MAPS kitchens pass health inspections

The Manistee Area Public Schools food service department passed its first inspection of the year with the health department with flying colors.

The Manistee Area Public Schools food service department passed its first inspection of the year with the health department with flying colors.

MANISTEE — The Manistee Area Public Schools food service department, under director Kathy Gutowski has developed an outstanding reputation for meeting standards.

Last week board of education members were informed by superintendent John Chandler and Gutowski that the MAPS kitchens received an outstanding rating from the first health department inspection for the 2014-15 school year.

“All four of our kitchens received an A+ rating without any violations,” Gutowski reported. “We were told by the inspector that it is a joy to walk into our facilities, and that he appreciates all the extra effort we put into it everyday.”

Chandler said that good rating was a real tribute to the staff.

Board members also were given an update at the meeting on some changes that took place within the MAPS busing program. The main focus was on the number of days each week parents could ask for their child to be bused to a different location other than their normal one.

“It used to be unlimited on where parents could send their child on a bus at the end of the school day,” said Chandler. “They could actually be dropped off to a different place (grandparents, baby sitter, etc.) every day. We now have limited that to two times a week that they can make a special request, and the reason for that is it’s just a safety issue. The little kids don’t know where they are going and then it falls onto us to make sure they get on the right bus.”

Chandler said that before making the decision, they spoke with other schools on their policy.

“What we found is some only allow one and some do three, so we picked the middle of two days,” he said. “Some of the other things are related to pick-up and drop-off safety issues.”

Another item that came before the board was the consideration of a different bond authorizing the purchase of the Apple computers for the district. Chandler explained to the board why they were recommending the change.

“We found a different financing option that worked out better for us,” he said. “The board had approved the purchase last summer, but this was a better way to finance it and it isn’t adding anything new.”

Board members also received the good news from Set Seg that MAPS qualifies for a net asset return check. Set Seg carries the property/casualty insurance for the MAPS district  and returns costs to school districts when no claims are made against them.

This year MAPS received $17,197 of the $6.5 million Set Seg returned to Michigan school districts.

The district also receives other services for being a member of Set Seg. Those services include:

*  Ehanced coverage, including cyber liability and builders risk protection;

* SafeSchools online training;

* Customized loss control plans and services;

*  Building and contents appraisals;

* Safety compliance, assessments and on-site training;

* Playground assessments;

*Annual member benefit review; and

* Assistance with claim and coverage questions.

Board members were given a report by maintenance supervisor Phil Roskoski on what has transpired in the MAPS buildings in terms of repairs and maintenance.

“We just completed an extensive preventative maintenance program at the middle/high school laid out by Honeywell, ” Roskoski reported. “We cleaned all 24 air handlers, replaced several belts and greased/put in 280 new filters. The entire south side of the building is in the process of being washed while removing and replacing the caulking. A spray sealer is also being applied.”

He said there have been many handicap additions at the Kennedy Elementary building.

“We installed a handicap accessible restroom over the summer,” he said. “We also built a new handicap ramp for the upper gym area, and added a new floor in the elevator.”

Jefferson Elementary School focused on installation of a new water heater and the hot water circulating pump. Materials were also purchased to install an adult restroom at the west end of the building. Board members were told it has to be done during an in-service day because the water in the building needs to be shut off.

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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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