KND board gives superintendent top evaluation rating

BRETHREN — The Kaleva Norman Dickson Board of Education was in agreement at Monday’s meeting that superintendent Marlen Cordes should receive a highly effective rating for work at the school during the past year.

The Kaleva Norman Dickson Board of Education gave superintendent Marlen Cordes a highly effective rating for his annual evaluation at Monday's meeting.

The Kaleva Norman Dickson Board of Education gave superintendent Marlen Cordes a highly effective rating for his annual evaluation at Monday’s meeting.

Board members announced that news to the public after coming out of closed session to finalize the decision. The board went through the evaluation process during a closed session at the November meeting, but didn’t make the announcement of the results until Monday’s board meeting.

Cordes said he appreciated the support of the board.

Principal Jakob Veith delivered his monthly report to the board and told them he has been sending home reminders to parents to dress their children properly with the onset of winter weather.

“With the colder weather we remind students to dress in layers,” said Cordes. “When the temperatures are about 10 degrees our elementary students will continue to have outside recess so we ask that students dress accordingly.”

Veith said that also brings up concerns for the time after school.

“Students need to have a place to go right after school,” said Veith. “If the students are not in SEEDS, with a teacher, coach or class adviser after school they must leave the building. We simply do not have the staff to supervise students after school.”

Veith said they are making slight adjustments to keep the school buses running on their regular schedules.

“Once the roads become snow covered, we will be starting our buses five minutes earlier to try and keep pickup times as consistent as possible,” said Veith. “Once the roads become snow covered, we will be starting our buses five minutes earlier to keep them as consistent as possible.”

The board heard from Veith that the National Honor Society under the guidance of adviser Kirsten Amstutz are in the process of collecting for the giving tree. This annual fundraiser is designed to help families in need during the holiday season.

“They are collecting items for three families this Holiday and if anyone would like to support the National Honor Society they should contact Kirsten Amstutz,” said Veith.

Board members also received the good news that the district has been awarded an initial grant of $622.38 from the Michigan Department of Education for the Acceptable Assessment Tools for Early Literacy Educators Grant. This grant has been awarded to reimburse districts on a per pupil basis for students to whom the assessment was administered to for the cost of a computer adaptive test, diagnostic tool or benchmark assessment that is on the MDE approved tools list.

Cordes also gave the board an update on the recent lighting that was added to the school grounds.

“We have four lights on the Highbridge Road side of our building and we have three of them in one area and one further down so we are going to move a couple of them,” said Cordes. “We are going to take one out and put two on our parking lot where we currently have one light. We just want to move some of them to make better use of the lights.”

Cordes said plans are in the works to also add some lighting on the parking lot side of the building so after ballgames or meetings in that area will be better lit.

Something else that the district will be putting in is new drinking fountains in the building that will allow easy access to fill water bottles.

“We purchased three of those water filler/drinking fountains and put one in the elementary, one by the principal’s office and the other one by the high school end,” said Cordes. “We want the kids to make healthy choices and drink water. Our hopes are to get them installed over Christmas break.”

Action was taken by the board to purchase a new truck to replace the 2003 model that the district has been using, but is in need of being replaced.

“There has been some concerns with that vehicle with the age, so we got some great prices and we are going with one from Manistee Ford,” said Cordes.

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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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