SISD Board of Education Update

6.3.16 Superintendent Update

Happy June!

Hard to believe the month of June is in full swing. It seems like just yesterday we started the 2016-2017 school year. Thank you for traveling through the year with the 645 member SISD team. It is with your support and leadership that SISD continues moving forward.

Have a beautiful weekend,

Kathy Stewart

Hartley Outdoor Education Center Update Provided by Eric Rutherford

May Day Trips

May is always a busy time for all of our Hartley staff members. May is our most active month for day-trips that are scheduled around our normal residential programs. For the month of May we welcomed 10 day-trips with a total of 390 students attending. We have two additional day-trips scheduled in June that will host a total of 240 students.

SSEATs Conference

For the 3rd year in a row, a Hartley OEC naturalist has been selected to attend the Smithsonian Science Education Academies for Teachers! This year, Jonathan Massung will head to Washington, D.C. for a week-long conference on Earth’s History & Global Change. This all expense-paid trip is sponsored by The Dow Chemical Company.

Fundraiser Update

On Friday, June 3 we received a letter from the Rollin M. Gerstacker Foundation that included a $25,000 check for Hartley's dorm expansion fundraiser. We are very excited about this!

Special Education Update Provided by Janet Timbs & Erin Senkowski

OSEP & MDE - Rethinking Special Education in Michigan

Kathy, Janet and Erin attended a meeting in Lansing along with other ISD superintendents, directors, and monitors to engage in a discussion with OSEP and MDE on how the responsibilities of ISDs will be changing based on a new understanding of the law. In essence, the MDE is the grantee for the IDEA grant. The ISD is the sub-grantee which then “flows” IDEA dollars to the local districts. With the title of “sub-grantee” comes the responsibility to ensure that local districts are utilizing their flow through money to improve student outcomes and stay in compliance with special education law. In Saginaw County, we do operate in this manner. The one caveat is that if the local district does not demonstrate student growth or has consistent non-compliance issues, the ISD “should” have some authority over the district to ensure compliance. The MDE has not defined how this “authority” should look nor have they provided guidance as of yet. Stay tuned. More meetings are scheduled with MDE to further define the ISD responsibilities relative to the IDEA grant!

Service Agreements with Local Districts

The 2016-2017 service agreements for students attending the Transitions Center programs have been shared with the local district superintendents for signature. (Work Experience (aka Work-based Learning), PSTP & STEP). The agreements define the resident district responsibilities and the operating district responsibilities as well as the billing formula for students to attend the program. The resident districts will need to enroll students into their own school districts this spring/summer as they will be transitioning from Carrollton to their resident districts. The secretarial staff at the Transitions Center will assist in this process.

In addition, the 2016-2017 service agreements for ancillary staff were also distributed to superintendents for signature.

Cooperative Agreements Between Local Districts

We are in the process of developing 1751 agreement template language for local districts to use when going into a cooperative agreement to share special education programs. This will effectively take the ISD out of the middle of these agreements. The agreements will include who is responsible for what and will have the option of two different billing formulas from which the districts will need to agree when signing the agreements. This template will be ready for local district use by mid-June.

SISD Update Provided by Kathy Stewart

Creating Safe and Supportive Environments for LGBTQ Students

I am very pleased that Amy Wassman organized a session to help educators with current LGBTQ topics. She sent this notice out earlier this week:

Saginaw ISD is hosting a “Creating Safe and Supportive Environments for LGBTQ students” on June 22 at the Transitions PD Center, 3860 Fashion Square Blvd. The training is being offered by Student Leadership Services out of Waterford. Topics covered include:

1. Definitions of the various LGBTQ terms
2. Safety concerns of LGBTQ students
3. Developmental stages and how this may be (or may not be) different for LGBTQ students
4. School Related Issues (staff relationships, counseling services; safety at school; bullying, suicide prevention/intervention, etc)
5. Potential Peer led supports (Gay Straight alliances; Safe Spaces; etc)

Michigan Electric Choice ISD Impact

With legislation that may eliminate electric choice as we know it, SISD will be impacted . This document outlines the possible impact on Head Start. SISD's budget and finance office is taking a look at the overall possible impact if the choice legislation should be enacted.

East Detroit Schools Gets Reprieve from SRO

Knowing that Priority Schools are under the scrutiny of the School Reform Office, this ruling may have an impact on future take over plans. Because of the number of Priority Schools identified within the SISD service area and the specific focus of SRO on Saginaw High School, it will be interesting to see if SRO pulls back on some of the plans for CEO takeovers of school buildings. I did notice an increase in the line item of this week's School Aid Conference Committee recommendation for the School Reform Office. Here is a link to an article that appeared in this week's Detroit Free Press.

School Nutrition Program Administrative Review Findings Report

An Administrative Review (AR) of the School Nutrition Programs (SNP) was conducted at Saginaw ISD on May 16. The results of the AR are as follows:

  • Finding: Production records are not being completed correctly
  • Finding: The incorrect non-discrimination statement is being used on program materials
  • Finding: There is no signage explaining what constitutes a reimbursable meal to students including the requirement to select at least 1/2 cup fruit or vegetable.

The feedback is essential to improving program and procedure quality. As of June 1, the corrective action items for these findings have been uploaded via the GEMS system, and SISD anticipates receiving a letter from MDE soon indicating that all violations have been corrected.

United Way Meeting with Saginaw Public Schools

Larry Sims and I met with Superintendent McClain on Thursday afternoon to provide an outline of the scores of programs located within Saginaw Public School District buildings to help support students.

Retirement Recognition Open House

SISD was able to honor the 20 individuals who are retiring or have retired during the 2015-2016 school year at the retirement recognition open house on May 26. The 20 retirees have more than 500 years of service combined!

Mridha Foundation Teacher of the Year Award

SISD is pleased to announce that the committee has selected Sara Weiss as the recipient of the 2016 Mridha Foundation Teacher of the Year Award. Sara will be recognized at the Saginaw Community Foundation Annual Celebration on Monday, June 13 where Dr. Mridha will present her with a crystal trophy. The event is being held at New Beginnings Enrichment Center, 2609 E. Genesee Avenue from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The purpose of the Mridha Foundation Teacher of the Year Award is to celebrate excellent teachers and to honor the members of the Mridha family who were educators. Since 2010, Saginaw ISD has assisted the Saginaw Community Foundation and the Mridha Foundation in seeking nominations for the award. The award includes a $1,000 grant for continuing education, professional development, educational research or other purposes approved by the SISD Superintendent. The funds will be deposited with Saginaw ISD and SISD will work directly with Sara when she is ready to access the funds.

Superintendent Whiston Meeting with Saginaw Public Schools

On Tuesday, a group of leaders from various organizations met in the State Board of Education meeting room to discuss the needs of Saginaw Public School District. Those in attendance did include Superintendent McClain, Board President Alexis Thomas, SEA President Ed Sprague, and Uniserve Director Sue Rutherford. Organizations in addition to SISD at the meeting included the following: Middle Cities, MASA, MAISA, MSBO, and SRO. A draft cooperative agreement is in the works that will call for SPSD board action. It will be interesting seeing how this plays out in SISD's largest school district.

2015 National School Lunch Program Equipment Assistance Grant

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service has selected Michigan to receive National School Lunch Program (NSLP) Equipment Assistance Grant funds in the amount of $673,072 for School Food Authorities (SFAs) participating in the NSLP. These funds will allow SFAs to purchase equipment needed to serve healthier meals, meet the new nutritional standards with emphasis on more fresh fruits and vegetables in school meals, improve food safety, improve quality, and expand access. Chris Frank spoke with Kelly Quimper and learned that there is need for a new boilerless steamer at Millet Learning Center. SISD is applying for the grant funds to offset the cost. Carol Laux is going to work on that and she will be coordinating with Toni from Chartwells, as well as Janet Timbs and Terri Haswell on this.

Conference Committee Includes full BV Debt Payment

You may have heard, but I wish to share that Chris Frank and I are delighted that this week's School Aid Fund included a line item amount for paying the full remaining debt amount for Buena Vista Schools. To read the legislative language, click this link. When Rebekah Hornak, Scott Sawyer, and I were meeting with Senator Horn on Tuesday afternoon in Lansing, Senator Horn shared that he worked with Senator Hansen to include this line item amount. Senator Horn also shared that Representative Kelly would not oppose the line amount to pay this debt. Is this chapter closing for SISD? Well, maybe the financial chapter, but student and employee records will remain with SISD in perpetuity.

Learning Fair at Brunkow

Enjoy these delightful pictures shared with us from the Learning Fair that took place at the Brunkow Head Start/Early Head Start program.

Dates to Remember

SISD Finance Committee: June 8 @ 3:00 pm - Superintendent's Office

SISD Budget Hearing: June 8 @ 3:45 pm - RESC Boardroom #1

SISD Board of Education Meeting: June 8 @ 4:00 pm - RESC Boardroom #1

SISD Transitions Center Completion Ceremony: June 9 @ 1 pm - SISD Transitions Center

SISD Millet Learning Center Completion Ceremony: June 10 @ 1:30 pm - Millet Learning Center

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