Board Meeting in Review – February 8, 2021

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

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

Public comment:  A high school teacher raised concerns about cheating by virtual students, after finding that a minimum of 20% of his students taking a test admitted to cheating.

Alan Breneman, Food Service Director, updated the board on the efforts of the food service department in meeting the nutritional needs of our students:

– Currently handing out meals every Wednesday to virtual families (26,000 + meals)

– Preparing meals to be sent home with students Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday (14,000 + meals)

– Assisted in handing out over 190,000 breakfast and lunch meals from March – August, 2020

– Secured a grant to allow distribution of over 17,000 Farmers to Family food boxes

– Distributed nearly 70,000 free meals during the current school year

– New equipment was purchased after being awarded several grants

Superintendent Denney presented the board on the MDHHS Executive Order and Hanover-Horton athletics.  The order was updated to allow basketball and wrestling; the girls and boys basketball teams are playing their first game of the season tonight, and masks must be worn during play.  According to the order, each person on the wrestling team will have to pass a rapid COVID test on the day of any interscholastic competition.  Two spectators per athlete will be allowed for basketball and wrestling, but no spectators are allowed for bowling.  Schools in the conference will be using Ticket Spicket for tickets to games, which allows for contact tracing if needed.

A discussion was held regarding the reopening of the Hanover-Horton Virtual School, in order to offer a different program to students who in the past have left our district to take a virtual program elsewhere.  The virtual program would offer a different mode of learning while still giving students the option to stay at Hanover-Horton.  The virtual school would be based on the Michigan Merit Curriculum and require 18 credits to graduate.  We would be able to set up any parameters we want in regard to who would qualify for the program.  It offers students more flexibility in their schedule, a drop-in clinic for support, and less time in a physical building.  Graduates would not participate in the normal H-H graduation ceremony, but would have a separate ceremony.  The board approved that the administration continue to explore the possibility of re-opening the virtual school, with the possibility of running a “pilot program” for the remainder of this school year before opening the program formally next school year.

The board chose to support Dale Wingerd in the Michigan Association of School Boards 2021 election for Region 7.

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

Week 1 – 82.72%

Week 2 – 74.01%

Week 3 – 79.45%

Week 4 – 74.60%

During the month of January, over 90% of our students had two 2-way interactions with their teachers.

Extended COVID-19 Learning Plan Public Comment:

None

Superintendent Denney reported to the board members on the following:

  • Support staff have been keeping busy on virtual Wednesdays by taking on projects such as painting murals at the elementary building and painting the library and middle school gym at the MS/HS complex.
  • Pictures were shown to the board of the progress being made on the construction of the new gym.
  • The Farmers to Families food boxes will be starting back up again soon.
  • The waiver for the pre-Labor Day start of school for county schools was renewed by the state through the 2024-25 school year.
  • As recommended by the health department and Henry Ford Allegiance, Thursday, February 18th will be a district-wide virtual day for students, as staff who received the first dose of the COVID vaccine will be getting the second dose on February 17th.  This will hopefully avoid a shortage of subs for teachers who may not feel well after receiving the second dose.
  • We’re happy to see basketball and wrestling in competition again.
  • Thank you to teachers and staff for everything they do.

The board members commented on the following:

  • Thank you to the high school teacher for voicing concerns about student cheating during distance learning.  We need to look at board policies.  Cheating should not be tolerated.
  • Thank you to food service staff for all that they do to provide meals for our students.
  • The board is happy to see basketball and wrestling competition returning.
  • Thank you to administration for the virtual school program discussion.
  • Thank you for the School Board Appreciation Month gifts.

The meeting was adjourned at 7:57 p.m.

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