MENOMINEE — In Monday’s organizational meeting, the Menominee Area Public Schools Board of Education decided to try a new committee structure, shifting to a committee of the whole approach. Board President Ken Pulver said that last year he wasn’t able to be involved in any committees, and he said that now that things have settled down for him, he would like to be a part of a committee or two. 

“I was thinking of putting a Blueprint committee together, since that is our mission and that’s what we’re using. I think that’s one that we should do,” he said. The Blueprint is a districtwide program that MAPS adopted for the 2018-2019 school year that is rooted in research and focuses — not just on academic achievement but the emotional and mental well-being of students, as well as those of the teachers and other leaders, improving their performance overall.

“The other alternative would be to do a committee of the whole,” he said.

“I always envisioned our committee structure being realigned to better support Blueprint implementation,” Vice President Julie Hendrick said. “At this time we haven’t really talked about what that would look like, so definitely something with Blueprint needs to be added.”

“Looking at moving to committee of the whole would probably be our best option right now,” committee member Hunter Mans said, “Right now, we’re all meeting at the same time essentially, with half-hour time slots talking about the same things a couple times in one night. If we’re going to do all of them in one day, to me it just makes sense to hammer them all out at one time to avoid redundancies.” 

Pulver said that the way things were done last year was “basically a committee of the whole,” which Treasurer William Kakuk described as a “committee of the whole in pieces.”

Kendrick also made the point that Blueprint shouldn’t just be added to what is already there, but should be a compliance, if committee of the whole were to be adopted. “All of these things on our agenda and all these things that we’re going to propose to be on our regular board meeting agenda — how do they comply with the priorities of Blueprint? I think it’ll help us prioritize and not just add it on as one more item, but make it the foundation that leads to everything else.”

In addition to this discussion about the shift in committee structure, the board voted to re-elect Pulver as president, Hendrick as vice president, Kakuk as treasurer and Marye Mathieu as secretary. Becky Thoune was sworn in as a new board member. The board also reinstated a Menominee High School student, who Superintendent John Mans described as “a good kid with a good heart who is ready and wants to be back.”