Board Meeting in Review – April 12, 2021

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The regular meeting was held starting at 6:30 p.m.

Lauren Hassenzahl, Student Council president, sent in a Student Council report, and Mr. Denney informed the board of the recent Student Council activities involving Snowfest.

Hillsdale County Sheriff Scott Hodshire and Undersheriff Nathan Lambright presented H-H bus driver, Michaela Cousino, and high school student, Ryan Howard, with a Civilian Recognition Award for their efforts in alerting a homeowner and 911 of a house fire last fall on the way to school.  Their efforts very well could have saved the homeowner’s life.  Our district also gave them a gift card as a token of appreciation.

The meeting agenda, March meeting minutes, and treasurer’s report were approved with no changes.

Public comment:  None

The board approved a resolution for a special school election to be held in August 2021.  Our current sinking fund expires at the end of this year, and this ballot proposal will be asking voters to approve the sinking fund for another five years.  This proposal will not be labeled on the ballot as a renewal, due to some changes in the law which will allow the revenues to be used on technology for the first time.  If it was labeled as a renewal, we would not be able to take advantage of this significant benefit.  The board feels it is important for taxpayers to note that our district has the lowest tax levy of any other county school at 2 mills.  The passage of this proposal would provide the much-needed funds to allow our district to continue the upkeep of our buildings, as well as technology.  The ballot language is available in the superintendent’s office.

The board reapproved the district’s current COVID-19 Learning Plan, which is required monthly.  Supt. Denney shared the following two-way interaction rates for March 2021:

Week 1 – 81.24%

Week 2 – 78.96%

Week 3 – 76.02%

Week 4 – 70.07%

Extended COVID-19 Learning Plan Public Comment:  None

The board approved the tenure/probationary recommendations for eleven current teachers.

Superintendent Denney reported to the board members on the following:

  • We are proud of Michaela Cousino and Ryan Howard for helping to possibly save a homeowner’s life with their quick action to alert the homeowner and call 911 when they saw a house fire.
  • The decision to move to virtual learning for our middle and high schools weeks was not taken lightly.  After the governor’s strong recommendation last week, much research of the data, being informed of additional positive Covid cases among students, and a long meeting with others over the weekend, the decision was made to move to virtual learning, with plans, at this time,  for the middle school to return to face-to-face learning on April 15th and the high school to return to face-to-face learning on April 26th.
  • Thank you to our staff for an amazing job and “rolling with the punches.”
  • A massive thank you to our school nurse, Jacquie Melling for her expertise and countless hours put forth to keep our students and staff safe and well.  We have no idea how we could navigate this school year without her.
  • Our winter athletic season was one to remember!  Our girls bowling team won the regional championship and came in 2nd in the state finals tournament.  Kassidy Alexander was named 1st team all-state, and Layne Holda was named 2nd team all-state.
  • The wrestling team won conference and district championships on the same night.  Randy Frailey and Chris Sorrow were individual state champions, a first in the program’s history.  Four other wrestlers (Hocter, Sheffield, J. Frailey, and Fielder) on the team also placed in the state meet.
  • Our boys basketball team won the conference, district, regional, and appeared in the final four at the Breslin Center.  Coach Chad Mortimer finished his 23rd season as varsity basketball coach.  In that time, he has had 13 conference championships, 18 district championships, nine regional championships, and three trips to the final four.
  • A kindergarten student last year received a grant through the Jackson Community Foundation for students in her classroom to receive a “Canvas Art Experience.”  The project was delayed due to Covid, but recently, Mrs. Arbuckle was able to use the grant to teach all kindergarten and first grade students the various aspects of painting on canvases.
  • A Covid vaccine clinic will be held April 13th at Hillside United Methodist Church for anyone age 18 and over.
  • Kindergarten Round-Up will be next week on April 21-23.  There are 57 children registered for Round-Up at this time.
  • A virtual job fair hosted by the ISD will take place on April 28th from 12:00-5:00 pm.  Our Assistant Principal opening will be posted to coincide with the job fair.

The board members commented on the following:

  • Thank you to our bus driver and student for their efforts with the house fire.  They were at the right place at the right time to do the right thing.
  • Thank you to all employees of the school district.  The board appreciates everything they do.
  • It’s a good feeling to see our students celebrating their athletic successes.
  • After a facebook post asking for community members’ help in keeping the Athletic Boosters running, that group will be electing new officers soon.
  • The board members are proud to be part of our school district, where everyone is concerned, involved, and supportive.

The meeting was adjourned at 7:18 p.m.

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