CASMAN board adopts late arrival/ early dismissal policy

MANISTEE — Making sure a student is in school all day is a vital part of the educational process.

CASMAN Academy director Shelly VanVoorst (back row,far left) fills the board of education in on activities at the school in her monthly report at Monday's meeting.

CASMAN Academy director Shelly VanVoorst (back row,far left) fills the board of education in on activities at the school in her monthly report at Monday’s meeting.

That is why members of the CASMAN Academy Board of Education took action on Monday afternoon to adopt a board policy on late arrival and early dismissal for their students. Board members said they understand there is occasions when a student may be late or need to leave early, for instance for a medical appointment, but they wanted something in place to handle those situations.

CASMAN director Shelly VanVoorst said this policy is really not a new one.

“At one time we had this one included in our policies, but  when we transferred from paper over to digital for some reason it got left out,” said VanVoorst. “We need to bet this back in there and there was a situation that occurred where it would have come in handy and that is why we want to get it back in there again.”

The policy the board adopted states “As agent responsible for the education of children of this academy, the school leader shall require that the academy be notified in advance of such absences by written personal request  of the student’s parent stating the reason for the tardiness or early dismissal. Justifiable reasons shall be determined by the school leader.”

VanVoorst said if one parent has custody of the student by the courts the custodial parent shall provided the academy with a copy of the custody order and inform the academy in writing of any limitations in the rights of the non-custodial  parent.

Board members also instructed VanVoorst to develop administrative procedures to ensure the proper implementation of the policy.

Other items to come before the board were the monthly director’s report from VanVoorst. She touched on a variety topics including the current open math teaching position.

“We are currently looking for a math teacher to fill the open 7-12th grade math position,” said VanVoorst. “Deb Nichols is starting as a long-term sub to help us out in that position until we can find a suitable replacement.”

VanVoorst said CASMAN staff are currently taking additional training to handle various tasks at the school.

“(Special education teacher) Kimberly Evans continues to attend special education updates as the Manistee Intermediate School District transitions to the local school districts to take over more responsibilities for running and holding Individual Education Plans (IEP) meetings,” said VanVoorst. “(CASMAN administrative assistant) Cindy Turk has been attending training for her pupil accounting duties with various programs that process and house data for us.”

The CASMAN director gave the board some positive budget related information. CASMAN will be seeing an increase in its state per pupil funding this year.

“We had over 70 students on count day,” said VanVoorst. “We budgeted for 60 students and our count will be finalized later this fall, so we can meet to go over an amended budget then.”

Board members also heard that CASMAN is looking to increase security on its building.

“We have applied to be part of the 2018 Michigan School Safety Competitive Program grant,” said VanVoorst. “They should be letting us know by the end of the month if we received the grant and it will be for updated door locks on the entrances, outside security cameras and updated public announcement system.”

Along the same lines, VanVoorst said they will continue to promote the school to families and students as a safe zone area.

“We have and will continue to conduct searches when necessary to make sure that all students are safe within our building,” said VanVoorst.

VanVoorst also reported to the board that all the CASMAN students attended the domestic awareness presentation at the Armory Youth Project.

“It was a good presentation that the students were able to connect with and learn information from to apply to their lives,” said VanVoorst.

CASMAN also is taking steps to support the teaching staff in the classroom.

“Currently we are using the PLATO courseware system to support all of our teachers,” said VanVoorst. “This courseware is aligned to state and national standards and has been in place at CASMAN for a couple years now. We also have mentors in place for each of our new teachers.”

Another program they have added is Study Island.

“Study Island is an online web based program that used the NWEA scores to create specific programs for individual students to support them in their weak areas by helping to build their skills up,” said VanVoorst. “The program also supports social studies and science.”

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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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