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GOODRICH AREA SCHOOLS
GENESEE, OAKLAND & LAPEER COUNTIES, MI.
REGULAR MEETING OF THE BOARD OF EDUCATION
Time and Date:
6:00 p.m. – Monday, January 28, 2013
Community Room – High School Building
David Cramer, Jeff Gardner, Niki Wiederman, Chip Schultz, Linda Jackson, Ryan Starski and Timothy J. Zirnhelt
Also present: Scott Bogner, Beth Zito, Mike El is, Paul Minns, Stephanie O’Dea, Dave St. Aubin,
ALL MOTIONS APPROVED UNANIMOUSLY UNLESS OTHERWISE INDICATED.
The regular meeting was called to order at 6:00 p.m. 2) ITEMS FROM THE PRESIDENT
Mr. Cramer welcomed Ryan Starski, the newest board member, to his first official meeting. He took a moment to thank Tim Zirnhelt and Linda Jackson for their service as board officers. During the three years Mr. Cramer has served, the board has expelled four students for the distribution of drugs and several have been suspended for drug violations. He is asking administration to look into instituting a drug testing policy for students participating in athletics and/or extracurricular activities. This is done in other local districts. If it works for them, he is hopeful that it can benefit Goodrich as well.
3) ITEMS FROM THE SECRETARY
by Wiederman, support from Gardner to approve the minutes from the special board
meeting held on January 21, 2013, as presented.
4) ITEMS FROM THE TREASURER
by Schultz, support from Gardner to approve General Fund disbursements in the total
amount of $1,431,614.73, which includes Athletics disbursements in the amount of $6,083.17. Motion
by Schultz, support from Wiederman to approve Bond disbursements in the amount of
by Schultz, support from Gardner to approve Food Service disbursements in the
amount of $40,368.12. Motion
by Schultz, support from Jackson to approve Community Education disbursements in
the total amount of $283.62.
5) REPORTS TO BOARD:
Mr. Bogner took a moment to recognize the Goodrich Area Schools board members as part of National School Board Recognition month. He read a statement and gave each board member a certificate of recognition. These are difficult times in education and he genuinely appreciates the hard work and effort of these dedicated individuals.
6) PUBLIC COMMENT:
Mrs. Amanda Hoffman is a concerned parent who has lived in Goodrich for 12 years and is a teacher at Clarkston. As a teacher, she tries to stay on top of current trends in education. She has a child currently enrolled in the district. She feels like she is doing everything she can as a parent to make her daughter’s career dream a reality. She is concerned that the district is not doing their part. Students in surrounding districts are scoring higher than Goodrich students. This is far below what is expected of a district like Goodrich and she would like to know what administration is doing differently in their buildings to ensure that all children are receiving the education they deserve. Mr. Ed Oset thanked the board, on behalf of the GEA, for their dedication to the Goodrich school district and students. Mrs. Butterworth thanked the board, on behalf of the CMPT, for their service to the district. Mrs. Butterworth asked the board to let the two remaining custodians remain in their positions and privatize only through attrition. She thanked Mrs. Zito and Mr. Ellis for their help in eliminating the 2nd wave at the elementary buildings. Mrs. Butterworth has two grandchildren who have started attending school here. She shared with the board that the staff has made their transition very easy from day one.
7) REPORTS FROM BOARD COMMITTEES:
8) NEW BUSINESS
by Wiederman, support from Jackson to reinstate student #001536 immediately.
by Wiederman support from Zirnhelt for first reading and consideration of the
updated district Facility Usage Guidelines.
by Gardner, support from Starski to award the bid for district snow removal services
to “Little off the Top.”
Mr. McCallum, Maintenance Director, explained that this may not be a cost savings to the
district, but would give the Maintenance Department an option to utilize the service if
needed. With recent reductions in maintenance staff, a large snowfall may be more than
the remaining staff can complete, along with their other daily responsibilities. It takes
roughly 3 to 5 hours to clear all lots in the district with 5 inches of snowfall. Nays:
by Gardner, support from Wiederman to approve the school bus purchase plan as
Mr. Bogner explained that the district has buses that may not pass State inspection. The
board has not has not purchased a new bus since 2007, as a way to reduce spending.
This plan will allow the district to purchase off-lease buses with 30 to 40,000 miles on them;
3 each fiscal year for the next 3 years. Not only will we save with fewer repairs, but also by
having more fuel efficient models in the fleet. The board will need to consider annual purchases in order to keep the fleet current.
by Gardner, support from Cramer to approve the layoff of custodial support staff,
Rick Martin and Chris Thoroman, effective February 15, 2013.
Mr. Bogner explained that this will mean a $19,000 savings in employee costs this fiscal
year and $60,000 savings each year thereafter; as well as a savings in purchasing
Mr. Gardner finds this motion distasteful, but understands that the board is in the business
of educating students. This cut equals a teacher salary. During his time on the board, the
district has gone from 20% to 10% in its fund balance. He feels that the board cannot
continue to let the money drain away. With the decrease in student funding, this is the first
of many difficult decisions this board will have to make.
Mrs. Jackson finds privatizing jobs very distasteful, because our employees touch the lives
of the students in this district. Last year the board received a letter from a family who had
attended a sporting event at Goodrich. Their vehicle wouldn’t start and Rick Martin helped
by jumpstarting their car out in the parking lot. The lack of funding from the state forces
boards to devalue their employees and take away their pensions and benefits. However,
she must support it in order for the district to have the funds to runs its schools and
by Schultz, support from Wiederman to approve the hiring of Klaire Verbeke as a
0.75 time Literacy Specialist at Oaktree Elementary.
Mr. Bogner explained that this position is grant-funded. At-Risk and Title I monies
increased this year and some had not been spent from the previous fiscal year. These
grant funds will allow the district to have this position at other interventionist positions at the
Middle and High School. Mr. Bogner is excited about the opportunity this will allow for
Goodrich students and our staff.
Mrs. Jackson feels this position will be a nice addition and will benefit students and staff.
Mr. Cramer appreciates administration’s efforts to find the funds to help students at risk.
9) OLD BUSINESS:
10) REPORTS FROM BOARD REPRESENTATIVES:
11) ADMINISTRATIVE COMMENTARY
Mrs. Zito thanked the board members for the work they do. Tomorrow at 1:00 p.m., Reid will host an anti-bullying assembly. Mr. Ellis thanked the board on behalf of the Oaktree staff. He also thanked the board for their support of the new Literacy Specialist position. Mr. Minns thanked the board for their continued support of Middle School programs. In the near future, the Middle School will also be asking for board support of two new grant-funded interventionists.
Mrs. O’Dea thanked the board for their attendance and support of school extracurricular events. Coach Tom Alward is being inducted into the MHFCA Football Coach Hall of Fame. High School Senior, Morgan Cinader, is a finalist for the MHSAA Scholar Athlete award. Saturday night the district is hosting Freeland High School for girls’ basketball. Our varsity team is currently ranked number one in Class B and Freeland High School is ranked number three in Class B. We look forward to having a large crowd for this game featuring two of the best teams and some of the best players in the state. Mr. St. Aubin thanked the board on behalf of his staff and personally for their support when he had to leave to serve in Iraq and Afghanistan. “Turning Technology” training was provided for high school staff on the new student response system. Jan 31st is the High School Open House and second semester starts tomorrow. Mr. McCallum thanked Rick Martin and Chris Thoroman for their years of service to the district. He wished them well in their future endeavors. Mr. Bogner and Mr. McCallum made a road trip to visit the corporate offices of Fanning Howey and Wolgast; to discuss concerns with the completion of the bond project. He thinks the trip was worthwhile and that there will be some movement in a better direction. His biggest concern remains the completion of our secured entrances. He will keep the board updated as to the progress. Mr. Bogner hopes that the board is aware of what they have in Mr. McCallum. He does a great job staying on top of everything with the bond. He has been a huge advocate for the district throughout this process and he wished to publicly thank him for his efforts.
12) BOARD COMMENTARY
Student Representative Hagerman questioned how drug testing of students would work. Would it be only for athletes or for all students participating in afterschool activities? He is concerned that this may infringe on student rights and will cost the district a great deal of money. Student Representative Perozo has the same concerns as Mr. Hagerman. Mr. Starski urged everyone to contact their state senator and representative to push for funding for Michigan public schools. Mr. Zirnhelt congratulated Coach Alward on his honor. He is concerned about the snow plowing company approved being based in Flushing. The custodians were not just custodians, but were ambassadors of our district. He would prefer to see them stay on and be replaced by a private company through attrition only. Mrs. Jackson appreciates the administrative comments being provided in advance of the meeting. She thanked Ms. Alford’s 3rd grade classroom for the video they sent via email. Mrs. Jackson appreciates Mrs. Hoffman’s comments. She has seen a great deal of growth in the district academically and through Fine Arts and extracurricular activities. Mrs. Jackson pointed out that some of these articles are written for their “startle” value but, she knows that the district must be in competition with itself and constantly improving what it is doing for students. Mr. Schultz also thanked Mrs. Hoffman for coming out tonight and he expressed that he is confident that the right leadership is in place to improve our test scores. Drugs are a serious concern to him. They lead to low test scores and theft. Coaches, teachers and parents would
like to know if their students are using drugs. He is 100% behind it and pointed out that almost every job in the real world requires a drug screening. Mrs. Wiederman is also an educator and she has seen schools go up and down like a roller coaster in regards to test scores. She sits on the board curriculum committee and is confident that the district early release professional development days are well utilized. Mr. Gardner is not a school educator, but he sees that the district test scores have fallen and he welcomes help. Mr. Gardner thanked Rick Martin and Chris Thoroman adding that the board’s decision is not personal. The district auditors and Business Manger show the board the number and they must be fiscally responsible to ensure that the district stays open for years to come. The board also carries the responsibility of ensuring that Goodrich students are ready for a global world. Mr. Gardner supports drug screening. He has had to expel and suspend too many students. In his career field, all of the companies he works with conduct drug screening. If the Goodrich students do not agree, he encouraged them to bring another solution back to the table. Mr. Cramer congratulated Coach Alward and thanked Ms. Alford for the message from her students. He also thanked Rick Martin and Chris Thoroman for their services. The board can only spend so much money and must first do what is important for kids in the classroom. He realizes that data can be skewed in many different ways, but when potential new families look at the district’s performance on standardized tests; these numbers impact their decision on choosing a school for their children. Mr. Cramer has children in the district and so, understands Mrs. Hoffman’s comments from a parent perspective. However, he is confident that Mr. Bogner has high expectations of his administration, staff and students.
The regular meeting was adjourned at 7:12 p.m. Joy E. Moll, Recording Secretary
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