12-20-2018 Hartford School Board updates Code of Ethics

2019 MISS AND MR. COLOMA CONTESTANTS… Pictured (from the left): Mr. Contestants (standing) – William Church and Zack Lake; Miss Contestants (seated) – Narelle Hickman, Emily Greenman, Amber Street, Samantha Scott and Cassidy Dryer. The pageant will be held on Saturday, January 5, 2019 in the Coloma High School Auditorium beginning at 6:00 p.m. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. For tickets or more information, contact Barb Stroder at (269) 468-3731. (Photos courtesy of Toney Hart-Wilson)


MORE COLOMA ROYALTY CONTESTANTS… (From the left): Mr. Contestants (standing) – David Hiler and Sin’Cere Taylor; Miss Contestants (seated) – Alexia Saucedo, Kivi Costigan, Skylar Hicker, Caroline Miota and Emma Young. Please help us by wishing all of these young ladies and gentlemen “Good Luck!”


Hartford School Board updates Code of Ethics

By Jon Bisnett Policy Chairman Mike Banic introduced the board to the first reading of several updates to policy specifically in the area of board ethics at the November 15 business meeting. Banic addressed the areas of public comments made by board members, social media posts and a reminder that the president is by policy the only official voice of the board. Further Banic outlined the proper protocol whereby if a board member were to speak out on any given issue, it is appropriate to disclaim the statement as a personal opinion, not that of the board. Summing up the lengthy documentation for review, Banic reminded that a board member is obligated to wear “One hat… not a parent hat, but their board hat.” Organization meeting The date was set for the 2019 organizational meeting to be 7:00 p.m. Thursday, January 10 at Hartford Public Schools Central Office. Talk also took place to consider formally moving future meetings from Thursday to Monday for the purpose of avoiding conflicts that occasionally occur with Van Buren Intermediate School District events. No action was taken at this time.

Red Arrow property Superintendent Andy Hubbard reviewed changes to the purchase as recommended by the district’s legal counsel. Board members were eager to make the transaction move forward and saw no reason for concern with any of the requests from legal counsel of the Hartford District Library. Unanimous approval followed, paving the way for the Library to finalize the purchase. King Media Following the detailed presentation of the prior week, the board held discussion as to the proposal of marketing services from King Media. “It’s a lot of money… I was really surprised that it came in double what I had guessed it would be…” said Rick Vawter. Mike Banic said, “For what they charge, we could hire a full-time person to do the job.” Jason Meachum voiced the opinion that perhaps the market research component by itself would be of most benefit to the district, while Lisa Johnson expressed frustration in saying that “All the best schools that are moving forward are using this, a marketing service, even Bangor has a marketing person… we’ve spent over a year talking about this.” Vawter pointed out that there is no clear goal as to what the board’s expectations are at this time. The subject will be revisited. At the very least a second bidder must be considered per state law.

Middle School trip Teacher Jennifer Stubbs sought approval for an 8th graders trip to Washington D.C. May 19 through the 23rd; 30 students are already signed up. Unanimous approval was given by the board.

Technology Tech guru Rob Sheffey briefly outlined a work in progress which will result in installation of HD television monitors at each of the three campus locations. Placed in high-traffic public locations, the programming of the screens would be controlled by the building secretaries to promote upcoming events, student achievement and other items of interest. Questions arose as to bilingual considerations which Sheffey said can be handled by the secretaries who program the information.

District communications Redwood Elementary Principal Ed Dickenson and Middle School Principal Ken Mohney jointly presented the communications efforts within their buildings. Both campuses maintain social media pages, newsletters and direct calls to home when warranted. Redwood publishes 90% of the outgoing information in bi-lingual fashion referring to “families” rather than parents recognizing the non-traditional family unit where grandparents serve as the student’s guardian. Middle School students have the additional tools of the Power School Portal, Student of the Week and after-school extended learning opportunity. Speaking for the High School in the absence of Principal Dave Janicki, Kim deBoom detailed a new Adopt a Classroom program in which high school athletes promote reading i