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Flint, MI—Flint Community Schools Board of Education members shuffled officer positions during a board meeting on Sept. 15 following the resignations of former Vice President Vera Perry and Trustee Diana Wright last week.
Danielle Green, former board secretary, will now serve as the board’s vice president. Joyce Ellis-McNeal, former assistant secretary/treasurer, will step up as secretary. Adrian Walker, former trustee, will take on Ellis-McNeal’s previous role as assistant secretary/treasurer.
Board members voted unanimously on all appointments.
At the meeting, Interim Superintendent Kevelin Jones took a moment to address the district’s tumultuous start to the year.
“We know there have been a variety of challenges across the district recently, and that many are frustrated by how the school year has begun at Flint Community Schools. After all the hard work the district put into preparing for a successful start to this school year, this is not how we envisioned the beginning of this year,” Jones said.
Since school started Aug. 4, the district has encountered several challenges. High temperatures have forced students to miss at least 10 days of classes. And after mold was discovered in Doyle-Ryder Elementary, some students missed an additional week.
Teachers and staff spent last week’s intersession preparing to move students from Doyle-Ryder to Potter Elementary.
“We are developing a plan to address missed school days this year and will provide an update to our families as soon as possible. We remain dedicated to our families and align with our mission to provide our scholars with the education and skills they need for lifelong success,” Jones said.
Potter Elementary now faces a bat infestation. During the meeting, board members considered a $22,050 contract with Prudential Pest Management to address the situation.
Some board members said they felt the amount was too high and requested a quote from Beck’s Pest Control, a company the district has worked with in the past.
Jones stressed the importance of addressing the situation immediately.
“I just don’t want us to allow this to be prolonged a very long time when there’s complaints about this,” he said.
Board members voted to table the decision until the administration consults with Becks. Board members said they expect a special meeting to be scheduled within a week.
Further compounding the district’s issues, Superintendent Anita Steward filed a lawsuit against the board Sept. 8. The suit alleges board members, individually and collectively, prevented Steward from performing her duties as superintendent by overstepping their authority and “thumbing their noses” at board bylaws, rules, and regulations.
“I have to put this aside,” Jones said, going off script, “Because my heart says that we’re going to continue to do our best for our scholars. We’re going to continue to work together as a community. And we are concerned with what our parents are concerned with. We are concerned with what our communities are concerned with. And we will do everything we can to work with our board of education to ensure that our scholars are inspired, motivated and educated, and prepared for the future.”
Jones previously said that Steward would return from family medical leave Sept. 15, however, Steward did not attend Wednesday’s meeting.
The board is currently accepting applications for the two vacancies until Sept. 22. They will hold a special meeting at Accelerated Learning Academy on Sept. 29 at 6:00 p.m. to interview applicants and make their selections.