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By Crystal Hayduk

Jesse Kauffman, director of the SRSLY coalition, along with middle school student Riley Thorburn and Tara Thorburn, a district educator, presented a resolution to the Chelsea School District Board of Education at their meeting on May 22.

The “Resolution to Protect Our Communities from the Marijuana Industry” was drafted with the “goal of reducing youth access to marijuana and youth exposure to pro-marijuana messaging.” Citing federal drug laws, lack of regulation of the drug industry, and the harmful effects on youth, Kauffman invited the district to support the resolution. The district can support the resolution by prohibiting advertisement of medical marijuana, refusing donations from the industry, and forbidding industry representatives from giving presentations to students.

Kauffman said that not only does the Chelsea City Council receive frequent inquiries from the industry, but surrounding townships have also been solicited by medical marijuana companies. He said that Dexter, Stockbridge, and Manchester have been part of a regional effort to prevent the industry from moving into the area.

During the opportunity for public input, Willadean Miles read a letter describing a local faith-based addiction recovery program, RU Recovery. Miles said that the free program (except for the cost of books) is offered to anyone in need each Friday evening at 7 p.m. at Faith Baptist Church on Kalmbach Road.

Superintendent Julie Helber said that she had received Miles’ letter earlier, and has given the information to the high school for addition into their “bank of resources.”

Photo by Crystal Hayduk. Lucas DeRosia addresses the board about his mentorship with Jon Moll at Reddeman Farms Golf Course.

The board also heard a presentation by Chartwells, the company contracted to provide food services for the district. Chris Rakowski, district manager, highlighted ways in which they have improved food quality over the last year, increased menu variety, and provided healthier selections.

Carrie Hall, director of the district’s dining services, said that since September, twice as many students are purchasing breakfast at school, and there has been an 11-percent increase in lunch participation.

Allison Tropf, Chartwell’s regional dietitian, addressed compliance with nutritional standards set by the federal government. She explained the use of Nutrislice, a web-based application that “puts menus out in real time.” It allows for communication with families and provides nutrition and allergen information. (More information here:  http://chartwellsk12.compass-usa.com/ChelseaSchoolsDiningServices.)

Board member Greg Rhodes asked if adherence to the nutrition guidelines has improved students’ health. Rakowski said that “… nutrition goes hand-in-hand with physical activity.” Although continuous improvements are the goal for the nutrition part of the equation, students overall lead a more sedentary lifestyle, and districts are cutting back on physical education. 

Chelsea High School teacher Duane Moss introduced student Lucas DeRosia to the board as “articulate and a fantastic example” of a student. DeRosia spoke to the board about his mentorship with Jon Moll at Reddeman Farms Golf Course.

DeRosia said he learned how Moll manages the course, trains and assigns staff, and keeps things running smoothly in order to achieve the number one goal: keeping golfers happy. DeRosia said he has played golf all of his life, and plans to attend Ferris State University’s Professional Golf Management Program.

In other board news:
The board approved plans to renovate the Beach Middle School media center at a cost of $45,000. The board also approved the purchase of curriculum materials for high school science and life management; and the new Young 5s program.

The board approved President Anne Mann to represent Chelsea for the Washtenaw Intermediate School District (WISD) board election, and recommended that she vote for Steve Olsen of Chelsea and Mary Jo Callan of Ypsilanti on June 5.

The board thanked the food service department, Chelsea Women’s Service Club, and the National Honor Society for assisting with the Cum Laude Banquet on May 17. They also thanked Molly (Welton) Boyle, Class of 2001 and current resident of Baltimore, Maryland, for speaking at the event.

Upcoming dates:
There is no school on May 29 in observance of Memorial Day.

Chelsea High School graduation will be at 2 p.m. on June 4 in the gymnasium. Doors open at 1 p.m.

The next school board meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. on June 12 at the Washington Street Education Center.

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