ISD board members receive year in review report

MANISTEE — When members of the Manistee Intermediate School District Board of Education met this week for the annual organizational meeting one of the highlights was a year in review presentation by superintendent Dave Cox and the administration.

Cox said that much of the information from that report was addressed throughout the year, but it is nice for the board to see the total picture instead of a simple snapshot of what takes place at the ISD.

“It’s nice to put it all together and that is especially true when you look at all the numbers of it,” said Cox. “From the budgets we oversee, to the help desk tickets, there is a lot that goes on.”

Manistee County School Business Cooperative (MCSBC) finance director Kris Mauntler gave the board a view of what her department does for the county schools. They provide business services for the Bear Lake, CASMAN Academy, Kaleva Norman Dickson, Onekama Consolidated Schools and Manistee ISD districts.

“We handle accounts payable, audit preparation, Affordable Care Act compliance filing, budget development and amendments, cash flow management, elections, grant oversight, negotiations, payroll and benefits, staff orientation presentations, workman’s compensation and much more,” said Mauntler.

Mauntler said what they do coincides well with their mission statement. That mission statement says “Manistee County School Business Cooperative is an organization of school business officials that provides a wide variety of outstanding school financial and personnel services to members of the cooperative at a reduced cost, allowing for more resources to be dedicated towards students and better services to the staff and community.”

What they do is also reflected well in their vision statement of “MCSBC provides financial and personnel services at a reduced cost to school districts.”

Overall, the MCSBC oversees the five budgets totaling $22,793,496. That includes Bear Lake ($3,325,396), CASMAN Academy ($613,826),  Kaleva Norman Dickson ($5,972,187), Manistee ISD ($7,885,715) and Onekama Consolidated ($4,996,372).

“Kris has got a great team and it works well,” said Cox. “Part of that is the unique business relationships and connections that exist with the districts we work with because we are able to work with and support all those challenging things that go on with budgets, enrollment and all of that.”

Another area that provides tremendous support is the technology support that the ISD provides to the area districts by technology director Roy Anciso and his staff.

Cox praised Anciso and his staff for all they do to assist all the districts in the county.

This year the ISD received 4,517 total tech work orders for support. The breakdown of those requests among the districts for tech support are KND (1,077), Onekama (1,075), MAPS (968), MISD (676), Bear Lake (423) and CASMAN Academy (298).

Anciso pointed out the system processed 942,905 calls that spanned 10,486 hours of call duration. September was the busiest month with 124,081 calls taking place.

“Major technology improvments we have made over the past year are 10Gbit internet connection to SEN, Michigan State Police Competitive School Safety Grants, video surveillance agreement with the local public safety agencies and we implemented Power School at the Manistee ISD,” said Anciso.

General education director Lisa Lockman reported to the board that 73 professional learning sessions were offered by the ISD this past year to the local school distrticts that included 711 participants. Teachers taking advantage of those services came from Bear Lake (24 participants), CASMAN Academy (30 participants), KND (161 participants), Manistee Area Public (90 participants), Manistee Catholic Central (18 participants) Manistee ISD (210 participants), Michigan Great Lakes Virtual Academy (39 participants) and Onekama Consolidated (52 participants).

Special education director Brooke McIsaac delivered the breakdown of the number of students from each district who received services in occupational therapy, orientation and mobility, physical therapy, speech, hearing impaired, visually impaired and autism spectrum disorder. She also detailed the students that are receiving assistance from the ISD classes concerning special education.

Another area of growing popularity that Cox pointed out was Career Tech Education programs. A total of 43 students from Bear Lake and Brethren schools are taking advantage of 12 different offerings at the Wexford Missaukee ISD Career Tech Center.

The programs they have to choose from are Agri-science, applied construction, automotive technology, business management, career skills, computer networking, digital media, engineering technology, health services, heavy equipment, hospitality, heath care, mechatronics, welding, power sports equipment and public safety.

Likewise, 95 students from CASMAN Academy, Manistee Catholic Central, MAPS and Onekama Consolidated are taking part in 13 offerings from the West Shore ESD Career Tech Center. Those offerings inlcude agri-science, construciton trades, automotive technology, computer networking, digital media, mechatronics, allied health, health occupations, culinary, graphic communications, welding, education academy and criminal justice.

Cox said it has been a busy year and one of changes at the ISD.

“This is my first full year and I can’t believe how fast it has gone by since I became superintendent,” said Cox.

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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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