May 30, 2015

District News and Events

Facilities Update

At the regular May 18, 2015 Board meeting, the Dansville Board of Education approved the following:

a) Accept the recommendation from the FIT as presented.
b) Authorize Kingscott Associates/Miller Davis Company to prepare and submit
a pre-qualification application to the Michigan Department of Treasury in June
2015.
c) Seek approval from the Michigan Department of Treasury to place two
proposals on the November 2015 election ballot seeking voter approval of a
capital improvement bond program as follows:
1) Question 1 for $16.5M with a tax millage increase of 5.05 mills for
replacement of the current Middle School facility with a high school
structure
2) Question 2 for an additional $6.7M with a tax increase of 2.05 mills to
address other identified school complex deficiencies that would also
enhance the community’s use of our facilities

Facilities Update

At a special board meeting on Monday, May 11th the FIT committee gave a presentation and recommendation regarding our facilities to the Board of Education. Please click here to view the presentation.

Facilities Update

Dear Aggie Family,

First the board and the district would like to thank everyone in our Aggie Community for your input and help as we have been working through a rigorous planning process regarding our facilities over the past several months.  We have worked hard to keep this process open and many valuable suggestions have greatly improved the proposals that have been considered.

After several months of meeting, the Facilities Improvement Team will be taking their recommendation to the Board of Education at a specially scheduled meeting on Monday, May 11th at 7 pm in the elementary library.  We hope you’ll consider attending and we again want to thank so many of you who have participated in this important planning process for Dansville Schools.

Facilities Update

In November, the Board of Education sent a letter informing the entire community of a structural analysis of the middle school and the decision to replace the building with a different structure. The Board determined this would be more financially responsible than to ask the voters for a bond to replace the roof, replace windows, reconstruct floors, and install joist hangers throughout the building. These repairs are not due to neglect, but are needed to keep a 94- year- old wood structure with a brick veneer structurally sound for another 10+ years.

Rather than taking a traditional approach to the planning process where a small group decides what will be on the ballot and then tries to get support from the community, the Dansville Board of Education has chosen to establish an open planning process. They committed from the start that all of the meeting notes would be posted, the meetings would all be posted and remain open to new members and the concepts would be shared online with a chance for community members to give feedback through an online survey.

In December and January, the district held community meetings to get feedback and established a community Facilities Improvement Team (FIT) made up of volunteers, to provide us direction on what the replacement should be. For the last few months, the FIT has been getting feedback regarding several concept drawings. They have also been sharing costs and seeking your feedback. The direction that has been given was to keep the buildings connected and to build a new high school, moving the middle school students into the current high school.

The community was invited to get a full update regarding the planning phase from the FIT at a Community Meeting on Tuesday, April 28th in the HS Commons. The FIT shared what is has been working on and again asked for feedback from those in attendance.

The FIT will meet again on Thursday, May 7th at 6:30 PM in the elementary library to finalize the recommendation that will be presented to the board. The team will then share their recommendation with the Board of Education on Monday, May 11th at a special meeting at 7 PM in the elementary library.

The Board of Education will take action on the recommendation from the FIT at their regular meeting on Monday, May 18th at 7 PM in the elementary library. This will determine next steps regarding what will be proposed to the community.

The board and the district will then have to undergo several steps to prepare for the recommended proposal(s) to be on the November ballot. The district will continue to answer questions and share information throughout the next several months. Folks will be available at the Memorial Day parade and at the Ingham County Fair to answer questions and explain what has been done in this planning phase of the facilities improvement process.

Please go to www.dansville.org and click the “Facilities” button on the right-hand side of the page to get information regarding the district’s maintenance plans, facilities plans and posted answers to recently asked questions.

2014-15 Calendar Update

To comply with state day and hour requirements, we will need to hold school a full day on Friday, June 5th, a full day on Monday, June 8th and a half day on Tuesday, June 9th.    School will dismiss at 11:45 am on Tuesday June 9th.  End of year school events will be adjusted accordingly.

Questions and Answers About Proposal 1

What is Proposal 1?
Proposal 1 asks Michigan voters to change how the state pays for roads and bridges. It also provides more secure funding for schools and local communities. It does this primarily through a 1 cent state tax increase.

What happens if voters approve it?
The sales tax would increase to 7 percent on Oct. 1, 2015. (Sales tax is not charged on groceries or prescriptions, and would not be charged on gasoline.) There would be an additional $1.2 billion for funding our roads, bridges and transportation programs. This revenue would be generated by removing the sales tax paid at the pump and replaced with a wholesale tax that generates a similar amount. All taxes paid at the pump are constitutionally guaranteed to go to transportation programs while the vast majority of sales tax would go to schools and local governments.

Why does Proposal 1 involve schools?
A large portion of the sales tax on fuel is dedicated to school funding. Proposal 1 will prevent the loss of revenue to schools when the sales tax is removed from the gas we buy at the pump. The 1 cent state sales tax increase will generate $300 million more for K-12 education. More important is the constitutional guarantee the School-Aid Fund can only go to K-12 and community colleges.

What happens to the roads if proposal 1 fails?
Michigan ranks 50th in per capita spending for roads and bridges. More than one of every four bridges in Michigan needs to be repaired, improved or replaced. There is not enough money available without Proposal 1 to get ahead of expected additional deterioration, experts say. If Proposal 1 is not approved, Michigan’s roads and bridges will continue to decline at a rapid rate. There is no backup plan approved by the Legislature at this time.

Vote May 5th!

Facilities Improvement Team

The Facilities Improvement Team met on Thursday, March 12, 2015.

  • The committee reviewed the roles of the construction manager and Kingscott as well as receiving an update regarding the process of hiring a construction manager.  The district issued an RFQ to five construction management firms.  After reviewing the four proposals that were received as well as getting feedback from two FIT members who work for a construction management firm that didn’t submit a proposal, three firms were chosen for interviews:  Wolgast, CSM and Miller Davis.  A committee consisting of the FIT co-chairs, the board president, the board facilities chair, the district facilities director and the superintendent interviewed the three firms during the day on March 12th.  The committee will make a recommendation to the board at is March regular meeting after which a construction management firm will be secured.
  • The co-chairs then shared some possible solutions for the district as it relates to the facilities. The DRAFT concepts that the committee viewed are all available at http://www.dansville.org/facilities-committee/.
  • The committee was then charged to go out into the community and get feedback regarding the concepts that they will then bring back to the next FIT meeting on March 26, 2015.

Please consider reviewing the concepts that are shown at: http://www.dansville.org/facilities-committee/ and then complete the online survey to have your feedback considered by the committee moving forward.

Non-Homestead Renewal Election on Tuesday, February 24th

Background: All school districts in Michigan are required to hold elections to levy 18 mills from non-homestead properties in order to receive full school funding each year. Dansville Schools has collected 18 mills since passage of Proposal A in 1994. Our last renewal election took place in May of 2011.

What does Non-Homestead mean? Non-homestead renewals have no impact on homeowners. This millage applies to local businesses, industrial and commercial property or other property that is not your primary residence.

What questions will be on the ballot on February 24th?
• The first question on the ballot is for the renewal of the current levy of 17.8218 mills that is currently being levied on all non-homestead properties.
• The second is an increase of up to 2 mills to restore millage lost to keep the non-homestead at the required 18 mills both now and for the entire period (through 2020). Note: No matter what, passage of this millage will result in no more than 18 mills being levied on non-homestead properties.

What is the impact of the Non-Homestead millage on Dansville Schools?
Dansville Schools collects $624,872 through this millage annually, which equals approximately $800 per pupil. The rest of our funding comes directly from the state in our per pupil Foundation allowance. The Non-Homestead millage equals about 8% of our total annual budget.

Why are there two questions on the ballot in February?
There are two questions on the ballot because we experienced a Headlee Rollback this year. This happens when annual growth on existing property is greater than the rate of inflation.
Passage of both measures will also ensure that we will again be able to collect the full 18 mills if there are future Headlee rollbacks.
The first question is to renew the current millage of 17.8218 mills and the second question is to return the millage to 18 mills and to ensure that we will continue to collect the 18 mills in case of future Headlee rollbacks.

How can the Non-Homestead monies be used? These funds pay for expenses such as instructional materials, staffing, classroom supplies, textbooks and utilities.
Please be sure to vote on February 24th. All voting will take place at the Ingham Township hall except for voters in Wheatfield Township, who will vote at their location. If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact Amy Hodgson (hodgson@dansville.org/623-6120)

Dansville School Board Extends Thank You to Chris Thayer of C.A.T. Video Surveillance, LLC

Dansville parent and local business owner Chris Thayer expressed an interest to help Dansville Elementary with any of its video surveillance needs over the last summer and he followed through on that interest in a significant way this fall. Two outdoor color cameras were installed to view large portions of the playground along with all of the necessary wiring. An internal camera and monitor were installed in the office conference room. In addition, an improved DVR system was donated to capture the feeds from all six of our elementary cameras. Mr. Thayer’s generosity and willingness to help us improve the safety of our building is greatly appreciated. His company also worked for 10 hours to improve the surveillance in both the middle and high school buildings and did so at a reduced rate.

The Dansville Schools’ Board of Education expresses its sincere appreciation and gratitude to Mr. Thayer for his generous donation of both time and equipment to help improve the security of our K-12 facilities. Thank you for this important investment in our schools!

Dansville Schools Starts Begindergarten for the 15-16 School Year

Please click on “schools” and then “elementary” to read more about Begindergarten as well as Kindergarten for next year and Round up which will take place on March 4th.