Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Bridgeport Township School Board Meeting February 23rd, 2015

On the agenda:
- The school board members went into a closed session to discuss several items, one of them being pending litigation at :50 in the video.
- Public Comments from Larry Brown, John Rhines, and the school lawyer Joe Urban, begin at 6:00 (I had to change my camera battery so I missed the first minute or so of Mr. Rhines comments)
 - Unfinished Business and Agenda Adjustments begins at 14:20
- Committee Reports - Finance and Technology Ad Hoc, begins at 15:45
- Brunkow Property Sale Discussion begins at 20:00
- Acting Superintendent Out Of State Conference Discussion/Approval begins at 28:06
- Moss Proposal - Technology begins at 37:40
- Policy Discussion begins at 43:40
- Board Resolution concerning discretionary spending begins at 45:35
- School Messenger updates for school board members begins at 50:24
- School Resource Officer and Electronic Devices In The School begins at 1:07:05
- Superintendent's Update begins about 1:17:50
- Board Member Comments begins at 1:35:26
After the comments the board went into closed session to discuss the Acting Superintendent Evaluation for Mrs. Selby

Yes Facebook, YouTube and other forms of media are powerful tools.  They put the truth and facts out there for all to see.  They shine a light in the darkest corners.  They are tools that can and should be used to make a positive impact in our society.  Who has been running this school system for years?   Has anyone actually been managing the day to day operations?  My impression is that it has been chaotic for years.  It seems that there has been a serious lack of communication, from top to bottom in the district.   Who has the ultimate responsibility for it?  Where does the buck stop? 

I look forward to the public comment period.  Mr. Brown is always informative.  He had some good news tonight. Carla Priest Hurd and other alumni and community members donated nine cases of paper to the schools.    It has been discussed in several previous meetings that the teachers were not being provided with the paper needed to perform their duties.  One teacher spoke later in the meeting that she does not have textbooks and she uses online sources for the curriculum so she has to print copies off to provide to the students.  There is talk of a future fundraising effort to help provide needed textbooks for the students.  It is great to see the community stepping forward and helping when needed.  The first priority should always be the students and doing whatever it takes to provide them with the needed resources to be successful. The teachers will hopefully always be given the support and resources they need.  If the teachers were not being given the paper they needed, then there WAS a paper shortage.  If word goes out to the community in the future that the teachers are not being given the paper they need again, I wouldn't be surprised if there was another paper drive.

John Rhines once again brings up very serious subjects.  I took a quick look through the Michigan Freedom Of Information Act and I didn’t see anything in there that says the school can require anyone requesting documents under the FOIA law to first sign a confidentiality agreement.   
Exactly what is the role of the school board?  Guess I will have to read the entire 990 pages of the Board of Education Policies manual to figure it out.  If the Superintendent Mr. Hill and/or any members of the school board have acted outside of the law or set policies, then perhaps they should be dismissed.
The lawyer for the school district says there will be a  communication going home with the students and posted on the districts website concerning issues that have been raised.  I look forward to reading it.
I was glad to see so much discussion and action by the members of the school board at tonight’s meeting.  Glad to see the members taking the bull by the horns so to say.  There are so many serious issues that need to be straightened out in this district.  Looking forward to seeing more action being taken by the board members in the future. 
LASTLY - I tip my hat to Mark My, a student at Bridgeport High School for the phenomenal job he did with raising the money to buy a much needed new drum set for the High School Pep Band!!

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