MARLETTE – Although the special June 27 meeting of the Marlette Board of Education meeting was designed to close-out the 2021-2002 budget and adopt the new 2002-2003 budget, the board made news with a large purchase of modern technology for students and staff.
Chris Dawson, representing Bluum, a company that offers professional guidance to educators and students, discussed the products from the Clevertouch Company which the board was considering.
Superintendent Matthew Karaffa has been impressed with Clevertouch products since attending a meeting last fall. The company features touchscreen technology with a 75-inch screen.
“We are excited to partner with Bluum and bring in the Clevertouch flat panel TV systems and updated audio technology to our classrooms and school buildings,” said Karaffa.
“This recent technology is an investment in our instructional delivery as well as our district communications and it is long overdue. The audio system will also allow us to better communicate daily messages, district wide announcements and in the case of an emergency.”
Karaffa added, “The flat panel TVs will be in every classroom and will provide the teaching staff with a supplemental device that is unlimited in its potential to reach students.”
Although existing equipment, including projectors and white boards will still be used, the focus of technology for every classroom in the elementary and junior-senior high buildings will be the screens designed by Clevertouch.
The board approved the purchase of the flat screens at a cost of $294,000 and audio equipment for $370,000.
The board will use federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief funding for the purchase.
Next on the board’s agenda was a final amendment to the 2021-22 budget.
According to the business manager, Brandi Bishop, since the last amendment, the budget shows a net increase in revenues of $293,484 but also an increase in expenses of $786,502.
The higher expenditures included band uniforms, hiring a behavioral specialist for the elementary school, purchase of an electronic sign, weight room needs, heating/ cooling computerized system, gym lighting, higher cost of supplies and maintenance of equipment, and increased costs in technology due to a multiple camera purchase.
The final amendment to the budget decreased the fund balance by $178,431 and left it with a projected fund balance of 20.4 percent for the fiscal year.
The budget for the 2022- 23 fiscal year, which began July 1, projects revenues of $9,441,235, expenditures of $9,356,193 and an estimated year-end fund balance of 22.2 percent June 30, 2023.
Employment of new staff includes former Sandusky basketball coach Tristin Pennington who will be the new varsity boys’ basketball coach, Kayla Prill, a junior high English teacher and Kelly Lams, an elementary school teacher.
Resignations included Luann Holcomb, a teacher assistant, Melanie Pasek, a special education teacher, Raeann Gentner, an elementary social worker, and David Liccardello, the junior varsity baseball coach.