Sturgis Public Schools Board of Education highlighted a number of topics at its meeting Monday as the 2019-2020 academic and fiscal year draws to a close, and offered a glimpse of how the 2020-2021 year may begin.
Superintendent Art Ebert told the board that 113,000 meals were prepared and delivered by staff and volunteers to the student population during the school closure and distance-learning mandate between mid-March and June. Ebert expressed his gratitude to those involved in helping the students and school district during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Finance director Ray Sterling presented the 2019-20 fiscal year budget amendment to the board for review. The amendment as presented reflected a projected decrease in general fund revenue of $109,919, a projected decrease in general fund expenditure of $366,871 and a projected increase in fund equity of $169,333. All told, the district is expected to have a projected fund equity of 18.13 percent. Financial advisers encourage school districts in general to have a fund balance of about 15 percent relating to its expenditure. The plans to take action on the district's budget amendment at its meeting June 15.
Looking ahead to the 2020-21 school year, assistant superintendent Nicole Airgood and Sturgis High School English teacher James Shoesmith recommended curriculum resource purchases for the high school's English language arts department. The purchase requests are for 146 fiction and nonfiction novels that support the curriculum. The board plans to take action on the recommendations at the July 13 board meeting.
Ebert said athletic practices are resuming this week in anticipation of the fall season. Teams will practice outside and follow Michigan High School Athletic Association reopening guidelines, such as limits on gatherings, pre-workout screenings, hygiene practices, facility access, physical activity and equipment use.
Sterling said the Wenzel Elementary School's office relocation project has gotten underway, with demolition taking place this week. The school also plans to have an inclusive playground structure, surfacing and equipment installation over the summer.