Morenci school board 2012.10.10

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

Morenci schools should soon have a "student success coach" in place to assist students that may have trouble graduating. Funding for the position would come from state money for at-risk students.

The coach would follow middle and high school students in need of extra help, explained secondary principal Kelli Campbell, and make daily contact with the students, and their parents and teachers as needed. Tutoring time would be organized and students would be assisted with organizational skills.

The coach would also be in charge of in-school suspension students in a classroom rather than in the school office.

Several factors would be considered in identifying students most at risk, added superintendent Michael Osborne.

"If any student is struggling, whether you’re labeled or unlabeled," he said, "our goal is to support you."

The district has limited funds to use and decisions need to be made about where to focus the money.

"To me, this fits in real clearly with what we’re trying to do,“ he said. “This is a really good use of funds and fits well into our plan for student success.”

There's a strong effort at the state level for intervention...

The only problem with the new position, said board member Phil McCaskey during a committee meeting Oct. 1, is to put the program in place only to have state funding later cut. That would leave Morenci to pay for continuing the program.

That’s true for most any state funding, said finance director Erica Metcalf, but there is strong support at the state level for intervention of this kind.

A job posting was expected to be listed by the end of last week.

BOND—Metcalf reminded the board that work needs to move forward if the board intends to seek additional financial support from taxpayers. In the past the board has discussed the possibility of voter approval for a bond, or for extending the current levy at no additional cost, to pay for several maintenance projects. 

Roof and parking lot repair, a security entry system and computer upgrades are among the needs discussed in the past.

"We need to get a more accurate view of needs and costs and determine the best direction to take," said finance committee chair Laura Spencer.

SPORTS—Athletic director Phil Stark sought direction from the board about moving forward with a golf program in the spring. The board approved an agreement to accept Waldron students on the golf team, but Stark said there is only one student interested. Morenci had only two students last spring.

McCaskey said that no matter what the sport, student participation is needed if the district is going to pay for coaches, transportation, fees, etc. 

"Let’s get the word out," he said about golf. “Let’s find out if there’s interest.”

Spencer asked if any other sports were in a similar position and Osborne mentioned that wrestling numbers were quite low last year.

Later, in the regular board meeting, Jeff Nofziger and Loren Delmonico were hired as co-coaches for the wrestling program.

OFFICE—Osborne said that he is still looking at the proposal from the Lenawee ISD to take over the district's business office duties and he's also continuing to examine a proposal to move the board office to the empty rooms at the high school.

He told the board that the Morenci Education Foundation is seeking office space to store files and to meet on a monthly basis.

GLASSMEN—The agreement with the Glassmen drum and bugle group for use of the school during the summer will not be renewed due to occasional scheduling problems for use of the building.

INSPECTION—A visit from the county health department found two non-critical items at the elementary school kitchen which were corrected and two critical problems with the new steamers at the high school. Minor issues at the concession stand were addressed.

The board voted to buy an upgrade to the district's point-of-sale computer system for school lunches.

RADIOS—The district has until the end of the year to buy 10 new bus radios before a change in federal regulations makes the existing units inoperable. Osborne suggested that a cost savings might be realized if buying with Hudson.

STAFF—Tina Rohr was hired as a middle school aide/paraprofessional and Levi Hoffman as a lunch room supervisor and instructional aide. Teachers Doug Rupp, Lisa Runion and Brad Brown will be paid to serve as lunch room supervisors, with pay coming from the cafeteria fund. Runion will also serve as an after-school tutor.

Teacher Ashley Joughin was hired to serve as a lunch-time tutor for middle school students and Kim Mohr as a tutor for both lunch-time and after school. Pay for the tutors will come from at-risk funds.

  • Front.pokemon
    LATEST CRAZE—David Cortes (left) and Ty Kruse, along with Jerred Heselschwerdt (standing), consult their smartphones while engaging in the game of Pokémon Go. The virtual scavenger hunt comes to life when players are in the vicinity of gyms, such as Stair District Library, and PokéStops such as the fire station across the street. The boys had spent time Monday morning searching for Pokémon at Wakefield Park.
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    on your mark, get set, drum!—Drew Joughin (black shirt), Maddox Joughin and Kaleea Braun took the front row last week when Angela Rettle and assistants led the Stair District Library Summer Reading Program kids in a session of cardio drumming. The sports and healthy living theme continued yesterday with a Mini Jamboree at Lake Hudson State Park arranged by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Next week’s program features the Flying Aces Frisbee show.
  • Girls.on.ride
    NADIYA YORK and Aniston Valentine take a spin on the Casino, one of the rides offered at Wakefield Park during Morenci’s Town and Country Festival. This year’s festival remained dry but with plenty of heat during the three-day run. Additional photographs are inside this week’s Observer.
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    Angela Davis (2) and teammate Allison VanBrandt break into a jig after Morenci's softball team won its third consecutive regional title.
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    ART PARK—A design created by Poggemeyer Design Group shows a “pocket art park” in the green space south of the State Line Observer building. The proposal includes a 12-foot sculpture based on a design created by Morenci sixth grade student Klara Wesley through a school and library collaboration. A wooden band shell is located at the back of the lot. The Observer wall would be covered with a synthetic stucco material. City council members are considering ways to fund the estimated $125,000 project and perhaps tackling construction one step at a time.
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    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks
  • Funcolor
    LEONIE LEAHY was one of three local hair stylists who volunteered time Friday at the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Her customer, Aubrey Sandusky, looks up at her mother while her hair takes on a perfect match to her outfit. Leahy said she had a great time at the event—nothing but happy clients.
  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
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    BEVY OF BALLS—Stair District Library Summer Reading Program VolunTeens, including Libby Rorick, back left and Ty Kruse, back right, threw a dozen inflatable soccer balls into the crowd during a reading of “Sergio Saves the Game.” The sports-themed program continues on Wednesdays through July 27.
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