Board Meeting in Review – November 9, 2020

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

The board approved the second reading of NEOLA Vol. 35, No. 1 – August 2020; the first reading of NEOLA Special Release Regarding Open Meetings Act – October 2020; and the first reading of NEOLA Special Update EDGAR Revisions – October 2020.

The purchase of the secondary Language Arts curriculum, Mirrors & Windows, published by EMC was approved by the board.  These textbooks align with the College and Career Readiness Standards and comes equipped with Passport Digital Tools, from which teachers can virtually assign work, track progress of students, and provide feedback.  It also contains materials for differentiated instruction, extension activities to challenge students, and access to several free classic novels.

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

Week 1 – 91.66%

Week 2 – 81.74%

Week 3 – 80.22%

Week 4 – 76.97%

Extended COVID-19 Learning Plan Public Comment:

An elementary teacher commented that:

  • It is very difficult to get packets/materials ready for students when there is short notice of students/staff going on quarantine.
  • Questioned whether our learning plan stayed the same if Michigan has no phases regarding COVID.  We still have phases, and our plans have not changed.  Michigan is still currently in Phase 4.
  • It is best for all students to attend school in person.

Another elementary teacher questioned whether the district had plans to do an all-call to families as a gentle reminder regarding the guidelines around Thanksgiving travel.  The district will send out a reminder, with health department guidelines.  Also, is there any discussion among county superintendents on taking a break between Thanksgiving and Christmas?  Superintendents will meet soon and there will be more discussion on that topic.

A $500 employee bonus was approved by the board for all district employees as recognition and thanks for all the extra work that dealing with the changes due to the pandemic has caused.  This payment will be subject to taxes and benefits, and will be paid to employees before Christmas break.

Superintendent Denney reported to the board members on the following:

  • Kudos to a district bus driver who saw a home on fire during her morning route last week.  She pulled over, ran to the house, and pounded on the door to alert anyone in the home.  She injured her hand when the glass in the door broke, but she did alert the owner of the home, who got out safely.  She was taken to the emergency room and the transportation supervisor continued with her route.
  • Our food service department has not received any money from the state yet for providing free breakfast and lunches to students.  Hopefully that money will start flowing through to us soon.
  • Congratulations to Chris Blackledge and Gail Proctor on their reelection to the school board.  Also to Tim Evans on his reelection to the Hanover Township board.
  • Thank you to Triangle Technologies for allowing us to stream football games this fall.
  • Our cross country team had a fine showing at the state meet this past weekend.  The boys team came in 5th place and the girls team came in 19th place.  Three runners made all-state:  Dean Reynolds, Rogan Melling, and Logan Shepherd.
  • Winter sports are gearing up.  There will only be two spectators allowed per participant.
  • The remaining Chromebooks on order should be here by the end of the month.
  • Thanks to Pam Surque of the ISD tech department, we were able to purchase used charging stations from Western Schools at a very reduced price.
  • Thank you to the building principals for all the work they do behind the scenes.
  • Happy Thanksgiving to all!

The board members commented on the following:

  • Thank you to everyone for going the extra mile in dealing with today’s pandemic situation.  The teachers, support staff, administration, and board make a great team.
  • The board is excited to be able to purchase the new Language Arts curriculum.
  • The district has done a great job in dealing with all the restrictions to athletes and fall sports and seeing that they’re carried out.
  • The board is hopeful that the $500 bonus to be paid to all employees is appreciated.  It is money well spent for the best employees in the county.

The meeting was adjourned at 7:40 p.m.

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