The Haslett Board of Education met on March 26 to discuss the latest issues facing the school district, which currently has 2,728 students registered in their public schools. Subjects ranged from financial budgets to updating security in schools.
The board meeting began with a salute to the cast and crew of “Mutually Assured Destruction”. The Haslett High School spring production consisted of ten one-act plays about the relationships between brothers and sisters.
Rick Jensen, director of finance, recommended revisions to the 2017-18 General Operating Fund Budget. Talks concluded with Jensen talking about Gov. Rick Snyder’s 2018-19 school aid budget and its potential impact on the budget.
The majority of the meeting Superintendent Steven Cook talked about a variety of district issues. The board is currently projecting that enrollment will be down 20 students from this year. Of the students that leave Haslett 80 percent of them go to East Lansing or Okemos schools.
For a township the size of Haslett, the majority of its finance comes from the help of the state based on their school enrollment. If there’s less funding they have to find ways to save money.
“If enrollment continues to decrease we may have to reduce the staff in schools,” said Cook.
With the recent national conversation of gun violence, school security was a major topic. Below is a list of security updates under consideration by the board.
- Entry door buzzer systems
- Improved identification systems for visitors
- Check-in and check-out procedures
- Replace locks and secure all exterior doors
- Security cameras
- Reconfigure all school building main entrances to create vestibule spaces in order to redirect visitors to offices
- Electronic door monitoring systems to identify open and unlocked doors
- Replace doors and locks that do not function properly
- Re-key/install digital entry lock system
The board is looking to implement the short-term changes within the next school year.
With most change they discussed push back they may receive from locals.
“The biggest challenge is creating a culture shift,” said Cook. “Every district and school is unique.”