Board Meeting in Review – March 18, 2019

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Superintendent Denney and the Board of Education were happy to honor the Junior Medal of Honor recipients for February and the JROTC Leadership Team members from Hanover-Horton.

Mrs. Nancy Peters-Lewis, Executive Director of the College and Career Access Center provided the board with information regarding the district’s collaboration with their center.  She presented data related to Hanover-Horton students as well as Jackson County students as a whole.  Their services begin with eighth graders with their Kids to College/Pathways to Professional Skilled Trades program; Juniors participate in the Juniors Over the Local Circuit program where they visit local colleges and skilled trades businesses; One-on-one consultations are done with seniors, helping with college applications, FAFSA, college decisions, and scholarships for college-bound students; and for those seeking skilled trades, the CCAC helps them with cover letters/resumes, interviewing skills, job shadowing/internship, and employment/placement.  87% of H-H seniors have had one-on-one advising with the CCAC.  The center is also open to the public at the Jackson Crossing Mall.

Superintendent Denney updated the board on the proposed bond.  The district is waiting to get back some estimated costs from the general contractor before making any decisions about the project.  If the bond passes, all plans must be cleared through a review process.  The board does not want to rush with any process in order to break ground this summer; that way, there will be more time to finalize plans, space out projects that could lower the cost by allowing vendors to compete for bids, and reduce interruptions.

Once we have some finalized costs, it can be determined which items on our list can be paid for with the bond and which items will be paid for with the sinking fund over time.  We are confident that we will be able to address a new auxiliary gym, buses, air conditioning, parking lot expansions, windows, and re-do of the track with the bond money.  Remaining items on our list not covered in the bond will be able to be completed using the sinking fund.

Superintendent Denney also presented the board with an informal update of the board goals, as required by the Michigan Department of Education.  Some of the actions taken to address Board Goal #1, A-F have been discussions regarding special education staffing levels for each building, ways to increase student achievement for all our subgroups, reviewing of curriculum/textbook needs,  discussions on how to improve course offerings, district advertising, establishing staffing needs for next year, continued meetings regarding the bond proposal, donations of computers and other office equipment from local companies, and participation in activities that promote healthy choices and positive behaviors of students.  Board Goal #2, A-C addresses reviews of district facilities and updates to the district’s technology plan.  Actions taken include the donations of computers from Consumers Energy that will help solve the issue of upgrades to Windows 10, the continuation of LED lighting throughout the district, and the savings of nearly $50,000 on the lighting project at the football field.

The board accepted, with regret, a letter of intent to retire at the end of this school year from Mrs. Marcia Shevy, middle school teacher.  Her retirement will be effective June 30, 2019.

Superintendent Denney reported to the board members on the following:

  • A big thank you to Consumers Energy for their donation of laptop and desktop computers and other office equipment.
  • We are still waiting to hear from the state whether or not two additional weather days will be forgiven due to the state of emergency issued during the polar vortex this winter.
  • The county-wide school year calendar will be done after spring break.
  • There has been some discussion of possibly moving spring break to a week earlier in March to improve the timing of the break with the student testing window. As it stands now, testing is done the week right after school resumes from spring break.
  • The elementary school’s March is Reading Month celebration is in full swing and Superintendent Denney has been visiting classrooms as a guest reader.

The Board of Education members commented on the following:

  • The boys’ basketball season didn’t end the way we wanted, but the team had a great season. We are proud of all of our athletic teams and coaches.
  • Congratulations to the athletic boosters on the hard work they did and the great turn-out for the Draw Down event. It is very much appreciated.
  • Several board members have read or will be reading to elementary classrooms for March is Reading Month.
  • The board is excited about the possibility of district-wide improvements being made if the May bond passes.
  • There has been some good feedback from staff on the professional development day that was held on March 11th.
  • The board is very happy with the district’s collaboration with the College and Career Access Center and the advantages it provides to our students.
  • Keep in mind that as a district, we need to do things right and exceed expectations. We are proud of our administration, staff, parents, and students.  There is a need to maintain the culture of success our district has had with academics and athletics.

Meeting was adjourned at 8:32 p.m.

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