ISD board honored for appreciation month

MANISTEE — Members of the Manistee Intermediate School District Board of Education were honored on Tuesday evening as part of board appreciation month.

The Manistee Intermediate School District Board of Education were honored for board appreciation month on Tuesday. Shown in the front row left to right are Doug Parkes, Margaret Cloutier and Mary Becker-Witt. Back row left to right are Eric Smith and Lynda O'Shea.

The Manistee Intermediate School District Board of Education were honored for board appreciation month on Tuesday. Shown in the front row left to right are Doug Parkes, Margaret Cloutier and Mary Becker-Witt. Back row left to right are Eric Smith and Lynda O’Shea.

Manistee ISD superintendent Jeff Jennette honored the board with tokens of appreciation from the staff at the district.

“Thank you for all you do as the staff, students and parents of the Manistee ISD really appreciate it,” said Jennette. “You obviously deserve more than one month a year for appreciation.”

Jennette also reported to the board on several subject matters during his monthly report. One of the things he touched on was an invitation to attend a meeting put on by the Michigan Department of Education for the Third grade reading standards.

This is the legislative initiative to see that all students are reading at third grade reading level by the time they reach the end of that grade. Failure to do so could result in a child being held back or getting remedial assistance.

“That will be taking place on Jan. 30,” said Jennette. “I was telling (CASMAN director) Shelly (VanVoorst) today that this is something her and my boards don’t really need to hear, but they should anyway. We were told for years this was going to be the best product they could put together, but they couldn’t pass it. When you hear the plan you are probably going to think it is good for kids who are struggling, but the burden it is placing on our schools to make sure it is getting done is great.”

Jennette said hopefully it will result in some good conversation on how the program can be made a reality in Manistee County.

Special education director Jim Scranton was unable to attend Tuesday’s meeting, but he did file a written report with the board. In that report, Scranton talked about the status of the vacant severely cognitive impaired teaching position at the ISD.

“Next week we are interviewing two applicants for the position,” said Scranton. “Even though the classroom is running smoothly with the current staff we having covering the classroom, we are obligated to keep looking for a certified CI teacher.”

Scranton also told the board the state office of Special Education director and her staff are meeting individually with the directors of Special Education from each region in the state.

“Our regions meeting with them is scheduled for today,” he reported. “This is an important meeting and many topics that affect our region and the state will be discussed.”

Manistee County Business Cooperative Office Finance director Kris Mauntler touched on several things in her monthly report to the board including an updates on budget amendments and income tax information for the local districts in the cooperative.

“I have presented budget amendments for some of the locals at their December and January board meetings and will present the rest at their Feburary meetings, said Mauntler. “We are working on W-2s and 1099s for the ISD and all the districts in the cooperative.”

General education director Kay Salyer told the board about how her staff is working on professional development in several areas with the local school staffs.

“As part of our effective evaluation training we are being encouraged to use student learning objectives to measure student growth,” she said. “We have begun a series of professional learning workshops during our principal meetings to learn how to use them effectively and how they can improve teaching and learning.”

Board members were also given an update on the literacy coaches program that is funded by Michigan Department of Education grant monies.

“We currently have coaches in Bear Lake, KND and MAPS,” said Salyer. “We’d like to expand this project with the implementation of the new third grade reading law, as they are suggesting all schools have coaches in the future.”

Technology director Roy Anciso’s department has been working with the area schools on the door camera security systems. He reported to the board on the status of those systems.

“All the door entry systems have been installed,” said Anicso. “We now are in the process of programming the doors with our phone system and our video surveillance system. Also since the project has come in under budget, I wrote a letter to the revenue sharing board to see if they will allow the remaining funds to be used for additional entrances at Bear Lake, Onekama and Kennedy Elementary.”

Anciso added that they are also working on setting up local districts with the BrightArrow notification system.

Board members also heard that Anciso is working with the Manistee Area Public Schools on a project.

“I am working with MAPS technology department to submit funding requests for backup systems at all of their school locations,” he said. “Battery backups are now eligible for USF Category 2 funding.”

The next meeting of the ISD board will be at 4 p.m. on Feb. 21 at the Manistee Intermediate School District.


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

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