ISD board extends superintendent contract

MANISTEE — The Manistee Intermediate Board of Education gave superintendent Dave Cox an effective rating for his annual evaluation and extended his contract by one year at this week’s meeting.

That contract extension was without any changes from the previous year that he had with the district. Cox is a dual superintendent serving four days at the Wexford-Missaukee ISD in the same capacity and one day each week at the Manistee ISD.

During his regular monthly report to the board, Cox made the board aware of a situation that may impact all the school districts in the county.

“We had a meeting this morning with the superintendents and I just wanted to make sure this is on your radar,” said Cox. “It has come to the superintendent’s attention that we received an adjustment letter from Universal Service Administrative that has to do with eRate funding that was found in violation of the FCC rules back in 1998-99. So all of our districts in this ISD and several others across the State of Michigan received this letter for this funding which was tainted because of the bid process and is to be refunded.”

Cox said it is several hundred thousand dollars collectively between the Manistee ISD as a whole and the Manistee Area Public Schools, Bear Lake, Brethren and Onekama schools.

“We are working on the details and we just got a letter about it,” said Cox. “There is an appeal process and we are going to go through that. We want to find out who else received those letters as I sent it out to a couple of our other organizations to see who else received a letter. It’s scary, but we will get it figured out.”

Technology director Roy Anciso told the board that the competitive bid process wasn’t followed which is the reason for the letter. He added that there isn’t any statute of limitations attached to it which is why the state could go back more than 20 years.

“So as a result the applications are considered tainted,” said Anciso. “In the letter it details what wasn’t followed.”

Special education director Brooke McIsaac also presented a report on activities in her department over the past month.

“Becky Biller, Kris Mauntler, Roy Anciso and myself attended the Great Lakes  Homeland Security Conference in Grand Rapids,” said McIsaac. “The list of presenters was quite impressive, and I believe it will help us build a very solid plan as we move forward with our Emergency Operations Plan.”

General education director Lisa Lockman informed the board that the Northern Michigan Learning Consortium that also covers Manistee has increased its services.

“They have expanded their shared services model as it will now include support for science,” said Lockman. “We are pleased to have hired Linnea Gibson as a regional sciences consultant. She will be offering some science professional learning opportunities at the Wexford Missaukee ISD this summer.”

Technology director Roy Anciso reported on several items to the board.

“All districts have successfully completed their Civil Rights Data Collection reports,” said Anciso. “We also are working on scheduling a local Power School/State Reporting meeting to cover new state reporting requirements and new PowerSchool features to be implemented this summer.”

Anciso also told the board they are preparing for several summer projects which will have a positive impact on the area schools.

“These projects range from internet upgrades to district device refreshes to security updates and improvements at every district we service,” said Anciso. “It is shaping up to be a busy summer.”

Other things to come before the board included:

• Cox said graduation is taking place on Friday (today) at 10 a.m. and there are three ISD students that will be graduating.

•The board also heard that they are working on how to submit a plan for the 31n funding for licensed behavioral specialists and behavioral training.

“The short story is the funding for that really was never meant to be evenly distributed because it has to go to the highest need which was MAPS and we are working on a plan where CASMAN will also be part of that program,” said Cox. “The other part of that program is the train the trainer and all the districts will be a part of that.”

• Cox also informed the board that the ISD election for the one seat that is expiring will be at noon on June 3 at the ISD building. Incumbent Mary Becker-Witt is the only person who has filed for that opening.

 

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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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