Hartford Schools expand transportation fleet
By Jon Bisnett At its September 16 business meeting, the Hartford School Board unanimously approved the low bid from Woodhams Ford of South Haven for the purchase of a 2020 Ford Transit Connect Van, adding to the flexibility of small group travel within the District without the expense of operating a full-sized school bus. The Transit is manufactured in Europe and expected near the end of the first quarter of 2020. Sixty-five percent of the cost was leveraged via grants which will primarily purpose the new van for the use of At Risk, ESL programs and recruiting trips as opposed to paying mileage for those trips. Superintendent Andrew Hubbard gave credit to Curriculum Director Brad Geesaman for working through the grant process to fund the bulk of the purchase. Finance Business Manager Rebecca Drake was absent on the evening with Superintendent Hubbard reporting on her behalf. In addition to routine bills the following expenses we noted: Carter Crompton – final payment on divider curtain in MS gym; Educational Design – Daily 5 implementation and PD at Redwood Elementary; LMC – payment for dual enrollment classes; Maner Costerisan – progress billing for audit; McGuire’s – final payment for locker room floors; SEHI – Chromebooks/Carts purchased through Capital Outlay; Superior Ground Cover – certified mulch for RW playground; TPC Technologies – materials for the auditorium lighting & sound system update project. Personnel Hubbard announced resignations from Shirley Zimmerman and Julie Jacobusse. Zimmerman has served the district for 22 years and is retiring. Jacobusse was entering her third year in elementary art and has taken a similar position just minutes from her home in Holland. New business The board unanimously approved Jason Meachum as the Michigan Association of School Boards voting delegate for the District along with Mike Banic as the alternate in regard to the annual convention meeting. The board also approved a settlement agreement with Linear Electric for disputes in regard to Bond Construction work on Redwood Elementary
Board member reports Rick Vawter discussed several courses he attended at the Summer Institute and Legal Workshop, specifically noting that the board must have five votes to go into closed session and only for specific reasons. Vawter also mentioned the two hot topics at the conferences he attended were vaping and cell phones. Vawter also announced that he attended the last PTO meeting and that they are holding their annual Healthy Hike Fundraiser on Oct. 4 this year. Mike Banic inquired in regard to several policies that have been discussed recently. The bi-annual policy update from NEOLA is due in the next month and will include the addition/discussion all other pending policies. Banic also asked if the board intended to send out a correspondence to the staff on communication protocol. President Chambers stated he would resend the draft letter they had worked on before the communications audit to each board member to review. When questioned on how the new communication procedures were going, Chambers responded that so far all the feedback has been positive.
Superintendents report Superintendent Andy Hubbard reports that veteran elementary teacher Wendy Spangler is moving to the Elementary Art position. Roberta Cortez is moving to the Title One Paraprofessional spot and Andrea Manujano has been hired as a new lunchroom monitor at Redwood. The District financial audit is complete. A formal presentation to the board will be conducted at the October business meeting. All-campus fire drill went well. The students did a great job on the first drill of the new school year. Four high school staff members have been trained for administering a diabetic injection. District Safety Officer Dave Janicki is looking to get people in the other two buildings trained also. In addition, Janicki is in the process of scheduling Narcan training. A new additional AED machine for Redwood Elementary has arrived. Township Supervisor Ron Sefcik stopped in recently to discuss a road issue he has been working on. The Van Buren Road Commission has notified the Township that a section of 65th is not a certified road and will no longer be maintained by the county. If the road is not plowed in the winter months, it will cause problems not only for the school’s transportation department but also ambulance and fire. Sefcik and the Township are working to resolve the matter with the Van Buren County Road Commission. Having no further business President Chambers adjourned the meeting. The board meets next Monday, Oct. 14.