6-04-2019 Board of Education Meeting Minutes

(Last Updated On: June 10, 2019)

BUCHANAN COMMUNITY SCHOOLS, BERRIEN COUNTY, MICHIGAN

                                                                                                                                             

JUNE 4, 2019                     REGULAR MEETING        BUCHANAN HIGH SCHOOL

CALL TO ORDER  

PRESIDENT: Dr. Harvey Burnett opened the meeting at 6:02 pm

 

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

ABSENT:   D. Wentworth

 

  OTHERS PRESENT : Timothy Donahue, Daryl Miller & Tricia Lowery

 

ADOPTION OF AGENDA

 

MOTION by J. DeVlaminck, SECONDED BY Member R. Writer the agenda for the regular meeting of June 4, 2019 be adopted as written.

ROLL CALL VOTE:  C. Lee,  K. Laesch, R. Writer, J. DeVlaminck, S. Tobler, and H. Burnett NAYS:  None     MOTION  ADOPTED

 

RECOGNITION OF VISITORS

 

K. Lolmaugh, S. Overmyer, C. Lolmaugh, T. Stogsdill, A. Breden, W. Writer, J. Jacobs, K. DeMaio, M. Calvillo, M. Patnoudes, S. Desenberg, J. Leenhouts, Bryan & Kaitlyn Pearson, M. Green, J. Krueger, J. Bellaire, C. Swem, M. Frost, S. Miller, R. English, S. Carlin, R. Martin, J. Wegener, M. Seddon, R. Cornwell, C. Cornwell, M. Lyon, L. Hein, B. Martin, W. Murphy, L. Sears, L. Holok, S. Bender, L. Martin, A. Riggs, R. Wiersma, E. Kratky, K. Berry, J. Welsh, J. Hanover, Cheri & Cole Martin, G. Brinkley, A. Murdock, Media/Press representatives.

 

INFORMATION/REPORTS & NEW BUSINESS –          Superintendent provided some background information concerning Buchanan school district’s alliance with Andrews University’s Math & Science Center before introducing Ottawa Elementary School teacher, Melissa Calvillo.  Melissa Calvillo and her son Benjamin Poole addressed the Board about Buchanan Community Schools allowing parents to be charged for this program.  She said that Buchanan is the only school in the county that charges parents for this program.  Melissa stated that though she will cover the charges incurred for her children, she is speaking as a parent in advocacy for other parents that may not be able to pay.  Mrs. Calvillo also questioned the timing of the invoice and letter that she had received concerning payment for the Math & Science Center program.  Executive Director of Business & Operations, Tricia Lowery addressed the letter regarding the Math & Science Center that was provided at the beginning of the 2018-19 school year.  She also provided the timelines of billing and information received from the Berrien Regional Education Service Agency.  Board members addressed Mrs. Lowery with a series of questions concerning this issue.

 

–          Executive Director of Business & Operations, Tricia Lowery provided a detailed summary of the Final Amended Budget 2018-19 document.

 

–          Kelly Laesch presented notes concerning the Emergency Safety & Security Planning Meeting that occurred 5/29/19.  The following are topics of discussion for the said meeting:

·         Key/fob access policies

·         Berrien County School Protective Measures Guide being updated to Navigate emergency procedures.

·         Drill protocols

·         Classroom doors locked during classes as well as doors and windows covered during drills.

·         Plan to reserve some part of PD in August for Safety Refresh Training.

SUPERINTENDENT/

DEPARTMENT REPORTS

–          Superintendent Donahue provided a brief history of building structural needs before introducing TMP Architecture representatives Edwardo Blanc and Layne German.  Mr. Blanc provided information regarding services offered, and a guideline to secure a bond formation plan.  Ms. German followed up with information regarding interior design examples to meet the needs of and promote STEM and PLC learning initiatives.

 

COMMUNITY DIALOGUE CITIZENS CONCERNS Superintendent Donahue addressed the community attendees directly concerning where we are as a district.  Tim provided board meeting attendee numbers referencing the variation from July 2018 through March 2019 where the average number of attendees were between 0-2; then 68 documented members of the community attended the May 2019 meeting.  He posed the question “why?” He encouraged that he wants Buchanan to be the best that we can be; not just in the county but in surrounding counties as well.  He spoke about deficit spending concerns and worries of what it could mean for the future of Buchanan.  He shared his concerns of academic outcomes.  He engaged in sharing the following:

·         Committees that have met since May 20th.

·         Community and staff engagement.

·         Kids being first; and the best decisions being made for student safety and academic success of the Buchanan Community School district.

·         Aligning communication practices and creating a subscribers list to receive “Board Minutes” in email communications.

·         Board member liaisons to meet with administrators.

He urged all to keep in mind that the items proposed are initial steps.  Superintendent Donahue followed with opening to the public for comments.

 

–          G. Brinkley:  Voiced her dismay at the “threat” of community members and school district stakeholders being removed or arrested for disorderly conduct.

–          S. Carlin:  Informed that she met with Board members Dennis Wentworth and Kelly Laesch as a concerned parent regarding the climate and culture of the school district.  She provided a list of items that were addressed and requested the means to rectify the concerns.

o   Involvement – Board members to be involved in BEA negotiations.

o   Transparency – Meeting Minutes to be sent via email and for the full board packet to be shared.

o   Feedback: Survey of staff regarding current climate by end of June 2019.

o   Input – Committed to open dialogue this summer.

o   Goal:  Effort to mend the broken trust that has occurred in the community.

–          Brittany Martin:  She stated that the community is here regarding Tim Donahue, Tricia Lowery and Board of Education.  She said that the community is upset regarding new policies, transparency, and other changes.  She alleged that the Board of Education is falling short and threatened to recall members that are eligible to be recalled.

–          Wendy Murphy – Expressed concerns of kindergarten class size as it relates to the budget.  She shared that she was pleased to hear issues being addressed by our Superintendent.  Wendy followed up with requesting the full board packet to be sent directly to her email and how disheartening it is for our Board President to open dialogue and discussions with the threat of arrest.

 

ADOPTION OF CONSENT AGENDA

 

 

MOTION by K. Laesch, SECONDED by S. Tobler, The Board of Education approves the consent agenda for the regular board meeting of June 4th, 2019 be adopted as written:

1.        Minutes:

05-20-2019 Regular Meeting

 

2.        Probationary/ Tenure listing for 2019-20 school year:

Moccasin Elementary School
Jessica Leenhouts – Tenure
Kristine Rettig – Tenure
Rebekah Wiersma – 5th year probation

 

Rachael Kutemeier – 4th year probation
Lisa Gregory – 2nd year probation
Michelle Horvath – 2nd year probation
Heidi Holloway – 2nd year probation
Christine Ewell – 2nd year probation

 

 

3.        Staff resignation as submitted:  Mr. Seth Day, Buchanan Middle school’s Intervention Specialist.

 

ROLL CALL VOTE:  C. Lee,  K. Laesch, R. Writer, J. DeVlaminck, S. Tobler, and H. Burnett NAYS:  None     MOTION  ADOPTED

 

   
BUCHANAN VIRTUAL ACADEMY GRADUATION CERTIFICATION Motion By J. DeVlaminck, Seconded By C. Lee, upon satisfactory completion of district requirements for high school graduation, the Board of Education hereby approves Buchanan Virtual Academy and Step Up Students:

 

–       Chase Aukerman – Buchanan Step Up

–       Justin Lockamy – Buchanan Virtual Academy

–       Sylvia Medukas – Buchanan Virtual Academy

–       Benjamin Mercer – Buchanan Virtual Academy

–       Devin Robbins – Buchanan Virtual Academy

–       Mikala Turnock – Buchanan Virtual Academy

 

To be certified for graduation.

 

ROLL CALL VOTE:  C. Lee,  K. Laesch, R. Writer, J. DeVlaminck, S. Tobler, and H. Burnett NAYS:  None     MOTION  ADOPTED

 

SET 2019-20 PUBLIC BUDGET HEARING DATE Motion By J. DeVlaminck, Seconded By R. Writer, The Board of Education adopts the following resolution:

 

WHEREAS:

 

The Uniform Budget Act requires the 2019-20 Budget be adopted prior to

July 1, 2019.

 

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED:

 

The public hearing for the 2019-20 Budget will be held at 5:30 p.m. on June 17, 2019 at Buchanan Middle School.

 

ROLL CALL VOTE:  C. Lee,  K. Laesch, R. Writer, J. DeVlaminck, S. Tobler, and H. Burnett NAYS:  None     MOTION  ADOPTED

 

 

L-4029 RESOLUTION TO LEVY TAXES Motion By C. Lee, Seconded By J. DeVlaminck, The Buchanan Board of Education approves the attached tax rates as authorized for levy on the 2019 tax roll per the 2019 tax rate request form L-4029.

 

ROLL CALL VOTE:  C. Lee,  K. Laesch, R. Writer, J. DeVlaminck, S. Tobler, and H. Burnett NAYS:  None     MOTION  ADOPTED

 

RECOMMENDATION TO ACCEPT THE FINANCE COMMITTEE REPORT Motion By C. Lee, Seconded By J. DeVlaminck, The Buchanan Board of Education accepts the recommendations of the finance committee report and determines priorities and direction for the 2019-20 budget as listed:

 

–       C. Lee: Fund balance to be no less than 16.7 % of revenue or no less than 2 months of expenditures per Board policy.

–       J. DeVlaminck expressed his agreement.

 

ROLL CALL VOTE:  C. Lee,  K. Laesch, R. Writer, J. DeVlaminck, S. Tobler, and H. Burnett NAYS:  None     MOTION  ADOPTED

 

AUDITOR SERVICES RECOMMENDATION – KRUGGEL LAWTON CPA’S Motion By R. Writer, Seconded By K. Laesch, The Buchanan Board of Education approves the recommendation as submitted by Executive Director of Business Services, Mrs. Tricia Lowery, to approve continued utilization of Kruggel, Lawton & Company, LLC audit services.

 

ROLL CALL VOTE:  C. Lee,  K. Laesch, R. Writer, J. DeVlaminck, S. Tobler, and H. Burnett NAYS:  None     MOTION  ADOPTED

 

CLOSED SESSION – TEACHER NEGOTIATIONS Motion By K. Laesch, Seconded By R. Writer, The Buchanan Board of Education pursuant to Board bylaw 0167.2,c., the Board of Education move into closed session to discuss a personnel matter and to prepare for contract negotiations.

 

ROLL CALL VOTE:  C. Lee,  K. Laesch, R. Writer, J. DeVlaminck, S. Tobler, and H. Burnett NAYS:  None     MOTION  ADOPTED

 

OPEN SESSION Motion By K. Laesch, Seconded By R. Writer, The Buchanan Board of Education returns to open session.

 

ROLL CALL VOTE:  C. Lee,  K. Laesch, R. Writer, J. DeVlaminck, S. Tobler, and H. Burnett NAYS:  None     MOTION  ADOPTED

 

MOTION TO APPOINT BOARD OBSERVERS FOR CONTRACT NEGOTIATIONS

 

Motion By H. Burnett, Seconded By K. Laesch, The Buchanan Board of Education hereby moves to appoint Board members to serve as observers during contract negotiations for the following employee groups:

 

Transportation Association                                    K. Laesch      alternate       C. Lee           

 

Buchanan-5C Education                                          R. Writer      co-observer  H. Burnett

Association, M.E.A./N.E.A.

 

Buchanan Association of Classroom

Health Care and Band Paraprofessionals               S. Tobler        alternate      D. Wentworth

 

ROLL CALL VOTE:  C. Lee,  K. Laesch, R. Writer, J. DeVlaminck, S. Tobler, and H. Burnett NAYS:  None     MOTION  ADOPTED

 

QUESTIONS & COMMENTS FROM BOARD MEMBERS Member Ruth Writer reminded all of the following:

–       Honors Convocation occurring Wednesday, June 5th, 7pm at Buchanan High School.

–       Buchanan High School’s Graduation, Friday, June 7th, 7pm\

–       Buckteens, Sunday, June 9th at Buchanan High School

–       Buchanan Virtual Academy Graduation, Tuesday, June 11th, 6:30pm at Buchanan High School

 

Member Kelly Laesch commented that kindergarten graduation was a great event.

 

Member Harvey Burnett reminded all of the Father’s Day weekend.

 

NEXT BOARD MEETING Monday, June 17th, 6pm @ Buchanan Middle School

 

ADJOURNMENT 8:35 pm

 

Updated: June 10, 2019 — 9:28 AM