2014-07-31 / Front Page

School rated for special ed, coaches named

Teachers use meeting to talk contract issues

MANISTIQUE – The district met many of its targets in a new “special education report card” distributed by the Michigan Department of Education. The results of the report card, along with fall coach appointments and a still absent contract for teachers, were discussed during Monday’s meeting of the Manistique Board of Education.

According to Jeanne Verbrigghe, the district’s special education supervisor, the 2012-13 Special Education Public Report shows data acquired by the state through necessary reporting. The Manistique Area School District met the “targets” in every category but two – graduation and educational environment.

In the area of special education graduation, MAS showed a rate of 66.7 percent. A rate of 80 percent or more is needed to meet this benchmark.

In education environment, meaning special education students are in a regular classroom setting for at least 80 percent of the day, the district topped out at 52 percent, when a 63 percent or higher was required to hit the state’s target.

“The district continues to implement a Multi Tier System of Supports to achieve state set targets,” Superintendent Kathy McDonough said.

According to the Michigan Department of Education, MTSS is an integrated, multi-tiered system of instruction, assessment, and intervention designed to meet the achievement and behavioral health needs of all learners. Verbrigghe presented the board with a first year summary of the MTSS and Special Education Programs for 2013-14 as well as an Early Warning System program to be implemented in 2014-15.

“EWS identifies, and supports through intervention, students that are displaying risk factors that predict an increased likelihood of dropping out of high school,” explained McDonough.

The board unanimously accepted special education report.

The district’s Special Education Public Report, as well as other state-collected data is available at www.mischooldata.org.

In other business, the board also approved a slew of fall coaching positions, including: varsity football coach, Todd Kangas; assistant varsity football coach, Ed Marietti; junior varsity football coach, Garde Kangas; assistant junior varsity football coach. Travis Ashbrook; eighth grade girls’ basketball coach, Kelley Spettel; seventh grade Girls basketball coach, Laura Carlson; girls’ varsity volleyball coach, Amy Nixon; girls’ junior varsity volleyball coach, Doug Morrison; varsity cheer coach (sideline), Lisa Selling; junior varsity cheer coach (sideline). Jen Bowers; varsity cross country coach, Laurie Lindstrom; eighth grade boys’ basketball coach, Devin Lawrence; and seventh grade boys basketball coach, Doug Morrison.

The board also held a closed session for the purpose of a negotiations update. No action was taken on a contract for teachers of the district.

According to Todd Kangas, teacher and union representative, the next negotiation session is scheduled for Aug. 1. Here, he said many of the concerns brought forth by teachers during recent public comment periods of board meetings would again be raised.

“Numerous staff members commented on their out of pocket expenses, number of volunteer hours donated to the district, fundraising activities for district programs they participated in, and programs they volunteer to organize and run that greatly benefit the district, the students of the district, and the image of the district,” he explained.

Kangas also pointed out that the Manistique Education Association has requested the board consider what all the teacher activities are worth to the district. In addition, individual teacher evaluations documenting the various activities of MAS staff, both in the school and in the community have been submitted to the board for consideration.

“We are hoping to avoid the hard feelings and negative atmosphere that often is associated with labor unrest,” Kangas said. “It is the hope of our association that we can come to an affordable, fair, and timely resolution to this labor issue.”

Return to top