MAPS district receives clean audit report

MANISTEE — Gabridge & Company certified public accountant Joe Verlin told the Manistee Area Public Schools Board of Education on Wednesday evening they have been given a clean opinion on the district’s audit.

Auditor Joe Verlin of Gabridge & Company delivers a report to the Manistee Area Public Schools Board of Education on the audit from the past year. Verlin said the the district received a clean audit which is the highest it can receive.

Auditor Joe Verlin of Gabridge & Company delivers a report to the Manistee Area Public Schools Board of Education on the audit from the past year. Verlin said the the district received a clean audit which is the highest it can receive.

Verlin said the unmodified opinion may not sound that exciting, but it is the highest one that can be given. He said that means as of June 30 all things were in order for the district from a financial standpoint.

“It was pleasure working with your staff and everyone does a wonderful job in providing information we need to do our jobs and complete the audit,” said Verlin. “It was very accurate just as in previous years and right on target. We were able to render a clean opinion and in the entire audit that is the single most important thing. It should always be the school’s goal to have that type of opinion.”

Some of the highlights Verlin pointed out included some things that have changed in the audit process.

“Every five to 10 years you will see emphasis of matter and change of accounting and what we are trying to highlight is there was a significant accounting change that the school implemented during the year ending June 30,” said Verlin. “It is the government accounting standard board statement number 75  that had to be reported. There was a $7.6 million restatement that had to be recorded in order to comply with the retiree healthcare statement. All the schools in the state had to implement this and it was the first year it was done.”

He also reported the district came in for the year under budget by $661,000 and the revenues were on target.

“When your expenditures come in under budget we certainly like to see that,” Verlin said.

Another area he highlighted as a positive was the district fund balance.

“I would think of this as the immediate resources of the school and short term assets and that is $2,896,662,” said Verlin. “That is the day-to-day cost of running the school and is in a very stable position.”

Business manager Howard Vaas praised the efforts of Gabridge & Company.

“We appreciate Joe and his cohorts who always do a great job and are pleasant to work with as we appreciate their efforts,” said Vaas.

Board president Dr. Paul Antal praised the firm’s efforts.

“We are real happy with your work and thank you for explaining this to us,” said Antal.

MAPS superintendent Ron Stoneman also praised Vaas and assistant business manager Sue Gustad.

“We all appreciate Howard and Sue’s work and all our business office in creating an environment for this continuing ongoing success,” said Stoneman.

Board members later voted 4-0 to approve the audit.

Wednesday’s meeting was held at Jefferson Elementary School and principal Julia Raddatz gave the board an update on what is transpiring at that building.

“Since the beginning of the year to now we’ve been focused on reading, reading reading,” said Raddatz. “Specifically we have been doing independent reading where we are starting with them doing it for three minutes, then five minutes, so by the end of the year we will be reading longer.”

Raddatz said they really focusing on good instruction and meeting students right where they are with fluid reading assessments instead of one big one. She added they have been doing lots of professional development.

“Our staff has had a lot of questions and we have been supporting them with a lot of webinars with a collaborative classroom and it has been a good turnout by staff,” said Raddatz. “(Manistee Intermediate School District’s) Jodi Redman has been here coaching us with our math recovery. It’s a great school year so far.”

Vaas also gave the board a monthly financial report.

“We are four months into the budget and you will see that we have received only 6 percent of our revenues while we are in the 20 percent range of our expenditures,” said Vaas. “We have had just one state aid payment so fall is getting rolling. We started out with projected revenues equally expenditures and we will be monitoring and amending that budget mid year.”

Stoneman also reported to the board that progress is being made on acquiring a timing system for the track and cross country teams.

“We will be reviewing products, and vendors are available to work with,” said Stoneman. “We do have some funds left and some other money from our 5K runs, so I do think we have enough to get a nice timing system that can be utilized for our cross country and track events, so we are looking forward to getting that purchase done.”

 

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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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