None

Motion Carried.

 

102.    C.     EXTENDED CONTINUITY OF LEARNING PLAN – Superintendent Hall

Dr. Hall stated administration is not recommending any changes.

 

It was moved by Member Wilson, supported by Member Wolski, that the Board of Education approve the recommendation to maintain the current Extended Continuity of Learning Plan as presented.

 

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

Nays: None

Absent: None

Motion Carried.

 

103.     D.     DM BURR CONTRACT - Mrs. Michelle Bennin

Superintendent Hall presented the recommendation to restructure the DM Burr contract to help off-set the increased recruitment and retention of workers due to COVID-19 concerns.

It was moved by Member Wilson, supported by Member Wolski, that the Board of Education approve the revised contract for custodial services with DM Burr as presented and authorize the Superintendent to execute the necessary documents.

 

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

Nays: None

Absent: None

Motion Carried.

 

104.     E.     GIFTS AND DONATIONS – Superintendent Hall

Dr. Hall presented the following donations and thanked the community for supporting our students and community.

1.    The Jamie Johnson family donated water bottles to Washington School.

2.    The Daniel and Jessica Kinney family donated water bottles to Washington

3.    The Algonquin United Methodist Church donated clothing to Washington School

4.    Paul & Lisa Young donated clothing to Washington

5.    Todd & Tara Wilton donated clothing to Washington

6.    Daniel & Jessica Kinney donated clothing to Washington

 

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

 

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

Nays: None

Absent: None

Motion Carried.

 

105.    IV.       BOARD GOVERNANCE AND BOARD POLICY ISSUES

 

Member Wolski thanked Dr. Hall for keeping the Board informed on the COVID updates.

 

Upon inquiry from Member Curtis, Members Young, Wilson, Wolski, and Pingatore agreed to continue as planned. Member Cochran indicated he had no comment.

 

106.    VII.      FUTURE PLANNING

 

November 9 - Regular Board Meeting - 7 p.m. - Middle School

December 14 – Regular Board Meeting - 7 p.m. - Middle School

 

107.    VIII.    ADJOURNMENT

 

There being no further business to come before the Board at 7:58 p.m., it was moved by Member Wilson, supported by Member Young, that the meeting be adjourned.

 

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

Nays: None

Absent: None

Motion Carried.

 

____________________________________

Daniel L. Smith, President

____________________________________

Melissa S. Pingatore, Board Secretary

____________________________________

Judy L. Sirk, Recording Secretary