BARAGA - The Baraga Area Schools Board of Education acknowledged an increased student count at Monday's regular meeting, surpassing 500 students in the district for the first time since the April 2011 count.
As of Monday morning, the district had 504 students (257 elementary, 247 junior/senior high school), up from the spring count of 495.63 students and 491.2 this time last year. The district was at 525 students in the September 2009 count and 509 in September 2010.
"It is going in the right direction," superintendent and grades K-2 principal Jennifer Lynn said.
Also during its brief Monday meeting, the school board:
ratified an agreement with the district's Teamsters union during open session at the end of the meeting, after a closed session was held to discuss the negotiations. Check Wednesday's Daily Mining Gazette for more details.
approved establishing a flexible spending account with a $2,500 cap and dependent day care deduction plan with Horace Mann Insurance.
"We're giving some health care planning tools to our teachers," Lynn said.
accepted with regret the resignation of Tammy Crittenden as varsity girls' basketball coach, who wanted to spend more time with her family.
heard an update on the school lunch program, which is undergoing extensive changes, such as the addition of a salad bar, due to state requirements.
"It's been a challenging week in the cafeteria," grades 3-12 principal Jon Young said.
heard administrative updates from Young and Lynn.
Young described three points of emphasis he made to teachers during a pair of in-service days before the first day of school: 1. Stay up to date on the online gradebook, which is available 24/7 to parents, 2. Develop connections with students and 3. Engage from bell to bell, not wasting any instructional time.
Young also noted the district has updated its "Baraga Area Schools" Facebook page at least once every day of classes so far, and he encouraged the community to "like" it to stay up to date on the district, in addition to regularly visiting baragaschools.org.
Lynn described several legislative changes that could be coming soon, including a recently signed retirement reform and discussion about replacing Proposal A, which deals with school finance reform.
approved an adult education resolution and the community school course offering and calendar.