1-20-2020 Board of Education Meeting Minutes

(Last Updated On: February 20, 2020)

BUCHANAN COMMUNITY SCHOOLS, BERRIEN COUNTY, MICHIGAN

                                                                                                                                                  

JANUARY 20, 2020         REGULAR MEETING        BUCHANAN HIGH SCHOOL

CALL TO ORDER PRESIDENT: Dennis Wentworth opened the meeting at 6:03 pm
ROLL CALL PRESENT: C. Lee, R. Writer, S. Tobler, J. DeVlaminck, K. Laesch and D. Wentworth

ABSENT:   H. Burnett

  OTHERS PRESENT : Timothy Donahue
ADOPTION OF AGENDA

 

MOTION by C. Lee, SECONDED BY Member S. Tobler the agenda for the board meeting of January 20, 2020 be adopted as written; with the following two changes being made:

1.       Move Board Policy adoption prior to item G. to give everyone 3 minutes to speak.

2.       Remove item I. XII. from the Agenda

 

ROLL CALL VOTE:  C. Lee, R. Writer, S. Tobler, J. DeVlaminck, K. Laesch and D. Wentworth

NAYS:  None     MOTION ADOPTED

RECOGNITION OF VISITORS

 

K. Mills, A. Horton, K. Horton, A. Harris, D. Bromley, K. Bromley, S. Bromley, J. Brawley, L. Miller, L. Miller, Ruya Antisdel, R. VanOverberghe, A. Place, C. Lolmaugh, A. Kline, M. Watkins, C. Behrle, K. Behrle, W. Murphy, S. Scott, J. Adkerson, M. Tobler, C. Hall, J. Hoover, M. Orphanidis, N. Coquillard, T. Coquillard, F. Driver, K. Coquillard, H. Hayden, K. Worvey, A. Borst, J. Cowan, C. Harnell, A. Hankins, A. Keser, L. Arbanas, R. Martin, C. Martin, C. Swem, J. Adkerson, D. Adkerson, M. Hoover, B. Weaver, K. Shelton, K. Berry, N. Coquillard, L. Payne, C. Roberts, L. Roberts, K. Lolmaugh, W. Writer, L. Martin, C. Franklin, D. Colip, S. Colip, E. Kratky, S. Miller, C. Martin, C. Mattingly, A. Gillette, J. Brackett, D. Ridgwey, R. English, L. Weinberg, R. Lorance, M. Lorance, M. Cole, B. McKean, G. Miller, A. Hansen, A. van der Laan, B. van der Laan
INFORMATION/REPORTS & NEW BUSINESS Emergency Planning & Security Committee Report – Mr. Donahue provided a meeting update to the Board. He stated that they had met last week to finalize protocols. Trainings were facilitated today with building Administrative Assistants. Mr. Donahue described the new protocol to entering the buildings. The new policy has been provided to all staff and parents.

 

Staff Advisory Committee Report – Mr. Donahue spoke of their meeting on 1-14-2020 and that they primarily talked regarding student discipline. Committee members had shared specific student discipline situations. He also spoke of the need for behavioral interventionists at the elementary level.

SUPERINTENDENT/

DEPARTMENT REPORTS

Updates for BHS, BMS, Moccasin, Ottawa, CTE/BVA, Special Education, Executive Director of Academics, Business Office, Operations, Food Service, Information Technology, Transportation, and Athletics were provided respectively.
BOARD POLICIES – SECOND READING MOTION by K. Laesch, SECONDED by C. Lee, The Buchanan Board of Education approves the second reading of the following NEOLA – Volume 34, No.1; new, revised, and or deleted policies:

 

POLICY

Description

0167.3

Public Participation at Board Meetings

1100

District Organization
1420 School Administrator Evaluation
1615 Use of Tobacco by Administrators
2265 Child Care Center Staff and Volunteers
2450 Community and Adult Education
2628 State Aid Incentives
3210 Staff Ethics
3215 Use of Tobacco by Professional Staff
3220 Professional Staff Evaluation
4215 Use of Tobacco by Support Staff
5230 Late Arrival and Early Dismissal
5330.02 Opioid Antagonists
5512 Use of Tobacco by Students
6800 System of Accounting
7300 Disposition of Real Property
7434 Use of Tobacco on School Premises
7440.03 Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems
8400 School Safety Information
8462 Student Abuse and Neglect

ROLL CALL VOTE:  C. Lee, R. Writer, S. Tobler, J. DeVlaminck, K. Laesch and D. Wentworth

NAYS:  None     MOTION ADOPTED

COMMUNITY DIALOGUE CITIZENS CONCERNS Lucie Behrle – a Buchanan Alumna, was here in support of Mr. Hoover. Mr. Hoover spent much time with her discussing her future plans and he helped talk her through her anxieties. He genuinely cared about her future. The staff at Buchanan care about the students. She is concerned about our divided district.

 

Ruya Antisdel – speaking in lieu of Serynn Nowlin who was absent playing in a basketball game. Her encounters with Mr. Hoover have always been positive. Mr. Hoover goes above and beyond. She is upset that building administration were not made aware of the reassignment of Mr. Hoover.

 

Autumn Place – speaking on behalf of Kadin Mills: He congratulated the Board on their new roles. He is upset that the Superintendent pulled him out of class to speak with him. He commented regarding having his signs be approved by the Superintendent, when they should be approved by the building Principal. He spoke of the actions of the Superintendent and Board of Education being disrespectful and would like to see all come together to fix the Board.

 

Renee Cornwell – spoke of repairing a broken district. She mentioned her pastor’s sermon. She commented on direct problems from the Superintendent’s leadership and of the staff morale being low. She stated that Buchanan has a division and the teachers are feeling it, as well as putting a strain on the students.

 

Lonnie Hoover – spoke of his letter sent to the Board on 12-23-19 and upset that his due process meeting was removed from the agenda. He spoke about violations of Board policy regarding reassigning him to a position that doesn’t exist. He has been publicly humiliated by the posting of the Athletic Director position online and in the hallway. He is asking for the accounts to be audited. The Superintendent has intimidated him. Board President, Dennis Wentworth, called time limit, and Mr. Hoover ceased his comments.

 

J.T. Adkerson – spoke about being in attendance in support of Mr. Hoover. He mentioned how from 2015 through 2019 he has had nothing but positive experiences with Mr. Hoover.

 

Camden Lorance – a student athlete at Buchanan High School. He mentioned how he was taught life lessons by Mr. Hoover. He stated how Mr. Hoover helps keep him on top of his grades. He spoke about Mr. Hoover making sure requests were made for teams, food on busses, Gatorade in coolers and has many memories with him. Mr. Hoover has given him a lot of advice.

 

Mary Jane Lorance – spoke of Lonnie always being at every event and fundraisers. She commented how he takes care of our kids and he’s a good Athletic Director and he is supported by many.

 

ADOPTION OF CONSENT AGENDA

 

MOTION by R. Writer, SECONDED by C. Lee, The Board of Education approves the consent agenda for the regular board meeting of January 20, 2020 be adopted as written:

1.     Minutes:

12-16-19 Regular Meeting

2.     Warrants:

Expenditure Reports & Payroll – December

3.     Recommendations to Hire as submitted by Moccasin Principal, Mr. Michael Dunn:

Recommended Employee Title
Kasey McBeth Literacy Coach at Moccasin Elementary

 

4.     Coaching recommendations made by Athletic Director, Lonnie Hoover:

Coach Position Step Class/Level CAP
Rachel English Varsity Girl’s Tennis 2 4 None
Eric Johansen JV Girl’s Tennis 1 6 None

 

ROLL CALL VOTE:  C. Lee, R. Writer, S. Tobler, J. DeVlaminck, K. Laesch and D. Wentworth

NAYS:  None     MOTION ADOPTED

ADOPTION OF THE 2019-20 AMENDED BUDGET MOTION by C. Lee, SECONDED by R. Writer, The Buchanan Board of Education, in accordance with the General Appropriations Act, accepts the Buchanan Community Schools amended budget appropriations resolution for the fiscal year 2019-20 as presented. Said documents to be entered into the minutes of this meeting and to take immediate effect.

 

Tricia Lowery remarked about meeting with the Finance Committee regarding the changes. There were many unknowns at the beginning of the school year. There were benefit and retirement adjustments made. The student count was 1,564; 8 over what she had estimated.

 

ROLL CALL VOTE:  C. Lee, R. Writer, S. Tobler, J. DeVlaminck, K. Laesch and D. Wentworth

NAYS:  None     MOTION ADOPTED

BVA GRADUATION CERTIFICATION

 

MOTION by J. DeVlaminck, SECONDED by S. Tobler, upon satisfactory completion of District requirements for High School Graduation, the Board of Education hereby approves:

 

Buchanan Virtual Academy Students:

–       Angel Baran

Buchanan Step Up Students:

–       Aaron McElroy

 

To be certified for Graduation.

 

ROLL CALL VOTE:  C. Lee, R. Writer, S. Tobler, J. DeVlaminck, K. Laesch and D. Wentworth

NAYS:  None     MOTION ADOPTED

2021 OVERNIGHT FIELD TRIP – ART/SPANISH TRIP TO ECUADOR/GALAPAGOS ISLANDS MOTION by R. Writer, SECONDED by S. Tobler, The Buchanan Board of Education approves the proposal for an overnight/extended student Art/Spanish trip to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands during the 2021 calendar year departing June 22, 2021 and returning June 28, 2021 as proposed by Art Teacher, Sandra Miller and Spanish Teacher, Rachel English.

 

Mr. Donahue remarked that he supported their trip. He stated that Board members did have questions regarding the trip and he spoke with Mrs. Miller & Mrs. English and all the Board’s questions were answered and included in the Board packet.

 

Board Member Mrs. Tobler thanked Mrs. Miller and Mrs. English for their time.

 

It was also remarked that seniors who have graduated in spring of 2021 are still welcome to join on the trip.

 

ROLL CALL VOTE:  C. Lee, R. Writer, S. Tobler, J. DeVlaminck, K. Laesch and D. Wentworth

NAYS:  None     MOTION ADOPTED

2020 CLOSE UP PROPOSAL FOR OVERNIGHT/EXTENDED STUDENT TRIP MOTION by R. Writer, SECONDED by K. Laesch, The Buchanan Board of Education approves the Close Up trip to Washington D.C. from March 29, 2020 through April 3, 2020 in accordance with Board Policy #2340, under the sponsorship of Mr. Joshua Wegener.

 

Mr. Donahue remarked that this has been an annual trip.

 

Board Member Mrs. Laesch discussed with Mr. Wegener the days off of school.

 

Board Member Mrs. Writer stated how this trip has been going since 1982.

 

ROLL CALL VOTE:  C. Lee, R. Writer, S. Tobler, J. DeVlaminck, K. Laesch and D. Wentworth

NAYS:  None     MOTION ADOPTED

PRE-LABOR DAY START LETTER

 

MOTION by C. Lee, SECONDED by R. Writer, The Buchanan Board of Education approves Superintendent Donahue’s letter to the Berrien RESA regarding RESA’s request to M.D.E. for approval of a waiver for a pre-Labor Day start.

 

Mr. Donahue touched on plans to submit & approve. This does not obligate us to start early, just that we are open to start speaking about it.

 

ROLL CALL VOTE:  C. Lee, R. Writer, S. Tobler, J. DeVlaminck, K. Laesch and D. Wentworth

NAYS:  None     MOTION ADOPTED

CLOSED SESSION MOTION by R. Writer, SECONDED by C. Lee, The Buchanan Board of Education move into closed session for hearings on student discipline (student #601445), student discipline (student #601263), and emergency planning.

 

Entered closed session at 6:50 pm.

 

ROLL CALL VOTE:  C. Lee, R. Writer, S. Tobler, J. DeVlaminck, K. Laesch and D. Wentworth

NAYS:  None     MOTION ADOPTED

OPEN SESSION MOTION by J. DeVlaminck, SECONDED by S. Tobler, The Buchanan Board of Education returns to open session.

 

Entered into open session at 7:17 pm.

 

ROLL CALL VOTE:  C. Lee, R. Writer, S. Tobler, J. DeVlaminck, K. Laesch and D. Wentworth

NAYS:  None     MOTION ADOPTED

REINSTATEMENT OF STUDENT #601445 MOTION by J. DeVlaminck, SECONDED by S. Tobler, The Buchanan Board of Education approves the recommendation to reinstate student #601445 to Buchanan High School effective the second semester of the 2019-2020 school year with the following conditions being met:

 

1.     Through the remainder of the first semester of the 2019-2020 school year, student #601445 must successfully complete the current semester while attending BVA, the Step Up Program, or another alternative setting.

 

2.     The student must have a substance abuse evaluation completed with an outside the school district professional (responsibility of parent/guardian) prior to re-admittance meeting with the Superintendent of the Buchanan Community Schools.

 

3.     Upon the completion of the first two steps the student and parents/guardians must contact the Superintendent of Buchanan Community Schools to schedule a re-admittance hearing back into Buchanan Community Schools.

 

4.     Any recommendation will be reviewed by the Buchanan School Board before a decision to reinstate student #601445 will be made.

 

ROLL CALL VOTE:  C. Lee, R. Writer, S. Tobler, J. DeVlaminck, K. Laesch and D. Wentworth

NAYS:  None     MOTION ADOPTED

REINSTATEMENT OF STUDENT #601263 MOTION by J. DeVlaminck, SECONDED by R. Writer, The Buchanan Board of Education approves the recommendation to reinstate student #601263 to Buchanan High School effective the second semester of the 2019-2020 school year with the following conditions being met:

 

1.     Through the remainder of the first semester of the 2019-2020 school year, student #601263 must successfully complete the current semester while attending BVA, the Step Up Program, or another alternative setting.

 

2.     The student must have a substance abuse evaluation completed with an outside the school district professional (responsibility of parent/guardian) prior to re-admittance meeting with the Superintendent of the Buchanan Community Schools.

 

3.     Upon the completion of the first two steps the student and parents/guardians must contact the Superintendent of Buchanan Community Schools to schedule a re-admittance hearing back into Buchanan Community Schools.

 

4.     Any recommendation will be reviewed by the Buchanan School Board before a decision to reinstate student #601263 will be made.

 

ROLL CALL VOTE:  C. Lee, R. Writer, S. Tobler, J. DeVlaminck, K. Laesch and D. Wentworth

NAYS:  None     MOTION ADOPTED

EMERGENCY PLAN MOTION by C. Lee, SECONDED by K. Laesch, The Buchanan Board of Education approves the Buchanan Community Schools Emergency Operation Plan (EOP) as recommended by the Emergency/Security Planning Committee.

 

Mr. Donahue remarked about school safety and being in compliance with State law.

 

ROLL CALL VOTE:  C. Lee, R. Writer, S. Tobler, J. DeVlaminck, K. Laesch and D. Wentworth

NAYS:  None     MOTION ADOPTED

AMEND BOARD MEMBER COMMITTEE ASSIGNMENTS MOTION by J. DeVlaminck, SECONDED by K. Laesch, The Buchanan Board of Education moves to amend the following Board Member committee assignments:

 

Member Chris Lee is to be removed from the Emergency/Security Committee and added to the Capital Planning Committee.

 

Member Kelly Laesch is to be removed from the Capital Planning Committee and added to the Emergency/Security Committee.

 

Member Ruth Writer is to be added as an alternate to the Curriculum Council.

 

ROLL CALL VOTE:  C. Lee, R. Writer, S. Tobler, J. DeVlaminck, K. Laesch and D. Wentworth

NAYS:  None     MOTION ADOPTED

QUESTIONS & COMMENTS FROM BOARD MEMBERS Mrs. Writer shared about her participation in the Strategic Planning Retreat and is looking forward to the outcome.

 

Mr. Donahue added about his participation in the Strategic Planning Retreat and finalizing 5 goals and bringing them forward for Board approval.

 

Mr. Donahue recognized and thanked the Board as part of School Board Recognition month, and he reviewed the items and gifts presented to Board members to show the staff and students’ appreciation for the Board.

 

Mrs. Laesch thanked the community and Virtual Academy for the gifts.

 

Mrs. Writer shared with the Board a letter of thanks from Kathy Rossow for the flowers for Mr. Rossow, former Board member, who had passed away.

NEXT BOARD MEETING Wednesday, February 19th, 6pm @ Buchanan High School
ADJOURNMENT 7:26 pm
Updated: February 20, 2020 — 4:35 PM