12-16-2019 Board of Education Meeting Minutes

(Last Updated On: January 30, 2020)



 DECEMBER 16, 2019                     REGULAR MEETING        BUCHANAN HIGH SCHOOL


CALL TO ORDER PRESIDENT: H. Burnett opened the meeting at 6:01 pm
ROLL CALL PRESENT: C. Lee, D. Wentworth, R. Writer, S. Tobler, K. Laesch, J. DeVlaminck, and H. Burnett

ABSENT:   None.

  OTHERS PRESENT : Timothy Donahue


MOTION by K. Laesch, SECONDED BY Member D. Wentworth the agenda for the regular meeting of December 16th, 2019 be adopted as written.


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





W. Writer, C. Lolmaugh, K. Berry, R. Martin, C. Martin, K. Lolmaugh, C. Lietz, S. Nowlin, E. Kratky, L. Weinberg, K. Mills, D. Ridgway Jr., E. Chase.


Parent Advisory Committee Report – Mr. Donahue shared with the Board that they have had three meetings and there are great conversations being had. They spent time speaking about the District’s website with plans on working with the Budget Committee in the future to approve the annual cost of a new website that is more easily navigable and more aesthetically pleasing. They also spoke on the district’s academic programs. Some parents are not aware of enrollment options in the upper grade levels and taking college courses while in high school. The PAC Committee also brought up Athletic Program concerns. Mr. Donahue stated that he will continue to work to get the programs to run smoothly.


Staff Advisory Committee Report – Mr. Donahue stated they had their first meeting. Staff that make up the committee are teachers, administrative assistants, coaches and food service workers. At the first meeting, they introduced themselves and brainstormed a list of hot topics they can address, e.g.: the need for technology training, HS/MS conferences, etc.  Mr. Donahue is also sharing their reports will the building Principals. The next meeting is planning on being held in mid-January.



Buck Staff Appreciation December winner: Phillip Place. Mr. Donahue recognized Mr. Place as this month’s winner. Principal Shelby Beasley nominated him for his help at Buchanan Middle School; for helping solve problems and installing a new camera system within 24 hours of the request. Mrs. Beasley also commented how Mr. Place has played a vital role in helping BMS change WBMS from a radio show to a live action news show and how thankful they are for him!  While Mr. Place was not able to attend the Board meeting, he will be receiving a certificate and a gift to show our appreciation for his extra efforts for his hard work!


Mr. Donahue addressed the Board that he had attended a Superintendent’s meeting last week at Berrien RESA. There was much conversation about moving the school year to start before Labor Day. At the January Board meeting, Mr. Donahue will be addressing the Board if they would like to submit a letter of support for beginning to explore a pre-Labor Day start for schools in Berrien County.


Mr. Donahue also touched on attending the Superintendent search input sessions for Berrien RESA. There was much conversation regarding services RESA provides and should provide. Mrs. Writer added that she attended the Board Member input portion and there were members from 6 Districts who were in attendance. They discussed concerns about professional development, social and emotional health issues and technology issues teachers are facing, among others. Interviews for the RESA superintendent will be held on February 4th and 5th at 1:00 in the afternoon.


Mr. Donahue wished the Board and the Community a Happy Holiday.


Board Updates for BHS, BMS, Moccasin, Ottawa, CTE/BVA, Executive Director of Academics, Business Office, Operations, Food Service, Information Technology, Transportation and Special Education were provided respectfully.






MOTION by R. Writer, SECONDED by C. Lee, The Board of Education approves the consent agenda for the regular board meeting of December 16th, 2019 be adopted as written:

1.     Minutes:

11-12-19 Special Meeting

11-18-19 Regular Meeting

11-20-19 Special Meeting

11-26-19 Special Meeting


2.     Staff Retirements as submitted:

Cindy Bauer, Buchanan Community Schools, Bus Driver, 30 years               of dedication and service.


3.     Warrants:

Expenditure Reports & Payroll – November


4.     Recommendations to Hire as submitted by Ottawa Principal, Mrs.                Stacey Dennison:

Recommended Employee Title
Kristy Schlutt Special Education Healthcare Paraprofessional


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

Coach Position Step Class/Level CAP
Andy Jonatzke 7th Grade Girls Basketball 1 7 None


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




Motion By K. Laesch, Seconded By H. Burnett, The Board of Education approves the first reading of the following NEOLA – Volume 34, No. 1; new, revised, and or deleted policies:




Public Participation at Board Meetings


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, D. Wentworth, R. Writer, S. Tobler, K. Laesch, J. DeVlaminck, and H. Burnett.




Motion By R. Writer, Seconded By S. Tobler, The Board of Education grants maternity leave to Erin Kratky, Buchanan High School 8th Grade Technology Teacher, from approximately March 9th, 2020 and for the remainder of the school year in accordance with Article XI, Section B.2.D. 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 8th Grade Technology Teacher at the start of the following school year.


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


BOARD MEETING CALENDAR FOR 2020 CALENDAR YEAR Motion By C. Lee, Seconded By J. DeVlaminck, The Board of Education sets the date of the 2020 Reorganizational Meeting for January 14th, 2020 at 7:00 pm. The Board resolves to set remaining meeting dates for the 2020 calendar year at its 2020 Reorganizational Meeting.


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


FINANCIAL POLICY AUDIT Motion By D. Wentworth, Seconded By S. Tobler, Whereas the Finance Committee has requested information about District policy and practices for finance, the Board of Education resolves to direct the Superintendent to complete a formal audit of District T&A accounts, District Transparency Reporting, Board approval of contracts, and District bidding processes. Further, Board members are encouraged to share with the Superintendent specific instances or questions to formulate the basis of this audit. Further, the Superintendent is authorized to engage independent auditing firms and other entities to ensure that Board policies are adhered to by all employees. Additionally, the Superintendent is directed to provide an update to the Board at its January 20th, 2020 meeting regarding the first actions in the audit and initial timeline, leading to a mutually agreeable deadline for completion of this audit and full report to the Board.


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



QUESTIONS & COMMENTS FROM BOARD MEMBERS –          Mr. Burnett thanked the Buchanan students who helped with Shop with a Cop. Mr. Burnett wished everyone a Happy Holiday.


–          Mrs. Writer mentioned that she was able to attend the band concert and would love to hear about their recent trip to New York CIty. She also expressed her condolences to the Jerry Rossow family, on the passing of our former Buchanan School Board President. Mrs. Writer wished everyone a Merry Christmas.


–          Mrs. Laesch sent condolences to the family of Jerry Rossow. Mrs. Laesch wished the community a Merry Christmas.

NEXT REGULAR BOARD MEETING Tentatively scheduled for Monday, January 20th, 6pm @ Buchanan High School
Updated: January 30, 2020 — 9:30 AM