CASMAN board gets updated on Emergency Operations Plan

MANISTEE — School security remains a top priority in all districts including CASMAN Academy where this week board of education members heard a report on it from director Shelly VanVoorst.

State officials are mandating that all school districts have an Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) in place this year. VanVoorst told the board that school officials are working on the process and, that like other districts in the county, they will be using Compliance One to help draw up the plan.

“We are meeting with Compliance One to start the preparation of EOP,” said VanVoorst. “We will have (Manistee County Business Cooperative director of finance) Kris Mauntler, (Manistee Intermediate School District technology director) Roy Anciso and (AccessPoint director) Scott Vandenboosch in the meeting as well.”

The plan also does is opens the district up to the possibility of acquiring more Michigan State Police/Michigan Department of Education Competitive School Safety Grants. In the past round CASMAN received $25,004 in grant funds from the program and used the money to upgrade its public address system in the building and the door locks.

“We have applied for a second round of the competitive safety grants,” said VanVoorst. “This time we have applied for safety signage for each of the classrooms.”

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

“We have and will continue to conduct searches when necessary to make sure that all the students are safe within our building,” said VanVoorst. “We continue to work cooperatively with local law enforcement to conduct lockdown drills and safety events within the buildings. This includes K-9 searches with the sheriff’s office.”

CASMAN also works in a cooperative manner  with Staircase Youth Services, Centra Wellness and the Juvenile Court system  and other organizations to provide services for their students.

Other information that VanVoorst informed the board on was the upcoming testing schedules.

“The SAT, ACT WorkKeys, MME and PSAT testing will start the week of April 8,” said VanVoorst.

Board members were also updated about what the school is doing on providing services for its teachers.

“We continue to follow the professional development calendar outlined at the beginning of the school year,” said VanVoorst. “Things are added in as needed per staff concerns and needs. We have adjusted our spring Professional Development calendar to start including sessions that will roll over into the next school year as well.”

VanVoorst also told the board that she attended the planning session for the 100 day challenge on Youth Homelessness that was held at the Manistee Intermediate School District.

Board members were also given an update on the Manistee County Wide School Board Meeting that was held Feb. 26 at the Manistee ISD. VanVoorst said this year’s meeting was presented by Michigan Association of School Boards legal counsel Brad Banasik.

During his talk Banasik spoke to a variety of legal issues currently facing boards of education across the state. Among the topics were the Open Meetings Act, email communications, election restrictions, remote board member participation, closed meeting violations and  quorum concerns at committee meetings.

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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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