TR Board of Education discusses student assistance programs, facilities upgrades

It’s technology-based and it’s a program that will be designed to help support students so they can be more successful academically – Dan Ryan

THREE RIVERS — The Three Rivers Community Schools Board of Education discussed multiple topics from different board committees during their work session Monday.
The committees that met during Monday’s meeting were the curriculum, facilities and finance committee. After about an hour of committee work during the meeting, which included board members, each committee gave a report on their activities to the board.
The curriculum committee discussed the potential implementation of the Wildcat Academy and the Success Team student assistance programs during their report to the board. Board President Dan Ryan told the Commercial-News in an interview Tuesday the programs are still in the preliminary stages of development.
Ryan said the Wildcat Academy in particular would be similar to the Success Virtual Learning Center.
“It’s technology-based and it’s a program that will be designed to help support students so they can be more successful academically,” Ryan said.
While Ryan said there weren’t many details shared about the plans, he said the board is “very confident” they will be implemented in the near future.
As for the facilities committee, representatives from Trane Heating and Air Conditioning Services discussed the annual energy consumption for TRCS since 2006, as well as the savings to the district over the years, and answered questions the board members had regarding their work. Ryan said Facilities Director Brian Leonard has been working on updating the mechanical infrastructure for the last few years to make it more efficient.
In addition, technology support personnel from the district talked about the Category 2 E-rate program, which is a discount funding program for technology and telecommunication upgrades.
“Two years ago, the school system enhanced the technology and telecommunications at the high school, and then last year, they did that at Park and Hoppin,” Ryan said. “For 2020-21 it is slated for the other two elementaries, Norton and Andrews.”
Ryan said the program gives the district a “considerable discount” on the equipment, and later in the meeting, approved the issuance of a request for proposal for the project, meaning the project will go out for bids.
The finance committee discussed the implementation of the new Skyward finance software for the district, which helps manage payroll, finances, and other services for the district.
In other business…
•The board heard a presentation from St. Joseph County Intermediate School District Superintendent Teresa Belote on the ISD’s Career Technical Education (CTE) millage, which will appear on November’s ballot.
•The board approved the hire of Nick Bryant as the district’s new technology coordinator. Ryan said Bryant was previously technology director at Lawrence Public Schools and Decatur Public Schools, and comes to the district with a “very experienced” background. One thing Ryan said Bryant will be doing as the new technology coordinator is training teachers and going into classrooms to help teachers integrate technology into their programs.
•The board approved the 2019-20 CTE Consortium agreement.
•The board selected Trustee Linda Baker to be the board’s voting delegate for the 2019 Michigan Association of School Boards Delegate Assembly, which occurs on Nov. 8 at the Grand Traverse Resort in Acme, Mich. Trustees Erin Nowak and Kevin Hamilton and Treasurer Julia Awe were selected as alternates.
Robert Tomlinson can be reached at 279-7488 ext. 23 or


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