10-19-2020 Board of Education Meeting Minutes

(Last Updated On: November 17, 2020)

BUCHANAN COMMUNITY SCHOOLS, BERRIEN COUNTY, MICHIGAN

                                                                                                                                                  

OCTOBER 19, 2020                         REGULAR MEETING                        VIRTUAL MEETING

 

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

VIRTUALLY PRESENT: H. Burnett

ABSENT:   none

  OTHERS PHYSICALLY PRESENT: Superintendent Trish Robinson, Director of Business Tricia Lowery

OTHERS VIRTUALLY PRESENT: Mark Kurland, Phil Place, Mark Frey

ADOPTION OF AGENDA

 

MOTION by C. Lee, SECONDED BY Member R. Writer the agenda for the board meeting of October 19, 2020 be adopted as written.

 

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

NAYS:  None     MOTION ADOPTED

RECOGNITION OF VISITORS

 

Mrs. Tobler welcomed auditor Cynthia Scott of Stephenson & Company and those attending and watching online.
INFORMATION/REPORTS & NEW BUSINESS Cynthia Scott with Stephenson & Company presented her audit findings to the board. She explained the Audit Opinion Letter and the BCS audit receiving an unmodified opinion, which is the highest level of assurance that can be given. Cynthia spoke of BCS increases and decreases of revenues, pension liabilities, ending fund balance, general fund revenues and expenses, and changes coming under GASB. She spoke of the single audit findings that focused on the Child Nutrition Cluster (food service department). She recommended that the district develop a spend down plan to ensure that the ending fund equity at June 30, 2021 does not exceed three months’ average operating expenses so the state can’t recapture the remaining excess dollars.

 

Superintendent Robinson and the Executive Team provided their updates respectively.

 

School Highlight – Mr. Mark Frey the BVA, CTE, and Athletic Coordinator pointed out new items purchased for the CTE classes. He informed the board of the influx of BVA applications in September and those on track to graduate before Christmas break. He spoke of a survey sent out to BVA students/parents regarding schooling plans at semester, if they plan on staying virtual or going back to in person. He congratulated all fall sports team on a great season finishes.

SUPERINTENDENT/

DEPARTMENT REPORTS

Buck Staff Recognition October Winner: Shelley Lietz, Speech & Language Pathologist at Ottawa Elementary School. Mrs. Robinson recognized Mrs. Lietz as this month’s winner. Special Education Supervisor, Mrs. Karin Falkenstein, nominated Mrs. Lietz for being the lead speech and language pathologist for Buchanan Community Schools and mentor clinician for the Clinical Fellowship year for several first year SLP’s in Buchanan including her two current SLP colleagues. Mrs. Falkenstein included the areas that Mrs. Lietz assists with during the Clinical Fellowship. Mrs. Falkenstein spoke of her generous giving and excellent parent communication abilities. She thanked her for her professional and personal commitment to Buchanan students and families.

 

Nominees included:

– Abby Cantu, BHS Administrative Assistant
– Brenda Hemphill, Moccasin 4th Grade Teacher
– Dr. Michael Dunn, Moccasin Elementary Principal
– Kristen Wahlstrom, BCS Transportation
– Marion Hurd, Ottawa Elementary School Administrative Assistant
– Trinity Young, BMS Media Assistant
– Wendy Murphy, Ottawa Elementary School Literacy Coach

 

Updates for BHS, BMS, Moccasin, Ottawa, Athletics/CTE/BVA, Special Education, Assistant Superintendent, Business Office, Food Service, and Information Technology were provided respectively.

COMMUNITY DIALOGUE CITIZENS CONCERNS None.

 

Superintendent Robinson informed the board and community members that if there are any concerns addressed by community members in the future, we will post the question and answer on the BCS district website under Community Dialogue Responses found under the Board of Education portion of the website.

ADOPTION OF CONSENT AGENDA

 

MOTION by D. Wentworth, SECONDED by J. DeVlaminck, The Board of Education approves the consent agenda for the regular board meeting of October 19th, 2020 be adopted as written:

 

  1. Minutes:

9-21-20 Regular Meeting

 

2. Warrants:

Expenditure Reports & Payroll – September

 

3. Recommendations to Hire as submitted by:

BCS Operations Supervisor, Mr. Daryl Miller (contract attached)

BCS Food Service Supervisor, Mrs. Becky Kaltenbach

BCS Director of Technology, Mr. Phil Place

BCS Business Director, Mrs. Tricia Lowery

 

Recommended Employee Title
Larry Kline Operations Utility Staff
Carlie Miller Cook’s Help @ BMS
Jesse Layne Assistant IT Support Specialist Internship
Kathryn Domer Transportation Regular Back-Up Bus Driver

 

4. Staff resignation as submitted:

Lindsay Harroff – JV Girls’ Basketball Coach

Kristen Wahlstrom – BCS Bus Driver

Victoria Whitfield – Operations Utility Staff

 

5. Maternity Leave as submitted:

Abby Cantu – BHS Administrative Assistant to the Principal

 

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

NAYS:  None     MOTION ADOPTED

CLOSED SESSION MOTION by R. Writer, SECONDED by C. Lee, the Buchanan Board of Education moves into closed session for a hearing on student discipline – Student #600653. Time: 7:16pm

 

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

NAYS:  None     MOTION ADOPTED

RETURN TO OPEN SESSION MOTION by D. Wentworth, SECONDED by R. Writer, the Board of Education resolves to return to open session. Time: 7:37pm

 

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

NAYS:  None     MOTION ADOPTED

STUDENT DISCIPLINE RESOLUTION #600653 MOTION by J. DeVlaminck, SECONDED by D. Wentworth, the Buchanan Board of Education adopts the following resolution:

 

WHEREAS, the administration has presented to the Board of Education, a recommendation concerning the expulsion of a student who was in violation of Buchanan School Board Policy #5500 & #5530 on Tuesday, October 13th, 2020; and

 

WHEREAS, the administration has notified the student and parent(s) involved of the accusations against the student, the recommendation of expulsion, and their rights to a hearing on this date;

 

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED:

 

The Buchanan Board of Education hereby chooses to expel student #600653 from attendance in the Buchanan Community Schools effective immediately for the remainder of the 2020-21 school year with the following conditions to be met for possible reinstatement to Buchanan High School for first semester of the 2021-2022 school year:

 

1.       Through the remainder of the second semester of the 2020-2021 school year, we request that student #600653 successfully complete the current school year while attending BVA, the Step Up Program, or another alternative setting.

 

2.       The student must have a substance abuse evaluation/counseling 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 #600653 will be made. Student may be readmitted if all Board policies have been met.

 

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

NAYS:  None     MOTION ADOPTED

CERTIFIED STAFF LEAVE OF ABSENCE MOTION by K. Laesch, SECONDED by S. Tobler, the Buchanan Board of Education grants maternity leave to Hayley Sater, Moccasin Elementary 3rd grade teacher, beginning approximately October 22, 2020. In accordance with Article VIII, Section A.1.b. using all accumulated sick days with any remaining days to be unpaid according to the Family Medical Leave Act, barring any complications, she would return to her position as 3rd grade teacher at the start of the second semester, January 25, 2021.

 

The board wished Mrs. Sater congratulations and a wonderful maternity leave.

 

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

NAYS:  None     MOTION ADOPTED

CROSSING GUARD SERVICE AGREEMENT MOTION by R. Writer, SECONDED by K. Laesch, the Buchanan Board of Education approves the proposed crossing guard service agreements as agreed between Buchanan Community School and the City of Buchanan effective for the 2020-21 school year.

 

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

NAYS:  None     MOTION ADOPTED

STUDENT HANDBOOK UPDATE MOTION by C. Lee, SECONDED by S. Tobler, the Buchanan Board of Education adopts the Ottawa and Moccasin Elementary School’s Handbook update for the 2020-21 school year as presented.

 

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

NAYS:  None     MOTION ADOPTED

NEOLA FIRST READING MOTION by R. Writer, SECONDED by D. Wentworth, the Buchanan Board of Education approves the first reading of the following Neola – Volume 35, No. 1; revised and new policies:

 

POLICY

Description

4362.01

Threatening Behavior Toward Staff Members

5610

Removal, Suspension, Expulsion, and Permanent Exclusion of Students
5611 Due Process Rights
7440 Facility Security
8450.01 Protective Facial Coverings During Pandemic/Epidemic (New)

Superintendent Robinson gave a brief summary of each policy.

 

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

NAYS:  None     MOTION ADOPTED

EXTENDED COVID-19 LEARNING PLAN MOTION by C. Lee, SECONDED by S. Tobler, the Buchanan Board of Education approves the Extended COVID-19 Learning Plan for Buchanan Community Schools as presented by the Buchanan Administration.

 

Superintendent Robinson mentioned a need for monthly reconfirmation.

 

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

NAYS:  None     MOTION ADOPTED

RESOLUTION TO GRANT EMERGENCY POWERS TO SUPERINTENDENT MOTION by D. Wentworth, SECONDED by C. Lee,

 

Whereas the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect school operations due to the need to comply with Executive Orders, to comply with appropriate guidance on safety protocols for reopening schools, and ensuring appropriate educational services; and

 

Whereas, the Board intends to comply with its legal obligations, including relevant Executive Orders, and, accordingly, temporarily suspend or alter affected policies and guidelines as necessary to comply with its legal obligations, and otherwise take required actions consistent with its legal obligations; and

 

Whereas the Board of Education finds that the current environment created by the COVID-19 pandemic requires that the Superintendent be granted greater flexibility to respond quickly and appropriately to the evolving crisis, including ensuring compliance with Executive Orders and also adapting to the changing environment, including provision of alternative modes of instruction; and

 

Whereas under board Bylaw 0131.1 , the operation of any section or sections of Board policies not established by law or contract may be suspended temporarily by a majority vote of Board members at a public meeting held in compliance with law and Board policy;

 

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Buchanan Community Schools Board of Education grants to the Superintendent the following temporary powers to address the COVID-19 emergency throughout the duration of the 2020-2021 school year:

 

  1. Authority to temporarily waive such Board policies or provisions of Board policies as the Superintendent shall deem necessary to comply with Executive Orders and with guidance from appropriate health or governmental authorities or as necessary for an effective response to COVID-19 related issues and implementation of the District’s Preparedness Plan.

 

  1. Authority to take any lawful actions necessary to comply with Executive Orders, to ensure the continuation of public education, to provide for the health and safety of students and employees, or to respond to direction from appropriate health and government authorities. Such actions may include, but are not limited to: adjustments to the curriculum and the provision of alternative educational program options; adjustments to the calendar; adjustments to employee work schedules and assignments; adjustments to the delivery of school-provided meals; limitations on access to property owned or controlled by Buchanan Community Schools hiring of providers and/or partnering with other districts or ISDs; applying to any governmental body for financial or other aid as may be available; and applying to any governmental body for waiver of regulations or requirements, compliance with which is affected by the COVID-19 emergency.

 

  1. Authority to enter into contracts without board approval for any dollar amount necessary for the purchase of materials, equipment, supplies or services for sanitation, cleaning, technology or other needs directly related to the COVID-19 emergency situation, provided such action is consistent with all applicable state and federal laws.

 

  1. Authority to institute new policies or procedures to implement the Executive Orders and/or the Preparedness Plan, including, but not limited to, policies requiring face coverings, imposing mandatory quarantine measures, and limiting access to the school building or educational/extracurricular activities.

 

NOW, BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Superintendent is directed to keep the Board of Education informed of any actions taken under this emergency authority as soon as is practicable in light of the circumstances.

 

NOW, BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the temporary powers authorized by this Resolution are in effect for the duration of the 2020-2021 school year, unless otherwise rescinded or extended by the Board upon majority vote.

 

NOW, BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that execution of this Resolution is conclusive evidence of the Board of Education’s approval of this action and of the authority granted herein.

 

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

NAYS:  None     MOTION ADOPTED

QUESTIONS & COMMENTS FROM BOARD MEMBERS Mrs. Writer provided an update from the previous Policy Committee Meeting. The meeting members discussed the NELOA policy’s first reading and administrative guideline 2431a. They spoke about purchasing additional guidelines and looking into possibly switching to Thrun board policies instead of NEOLA.

 

Mr. DeVlaminck provided an update from the Personnel Committee Meeting. The members spoke about raising the pay for the BCS Transportation Supervisor position. They also spoke about raising the pay for our bus drivers and hiring a high school administrative assistant. Lastly, Mr. DeVlaminck spoke of keeping a guidance counselor for second semester at BHS.

 

Mrs. Tobler spoke about the need for positive support of our election nominees.

 

Dr. Burnett thanked Mrs. Tobler for her comment and shared details regarding Dare Graduation at the Middle School.

NEXT BOARD MEETING Virtual Meeting – Monday, November 16, @ 6pm
ADJOURNMENT 8:06 pm
Updated: November 17, 2020 — 7:59 AM