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Photo by Crystal Hayduk. Jaqueline Taylor is the new student liaison to the Chelsea School District Board of Education.

By Crystal Hayduk

Nathan Baldermann of Rehmann Robson, LLC, presented the 2016-17 audit report at the Chelsea School District Board of Education meeting on Oct. 23.

With all financial statements final, he gave an “unmodified, clean opinion.” Baldermann said this result indicates that reliably good management decisions have been made financially.

Among the highlights was that the district has added more than $70,500 to its fund balance. Baldermann reported the district’s current unassigned fund balance as $4.4 million.

The school board approved the hiring of Kimberly Conn as a fourth-grade teacher at South Meadows Elementary, following the resignation of Carly Groves. According to Principal Stacie Battaglia, this is a difficult time of year to make a change, but Conn was chosen from 47 applicants. She will be introduced to the board at its next meeting.

Chelsea High School Principal Mike Kapolka introduced the newest student board liaison, Jaqueline Taylor. Taylor, a junior, is in her third year serving on student council, has been an instrumental member of the #WhyYouMatter campaign, and is the “voice of CHS,” reading the daily announcements.

“I know that she will do a wonderful job in this two-year position,” said Kapolka.

Marcus Kaemming, executive director of instruction, curriculum and human resources, and Andrew Thomson, adult and youth enrichment coordinator, presented an update on community education. Thomson said some of the challenges facing community education include fewer staff and rising costs, all while attempting to keep fees mostly steady.

Information obtained through a recent community survey indicates a need for more music offerings since Chelsea Center for the Arts has closed, and the need for more programming for teens and tweens. Superintendent Julie Helber asked the board student liaisons to talk to other students to learn what programs would be of interest.

There has been a general upward trend in the number of people utilizing community education in the last four years. Nearly 94 percent of respondents said they would recommend community education offerings to others.

In other board news:

The special education millage renewal will be on the ballot for voters on Nov. 7. Helber said that the May special education millage was for an increase, which now funds special education at 100 percent, which protects general education funds. The November election is a renewal of a millage first approved in 2011 and would keep the funding at 100 percent.

There is more information is available at http://www.k12insight.com/Lets-Talk/embed.aspx?L=PY9D59F8K5LT

With board members Tammy Lehman and Greg Rhodes absent, the board approved the Chelsea House Orchestra’s request to travel to China in March, 2019 for performance and a cultural experience.     

Upcoming date:

The next regular school board meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. on Nov. 13 in the board room at the Washington Street Education Center.

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