ISD updates Bear Lake board on services provided to district

BEAR LAKE — Manistee Intermediate Schools Kim Rinehart visited the Bear Lake Board of Education to detail the types of services they provide for the district.

Rinehart serves as the general education consultant at the ISD and works with area schools on professional development and other things that assist the teachers in the classroom. The general education department also coordinates special gifted and talented programs for the local districts like Elementary Science Olympiad, Honors Band and Young Authors programs.

Board members also heard from superintendent Marlen Cordes, who detailed the snow day report for the board. The district is now at 15 days. Cordes said that there is pending legislation that is moving through the state legislature to address some of those days.

The district was granted relief from six of those days under regular guidelines. The state superintendent granted a waiver for an additional three days. The pending legislation deals with the days Gov. Gretchen Whitmer declared the State of Emergency and how they can make up the remaining time.

“On Tuesday morning the legislature was looking to vote on it,” said Cordes. “If you were off for those four days then you can apply for a waiver and that is what is being proposed. So for KND we were out Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of that week and we could apply if this passes for another three-day waiver.”

The state forgives six days and the state superintendent granted an additional three-day waiver. If this measure passes, the district could get three more days.

“That would put us at 12 days forgiven and right now we are sitting at 15 days meaning we would have three days to make up,” said Cordes. “There was an amendment added where if you were out a certain amount of days you can also add minutes to your day to make up that time.”

Cordes said pending on any more snow days taking place they can hopefully conclude the school year pretty close to its regular scheduled date of June 6.

The superintendent reported that progress that is being made on the Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) the district are working with  Complinace 1. The EOP is being required by the state, but having one in place also opens the district up to accessibility to safety grants from the Michigan State Police.

Bear Lake and Kaleva Norman Dickson Schools are working in conjunction on this process to keep down the costs.

“Our bill went down as originally between Bear Lake and KND was going to be $17,000 and ours is now down to $13,000,” said Cordes. “A lot of the work that Compliance I is doing is on our EOP, and with a lot of the work that (principal) Jake Veith and (Bear Lake principal) Sarah (Harless), did there is not as much work to do to finalize it.”

He said on March 18 they will be meeting with representatives of Compliance I to start working on the process.

“All of the school districts also put in a request for a Manistee County Local Revenue Sharing grant to help cut the cost,” said Cordes.

Another thing the board took under consideration was a letter from Bear Lake student Bryce Harless asking them to look into the possibility of joining the Lakeshore Hockey Association. The board approved that co-op contingent on their Bay Area Reps co-op ending.

 

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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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