Board Meeting in Review – July 22, 2019

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

Correspondence included a thank you notes from graduates who received the Ruth Creps Scholarship, as well as a thank you note from a family for a memorial contribution.

During the public comment portion of the meeting, several community members voiced their concerns with the district’s handling of the current sexual assault allegations regarding a current teacher and former student.  Mr. Denney gave out the investigator’s name and contact email for anyone who wanted to contact her with information.  The subject of students having cell phones in school was also brought up, as well as students being allowed to call teachers by their nickname or last name.

Organizational items, such as approving the legal name of the school district, bank resolutions, and scheduling of school board meetings for the next year were completed.

The board approved a ten cent increase in the price of student meals for the 2019-2020 school year, based on the recommendation of the Food Service Supervisor.

Updates to the elementary, middle, and high school student handbooks were approved.

Mr. Tim Evans was appointed the special liaison to the Michigan Association of School Boards and the Jackson County School Board Association.  Mr. Chris Blackledge was also reported as an alternate representative to the Jackson County School Board Association.

Mr. Gary Schuette was appointed the school board representative on the Hanover-Horton Education Foundation Committee and the Lucile McGee Scholarship Committee.

Mr. Leon Densmore was appointed as the school board representative on the Ruth Creps Scholarship Committee.

The board approved a list of recommended workshops and in-service training sessions throughout the year for board members.

The board approved the length of school term for the 2019-20 school year, as required by the school code.  School districts must have 180 days and provide and minimum of 1098 hours of pupil instruction.

Superintendent Denney presented the board with a facilities update.  The LED lighting conversion is being completed, various coatings will be applied to sections of the roof during cooler weather, new cabinets were built for the elementary cafeteria to house science lab equipment, and summer cleaning and moving of elementary classrooms are in progress.

An amendment to the 2018-19 cafeteria budget was approved, on the recommendation of the district’s financial auditor.

The board passed a 2019 Bond Purchase Agreement Resolution, which enables the sale of the bonds.

The board accepted, with regret, the resignation of Mrs. Jennifer French, elementary teacher, who is leaving the district to pursue other opportunities.

The hiring of Mrs. Melissa Bulgrien for a first grade teaching position and Ms. Emily Schock for a fifth grade teaching position was approved.

Superintendent Denney reported to the board members on the following:

  • The district’s financial audit was just completed and it looks like the district will have an approximately 9.4% fund balance, which is better than anticipated.  The cafeteria fund cleared approximately $5,700, the sinking fund balance is approximately $371,000, and the Tech Bond balance of approximately $41,000 will be divided up on recommendation of a committee to be spent on technology.
  • Thank you to Jennifer French for her service to the school district; she will be missed.
  • Thank you to the Board of Education for their service to the school district.

The board members commented on the following:

  • Thank you to everyone for attending the meeting.
  • The new lighting in the gyms is great; the middle school gym floor needs some work.
  • Professional development is needed for teachers to learn how to deal with students who come to them with issues.
  • Copies of community members’ speeches will be forwarded to all board members.
  • Board members understand the concerns of community members attending the meeting.  It is a very tough situation that is difficult for everyone.  People who have information regarding the alleged sexual assault situation need to contact the investigator, Diane Fenby, as she is a neutral party and has been told to do whatever she needs to do to complete a thorough investigation.  The students of the district are the first priority.  The board will continue to deal with facts, and will be faced with some tough decisions.

Meeting was adjourned at 8:30 p.m.

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