Keeping staff informed about GISD through news and views!

April 24, 2015

A Message from Dr. Hagel

As May 5, 2015 quickly approaches, more people are beginning to ask questions about Proposal 1 and what the passing or failing of this proposal would mean to schools, roads, and the entire state of Michigan. Community members I talk with are just now beginning to start thinking about Proposal 1 and are wondering why we would increase our sales tax to improve Michigan’s roads.

There are some who say Proposal 1 is too complex because it involves Michigan’s roads, Michigan’s schools, the sales tax, and even earned income tax credits for low income families. If you’re confused, you’re not alone. I’ve taken the time to study it in detail and I’d like to share with you what I’ve learned.

Here’s what Proposal 1 does:

  • Proposal 1 increases the sales tax from six cents per dollar to seven cents, making our state sales tax equal to or still less than the sales taxes paid in Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, New York, and Ohio.
  • Proposal 1 substitutes the sales tax on gasoline with a funding stream that directs all tax dollars spent at the pump to transportation purposes.
  • The current sales tax on fuel that would be removed provides more than $630 million per year for schools. Proposal 1 replaces that money devoted to schools and also prohibits the legislature from diverting any school aid funds to four-year universities, which have received $200 million or more from the school aid fund each year since 2011.
  • Proposal 1 would also provide additional dollars for schools through the one-cent increase in the sales tax, because most of sales tax revenues are devoted to public education.
  • A part of the sales tax on fuel also goes to revenue sharing, to help your local municipality pay for police, fire, and other services. Proposal 1 would replace those revenues through the sales tax increase.
  • Many people fear low-income families will bear the brunt of the Proposal 1 sales tax increase because the one-cent increase would represent a larger portion of their family income. Proposal 1 restores a portion of the earned income tax credit to offset the burden of additional sales taxes on families at or near the poverty level.

As you can see, Proposal 1 is complex because it was constructed to make sure schools and municipalities would not suffer funding decreases because of the change in taxes paid at the pump being specifically dedicated to repairing and maintaining our roads and bridges.

There are many resources on the internet published by groups that both support and oppose Proposal 1. Take the time to study Proposal 1 and, above all, please vote.

Updates from the Service Crew

The Navigator Service Crew has been working on the development of an Outboarding process. Similar to GISD’s practice of Onboarding new employees and Reboarding existing employees, the goal of Outboarding will be to educate external stakeholders about our organization, its mission, the services we provide, and how we can serve them. Next month, the Service Crew will be inviting Genesee County school board members to participate in GISD’s first Outboarding experience.

In addition to their Outboarding work, the Service Crew has also developed information that will help all staff better understand and apply the meaning of high quality service standards and exceptional customer service, slated to be published in May. The Service Crew is also excited to soon launch GISD-University (GISD-U). Stay tuned for more information about this new and convenient way to access staff development opportunities!

Employee Honored

Barb Steffes, program secretary at Genesee Career Institute, was recently recognized by the Weiss Child Advocacy Center as its Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Volunteer of the Year! CASA's are people who volunteer to make a difference in the life of a child in foster care and advocate for them in court. Barb has been a CASA for about three years. She has been on some tough cases and done everything she could to be sure the children she serves have the best possible outcome, whether it is returning home to their family or adoption.

Barb was also recently recognized at a GISD Board of Education meeting with the STAR Award! The colleague that nominated her noted that she is not only professional and efficient, but also kind and compassionate. She embodies leadership though her daily activities with student, staff, and visitors alike. They also mentioned that Barb provides service above self, especially during what seems to be critical mass loads, and brings new thought and innovation to the table through application of time saving ideas that benefit everyone. Congratulations on both of these honors, Barb!

GISD Student Honored

On March 23, Transition Center student Alycia Frezza was recognized as Volunteer of the Year at the 9th Annual Meeting of the Valley Area Agency on Aging. Alycia was nominated for the award by staff at Loving Hands, Inc., where she volunteers one day a week. Alycia also works two days a week at Loving Hands through the Transition Center’s job exploration program. Congratulations to Alycia!

Students Compete at State Level

Recently, 21 Genesee Career Institute students participated in the SkillsUSA State Competition. Students competed in nine separate competitions, where they had the opportunity to show off their skills and meet new friends. Governor Rick Snyder visited many competitions and most of the GCI students, including the two pictured with him, had the opportunity to meet him.

GCI students and staff shined at the competition, earning the following awards:

  • Mrs. Warning’s Engineering Technology students received a GOLD rating and qualified for the National Competition for the Career Pathways Showcase – Industrial and Engineering Competition.

  • Mr. Holladay’s Digital Media Arts students received a SILVER rating for the Audio Production Competition.

  • Mr. Crawford’s Visual Design Communication student received a SILVER rating for the Promotional Bulletin Board Competition.

  • Mr. Kevin Biecker received a 10 Years of Service Award as a SkillsUSA advisor.

  • Mr. Stephen Mayfield received a 5 Years of Service Award as a SkillsUSA advisor.

  • GCI received a Membership Increase Award (with a 59% growth).

Summer Youth Expo - Featuring Summer Programs for Kids

The 3rd Annual Summer Youth Expo will be held on May 21 from 3:00-7:00 p.m. at the Riverfront Banquet Center in Flint. More than 70 organizations with summer camps, programs, and fun activities will be in one location to provide information on keeping children active, engaged, and safe this summer. This is a FREE event with music, bounce houses, snacks, and prizes! There will also be a special section called the ReMix Connection Fair just for youth ages 16-24 who may need assistance getting back in school, completing a GED, or finding employment. For more information, contact Priority Children at or (810) 234-5007.

Students Explore TV and Film

In March, Genesee Career Institute Digital Media Arts students went on a field trip to WDIV Channel 4 in Detroit, where their instructor, Bruce Holladay, still works part-time as a director. While there, students observed the 12:00 o'clock news broadcast on the set and in the control room and received a tour of the building.

During that same trip, students also attended a workshop session at the Motion Picture Institute in Troy, where they produced a movie scene on a sound stage using industry-standard video and sound equipment. Students had a fun experience learning about the educational and career opportunities in the TV and Film industry.

A Story of Transformation

Episodes from the Telling Our Story video that debuted at the Fall Workshop are being periodically added to the GISD website, so all staff have the opportunity to see these great stories again. Check out the newest addition, A Story of Transformation, here.

Employee Insurance Educational Module 3

Following are some quick tips for reading your summary of benefits and coverage, explanation of benefits (EOB), and provider bill:

  1. Each medical insurance plan offered by GISD comes with a summary of benefits and coverage (SBC) document which provides a brief explanation of the plan coverage in plain language. SBCs are also available on our website in the Transparency Report area. Or, you may request them from Amy Hoeksema in Human Resources.

  2. When you receive medical services under your medical insurance plan, you will typically receive an explanation of benefits document (EOB). Your EOB will tell you how the insurance company covered your service, how much the provider (doctor’s office, hospital, etc.) was paid, and how much you owe for the service. Your EOB is not a bill. You will receive a bill directly from your provider for any amounts you owe.

  3. If you receive a bill from your provider, be sure to compare the amount your EOB says you owe with the amount billed by the provider. The provider should not bill you any more than what your EOB says you owe unless you received a check directly from the insurance carrier. However, this is rare. Usually, the carrier will pay the provider directly for the insurance carrier’s share of the cost. If the provider’s bill is for less than what the EOB says you owe, pay the amount shown on the provider’s bill. You may receive additional bills for the same service date/procedure if you received care from multiple providers. If the provider’s bill is more than what the EOB says you owe and you did not receive a check from the carrier for the difference, call the carrier’s customer service number for assistance.

If you have any questions regarding your medical benefits, please contact Amy Hoeksema in Human Resources. Specific coverage questions should be directed toward your carrier. The customer service number is found on the back of your card.

Genesee Intermediate School District

GISD is proud to be an NCA AdvancED accredited intermediate school district. Serving students, parents, educators, and the greater Genesee County community!