By Pat Maurer
Clare Superintendent Doniel Pummell reported that the district has met four of the five required “Best Practices” and should qualify for an additional $100 per pupil in State funding this year.
“The only one of the five items we don’t meet is having ten percent of our insurance costs paid by employees,” she said.
The other best practices that the district does meet include consolidation of services, the “dashboard” (transparency of business on the website) and that the district is the policy holder for insurance.
“We are ready to do a resolution and ask for the additional funds,” Pummell said. “We have done everything we could to meet the requirements.”
Later in the meeting the board approved the adoption of the Best Practices Resolution, Section 22f.
Pummell also reported that information is being circulated on the coming non-homestead renewal which will be on the ballot November 8. “We are reminding people that this only applies to non-homestead properties and is absolutely necessary funding for the district.” She added, “If this doesn’t pass, we do not have the funds to make up the money.”
Pummell also reminded the board that it is time to consider updating the board policies. She asked the board to consider hiring a company to do the update. The cost would be $21,000 initially and $2,500 annually.
In another matter, the board heard a report from Terry Bond on the technology needs in the district. The most expensive one, she said will be wireless access. She estimated the cost at $38,000. She said wireless could be added a little at a time in “hot spots” in the building. “We can add as we go,” she said.
She also reported that some outdated laptops have been sold and replaced with Dell 420s, and that another needed upgrade is the sound system in the gym. She said the Attorney General has restarted the CSI program, training on social chatting and being online. She also said the aging phone system needs to be replaced to be E-911 compliant. “A 911 call does not show which building it is coming from, she said. It only says “Clare Schools.”
A literacy program, Pioneer Power Time, was explained by Primary Principal and teacher Sarah Abraham. The Title I program promotes literacy for Kindergarten through fourth graders and will begin with the first grade classes.
Other business at the BOE meeting Monday evening included:
*A presentation of ideas of the Depression Era Art, walking tour and soup kitchen by Dandy Doherty from the Clare County Arts Council.
*A presentation of the annual audit by Derek Miller of Roslund Prestage & Company. He reported, “Everything appears to be well done.”
*A report from Pam Mellish President of the Education Boosters that teachers have named 40 third and fourth graders as possible team members for the Odyssey of the Mind. “We will have two teams of ten each,” she said.
*Approval of a low bid from Oce for five new copiers at a cost of $36,083 and 39 cents per copy.
*Approval of a leave under the Family Medical Leave Act for Pioneer Principal Lori Enos. Pummell reported that Retired Meridian Superintendent, who was also an Alternate Education Director, will fill in for Enos.
*Accepting, with gratitude a donation from PALM (Pedal Across Lower Michigan) for $350.
*During Recognition of Citizens, Betty Haggart expressed her concerns over safety issues around the Primary School when parents are picking up children.
*September bills totaling $174,780.19 were approved.