Jennette thanks ISD board for support

MANISTEE — Outgoing Manistee Intermediate School District superintendent Jeff Jennette bid farewell to the board of education at Tuesday’s meeting.

Manistee ISD superintendent Jeff Jennette bids farewell to his board of education at Tuesday's meeting. Jennette is leaving the district as of June 3 and will be replaced by interim superintendent Dave Cox.

Manistee ISD superintendent Jeff Jennette bids farewell to his board of education at Tuesday’s meeting. Jennette is leaving the district as of June 3 and will be replaced by interim superintendent Dave Cox.

Jennette announced his resignation at the April meeting it will become effective on June 3 after serving as dual superintendent for the past five years at the Manistee ISD and Wexford-Missaukee ISD. He will be relocating to Texas where his wife has accepted a new position in the U.S. Army.

“A big thank you to you, the MISD staff, our local districts and Manistee County for allowing me to work with all of you,” Jennette told the board. “It has truly been a pleasure and I can only hope that we made a positive difference for children and adults in the community.”

Jennette said he enjoyed working with the community for the past five years.

“I think that Manistee County embraced some of our ideas and I was fortunate to work with some great people while doing it,” said Jennette. “I have total confidence in the new leadership at the MISD and look forward to hearing about future successes.”

He also praised the ISD board.

“As a board you work well together and always have ‘what’s good for kids’ as the basis for your decisions and MISD and Manistee County are lucky to have that,” said Jennette. “Keep up the good work and thank you for all the support you have bestowed upon me.”

Jennette also told the board in his final report things look positive in the upcoming year for state revenue increases. All the reports from Northern Michigan School Legislative Association (NMSLA) indicate the earlier funding predictions will hold in place.

“Things look positive and it is expected to remain at what they have  been saying all along ($240 more per student for lower funded schools and $120 per student for high funded ones),” said Jennette.

He also informed the board that the General Education department at the ISD could be facing some big challenges as the Michigan Great Lakes Virtual Academy is being identified by the Michigan Department of Education as a district needing to improve in the graduation rate category.

“Ultimately, the responsibility falls on the Manistee Area Public Schools because they are the charter authorizer, but you know that we will help where we can,” said Jennette. “(ISD general education director) Kay Salyer has been discussing the issue with the MGLVA’s superintendent and we will get some dollars to help them improve, but it won’t be an easy task since their student population is spread throughout the state and has some dynamics in their life that will hinder their education.”

Other items to come before the board was a report from ISD special education director Jim Scranton who told the board what his department is doing to prepare for the 2018-19 school year.

“We are setting up training dates for local district staff who will be taking over the scheduling of Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) for their districts,” said Scranton. “This will take place sometime this summer. We presently have two administrative assistants doing this for the local districts.”

Scranton also updated the board on the General Supervision Grant.

“The monitor and transition coordinator positions have been combined into the same one now called the General Supervision Grant,” said Scranton. “The purpose of the grant is to support ISD development, technical assistance and implementation of a General Supervision system.”

He pointed out that there are six priorities to the grant:

• Child Find;

• Graduation;

• Dropout;

• Discipline;

• Educational environements; and

• Early childhood educational environments.

“We have chosen educational environments as our priority area,” said Scranton. “It needs to be supported by existing data and we need to develop a timeline for the development and implementation of the plan for system of general supervision and a detailed description on how we will measure progress towards it.”

Scranton said the plan is due by July 2.

News from the general education department was delivered in a report from director Kay Salyer on the network groups.

“The general education department facilitates math, science, social studies and English language arts network groups which concluded their 2017-18 sessions in April and May,” said Salyer. “Facilitators of these groups are Dency Lippert, Kim Rinehart, Jodi Redman and Dave Johnson.”

Salyer said the purpose of their meetings is to share the latest content area information about curriculum, instruction, assessment and intervention with designated participants from each school who then take the information back to share at their districts.

Board members also heard from Salyer that the Michigan Department of Education is requiring schools to choose between three benchmark assessment products for the 2018-19 school year.

“Those assesments are Smarter Balanced, DRC Beacon and NWEA and on May 24 we are offering the districts the opportunity to hear vendors from each of the products,” said Salyer.

Salyer also included in her report more details on the collaboration with the Wexford-Missaukee ISD for the general education services.

“Jodi Redman, Kim Rinehart, Rebbecca Shankland, David Johnson, Lisa Lockman and Dave Cox will be offering services in both ISDs,” said Salyer. “This leveraging of expertise will improve the quality of information we present.”

Board members also took action at Tuesday’s meeting to name Shannon Fuller as the new general education early literacy coach.

 

 

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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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