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CCISD approves auto lab improvements, new PT position

Picture courtesy of Copper Country ISD Career & Technical Education CCISD CTE Construction Technology students paint the new horse ring announcer’s booth designed and built by the students for the Houghton County Fairgrounds.

HANCOCK — The CCISD board approved posting an assistant supervisor of special education position for the CCISD Learning Center at its monthly meeting Tuesday.

The special education department has continued to grow, with classrooms in Baraga, Calumet, Hancock’s elementary and high schools and the ISD, Superintendent George Stockero said.

“It’s just too hard to cover,” he said. “There are many other ISDs who have two supervisors of special education.”

The position will start as half-time. It may be necessary to expand the position to full-time in a year, Stockero said.

The position will be posted in-house, Stockero said. That person will then split their time between their current position and the assistant supervisor role. How the work from the other half of the existing position is handled still has to be worked out, Stockero said.

The CCISD’s CTE (career and technical education) automotive lab will also see improvements this summer. The board approved the lowest bid from Portage Lake Construction.

The cement auto tech floor will be replaced and properly sloped. One of the lifts will also be replaced, as will the drains and an oil separator in the floor. That will fix issues with drainage and a tripping hazard, said CTE Director Shawn Kolbus.

“Nothing was draining toward the drains in the middle of the floor, and it was going off to the side and everywhere else,” he said.

After school ends in June, all equipment and lifts will be removed, followed by the concrete floor. The project is expected to be finished by July 31.

With several members absent, the board did not discuss the issue of the next superintendent. The board split between two candidates in an informal poll following interviews earlier this month. Stockero said a special meeting is tentatively scheduled for May 7.

The board also discussed the proposed 2021-22 budget for the ISD. General fund revenues are projected at $5,004,585, versus expenditures of $5,160,190. The projected fund balance at the end of the next fiscal year is $1,366,803, down from $1,522,408 at the end of this June.

The CCISD had an anomalous $24.8 million in federal revenue for 2020-21, due to $17.5 million for connectivity and $7.2 million for device purchasing through the federal MIConnect grant. The program is intended to increase the number of devices students can use at home and at school, expand internet access and connectivity, and support cybersecurity efforts and practices in the implementation of extended Wi-Fi and network access, according to the MiConnect website.

Next year’s budget includes a 3.7% increase in health care costs, and a retirement rate of 30%.

The ISD is expected to receive $569,830 in tax revenue after taxable value within the ISD increased by 2%. The ISD receives 0.4 mills on all taxable property within the county.

No increase in state aid or other state revenue is budgeted for the coming year.

The proposed budget will be sent to local school districts for approval at their May meetings.

In other action, the board:

* Approved amendments to the 2020-21 budget.

* Approved nominations for the Copper Country Association of School Boards awards: Edwin Semmens for outstanding education employee, Gwendolyn Stockwell for school service and Maya Dove (CTE) and Quinn Aho (LC) for student leadership award.

* Approved the resignations of helpdesk technician Joshua Rheault and instructional/bus aides Julie Nordstrom and Carla Bekkala.

* Approved monthly reconfirmation of COVID-19 learning plans.

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