Bear Lake Schools to extend school year to June 10

BEAR LAKE — Members of the Bear Lake Schools Board of Education were informed on Wednesday evening that students in the district will be attending classes until June 10 this year.

Superintendent Marlen Cordes delivered the news to the board on what they have planned for the remainder of the school year.

“Our plans changed a little bit because the Friday before spring break turned into a snow day,” he said. “What also changed was we discovered that for three Fridays we counted 4.58 hours instead of 6.58 hours, so we have missed a total of 68.02 hours of instruction (1,098 total needed).

The state forgives the first six days of full instruction which is 39.48 hours. That means Bear Lake Schools must still make up 28.54 hours.

Cordes said June 3 to 5 will now all be full days of school for the students. He said June 6 is a Friday and they will maintain their regular shortened schedule of 4.58 hours of instruction.

“That will be a typical Friday like we have done all year,” he said. “Then we will come back June 9 for a full day, and June 10 will be a half day. That will give us the needed hours and days to meet what the state requirements.”

The superintendent also reviewed the district’s bus situation with the board. Bear Lake presently needs six buses daily to cover all the routes.

“We have one bus that is in really poor shape and needs to be replaced,” said Cordes.

That bus presently has 176,688 miles on it and severe rust issues. Bear Lake Director of Transportation Patrick Manke told the board it will not pass inspection at the end of this school year.

“New buses run about $80,000 to $85,000 and we are trying to work out a plan through the Manistee Intermediate School District along with Onekama and KND for a revenue sharing grant to pay for some of that cost,” said Cordes. “We also have set aside $25,000 in a special account to purchase buses, so we have some decisions to make about getting another bus in the near future.”

Board members also approved a recommendation from the athletic department to raise season ticket prices for adults next year from $4 to $5. The $1 cost increase will keep prices more in line with other ticket costs in the West Michigan D League.

“All the student prices and family pass costs will remain the same,” said Cordes.

Other action from the sports department came when Bear Lake Athletic Director Karen Leinaar was recognized by the Michigan Interscholastic Athletic Administrator’s Association for serving 30 years as an athletic director. She wasn’t in attendance at Wednesday’s meeting, but board president Charles Brooks commented on the honor.

“Please extend the board’s appreciation for all that Karen does and our congratulations,” he said.

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Posted by Ken Grabowski

Ken is News Advocate’s education reporter. He coordinates coverage for all Manistee County schools and West Shore Community College. He can be reached by phone at (231) 398-3125 or by email at kgrabowski@pioneergroup.com.

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