Onekama board receives request from athletic boosters

ONEKAMA — Members of the Onekama Consolidated Schools Athletic Boosters gave the board of education a report this week on the many ways in which they have contributed to the success of the district.

Justin Sedelmaier spoke on behalf of the boosters and presented to the the board a list of the funds that group has donated from 2017 to the present to assist the athletic programs and the district. The list included 21 donations from the boosters in the amount of $27,964.

Sedelmaier told the board the boosters had concerns about the items they were limited to offering because of the wellness policy. No pop, candy bars or other such items are allowed under that policy. The boosters had concerns that money was being left on the table that could benefit the athletes and school if they were allowed to sell some of those other items.

“This list of money we donated does not encompass everything, but just the things we have been asked for from the teams,” said Sedelmaier. “We received a lot of feedback from people about not being able to purchase a Gatorade from the school concessions to people wanting a candy bar to everything under the sun you could imagine. We would like to ask if the wellness committee could revisit the policy.”

Sedelmaier said that they asked a Facebook poll question that if they were allowed to sell candy and pop or other items currently unavailable at the concession stand would people spend more. There were 181 people who responded to the poll and 167 said they would purchase items like pop and candy, while 14 said it wouldn’t impact what they spent.

“We are asking that the policy be revisited to maximize the amount of money we bring in to allow us to do everything we do on this campus,” said Sedelmaier.

After a lengthy discussion on the matter, interim superintendent Mark Parsons asked Sedelmaier and the boosters to set up a meeting with him and they would discuss the matter more to see what could be done.

Monday’s meeting was also the semi-organizational meeting where board members took action on several annual business items. They included naming the Thrun Law Firm as the district’s firm, the Michigan Association of School Boards as Labor Relations Consultant and West Shore Bank as the the bank of depository.

Selected for the continuance of funds, accounts and designation of signatures on accounts were Kris Mauntler, Sally Koon, Gina Hagen and Mary Bergren. Appointed as designated board agent was Bergren and in her absence either Becky Milarch or Ann Swanson will have that duty.

Koon also informed the board during the communications portion of the agenda that two letters were sent to the board and outgoing superintendent Kevin Hughes. One was from Manistee Area Public Schools superintendent Ron Stoneman thanking Hughes for his service and congratulating him on his retirement.

“We also got a card from West Shore Community College president Scott Ward,” said Koon. “He said ‘please accept this donation from my wife and me in recognition for Kevin Hughes’ years of service to Onekama Consolidated Schools. In the same spirit that Kevin served the students of the district we would like this donation to got to the school library, and I look forward to continuing this strong relationship with Onekama Consolidated schools and endeavor those solid bridges that Kevin built.””

Koon said it was was a very generous donation from Ward.

Board members were also given a reminder and update from principal Gina Hagen on the District Improvement Plan (DIP).

“We have gone over this in the past, but we have new board members, and Mr. Parsons is too, so we are going to revisit it,” said Hagen. “The DIP plan is a district improvement plan, which we don’t do because we are a single building. The real name is the Single Building Improvement Plan and this means we only do one plan and it is for our whole campus. In the past we had a single building plan so we would have an elementary, middle school/high school plan and a District Improvement Plan.”

Hagen said they may want to revisit the DIP at some point in time, but right now they just do one plan for elementary and middle school/high school.

“What we do is required by the state and the single building plan is always due by June 30, where the district plan wouldn’t have been due until Sept. 1,” said Hagen.

The plan is done by a team consisting of teachers, parents, students, board members and administrators.

“We meet monthly and additionally we meet three times a month with an ISD consultant who keeps us updated on the state’s requirements for this plan,” said Hagen. “The plan we do is through Advance Ed and this is the last year we will use that. The whole process is changing, but they haven’t decided how yet.”

“Staff members have a copy of the plan Google Doc. at all times,” said Hagen. “The Single Building Plan is on the school website, so anyone can see it. The plan is a living document that can be changed any time during the school year.”

The plan includes goals and solutions in math science, English, social students and career goals,” said Hagen.

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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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