Boyne Falls school board biz includes budget, summer programs, disciplinary hearing

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The Monday May 21 regular meeting of the Boyne Falls Public School Board of Education covered a number of business items including a new scoreboard, new class advisers, and overturning a decision of the administrator.


Issues discussed included the following:

The new digital sign near the road has been installed and will require a change in power configuration to supply electricity.
Options included wiring the sign to the building, placing another transformer box, and replacing the parking lot lights with their own photo cells and LED lights, also allowing them to take advantage of rebates and cost savings.
The board unanimously voted to spend $8,800 to replace the 17 parking lot lights and allow the sign to work properly.
It was noted that with the electrical cost savings, the return on investment would be 3.5 years.

The new baseball scoreboard was dedicated in the memory of Boyne Falls graduate Leszek Wasylewski who died in a car accident in the fall of 2017.
The baseball scoreboard was donated by Wasylewski’s graduating class, while the softball scoreboard was donated by the Boyne Falls Sports Boosters.

The Board of Education voted unanimously to affirm the budget for the Charlevoix-Emmet Intermediate School District,
Changes include an increase in revenue due to the enhancement revenue recently passed and a reduction in GSRP funding.
Additionally, the AmeriCorps and Head Start programs were eliminated along with numerous staffing changes.
“I think their budget is pretty static for the most part,” said Business Manager Lori Herman.
“The enhancement millage and those other things made the changes look a little bit bigger, but they’re pretty much going through the same things we are.”

Plans were discussed to hold the annual Summer Enrichment program. The program will include free breakfast and lunch, with individual tutoring time and games with busing provided for in-district students.
Summer enrichment will run Monday-Thursdays from 9:00 a.m. until noon from June 18-28, July 9-26, and August 6-23.
There is no cost, and pre-registration is not required.

The school will again provide free lunch for any children 18 years and younger in the community throughout the summer.
The program will run Monday-Thursday from June 11 through August 24.

Ruth Ann Wilson has resigned as class advisor for the class of 2020 citing personal reasons.
Mary Matelski and Holly LaCombe were appointed to serve in her place.
Additionally, Jody Jameson was appointed as the class advisor for the class of 2022.

The Board of Education voted to increase their custodial staffing to 1.5 positions.

Heather and Michael Johnson addressed the Board of Education through their attorney John Jarema.
“The Johnsons are before you to appeal a decision I have made as Superintendent of Boyne Falls Public Schools regarding their daughter,” said Boyne Falls Public School Administrator Cynthia Pineda.
Pineda described a situation on Saturday May 12 involving an alleged gathering of students at one of the student’s homes.
The Johnson’s daughter, Pineda said, was intoxicated at the gathering as reported the next Monday morning.
After talking to people involved, Pineda made the decision not to allow the student to attend the annual senior trip to Hawaii, remove her from the softball team, and require rehabilitative counseling or risk not being allowed to participate in the graduation ceremony.
Jarema argued that Johnson was disciplined twice—once as a student athlete, and once as a student.
Jarema stated that under the student-athlete code of Boyne Falls Public School, discipline is to be imposed by the coaches and athletic director, neither of which, he alleged, were involved.
He also argued that, since it wasn’t a school-sanctioned nor school-sponsored party, the school had no right to impose punishments.
Boyne Falls Public School Board of Education President William Cousineau attempted to stop Jarema’s argument citing the time limit for public comment; Jarema responded by stating that it was an appeal pursuant to their procedures and would require a roll-call vote.
Jarema also argued that the student had earned the right to walk at graduation, and that none of the school’s rules should prevent her from doing so.
Jarema stated that Naomi will have completed all academic requirements, is in good academic standing, and has never been disciplined or suspended before.
“She was not suspended because they can’t suspend her under the conduct of this policy because it wasn’t a school function,” said Jarema. “They could suspend as a student-athlete … which they did, albeit, I don’t think it was done properly.”
Jarema said he couldn’t recall a student ever being prohibited from going on their senior trip.
“How much skin do you need from a 17 or 18-year-old person that made a bad choice?” said Jarema.
The vote called for by the president was whether to “support the Superintendent.”
Of the board members present, Cousineau was the lone “yes” vote, and the decision was overturned.
“My daughter’s been a lady Logger her whole life,” said the student’s father, Michael Johnson. “She’s represented us, you, and this institution with pride and with respect.”

Mitchell Klooster reported on the progress of the GSRP preschool program.
“We have 17 children that we currently have returning to preschool, and then we actually have 43 families already enrolled for next school year,” said Klooster.
Klooster stated that they had their program quality assessment and scored a 4.66 out of five.

Frank Wasylewski, father of Leszek Wasylewski for whom the scoreboard was dedicated, spoke to say “thank you.”
“I was very pleased that it turned out and we it got up this year,” said Wasylewski.
“Great Lakes Energy dug the holes for us, and Bear River Electric did all the electrical work—all donated,” he added.