Board approves senior exit survey, reading program

ALPENA — The Alpena Public Schools Board of Education approved a senior exit survey as a graduation requirement for the 2017-18 school year.

“Traditionally, our seniors have all taken a senior exit survey and what we’re doing is we’re putting this into the graduation policies,” Superintendent John VanWagoner said. “This is really a pupil accounting issue, especially relating to our early college students.”

VanWagoner said it’s a technicality that the school district wants to address so that they are assuring that they’re in a full compliance.

“It’s a little bit of a safety net just in case something that was once undetermined in pupil accounting hours,” he said. “Essentially, we are just formalizing that our students take a senior exit survey as a graduation requirement and they will be receiving .125 credits for that.”

Receiving the .125 credits gives the school district documentation to ensure that the survey was taken so they have it for record.

“Our early college students will not take the survey in their fourth year,” VanWagoner said. “They will take it in what is their last year, so their fifth year and we will have documentation that that is something that is completed.”

The board also approved the summer reading program award recommendation for K-1 students from the program Kids Read Now.

Meaghan Gauthier, director of curriculum, instruction, assessment/state and federal programs for APS, told the board that just before the meeting, the school district was notified that it received a $9,000 grant from the Greater Horizons Foundation Grant to help with the summer reading program.

“With the three-year bid, it opened up the possibility of applying for the foundation grant that would pay $10 per student if we went a plan that more leveled up,” Gauthier said. “The grant will support us over the next three years.”

Gauthier said the school district was originally shooting for the basic plan, which is the entry plan from Kids Read Now and doesn’t have as much parent contact, materials associated with it, or strong data analysis.

The board approved Gauthier’s recommendation of the upgraded standard plan for a total of $31,115, which is just under $5,000 more than the basic plan of $27,225, but with the grant dollars, the school district can cover the funds.

“We’re getting a pretty good deal for three years,” Gauthier said.

In other business:

∫ Real Estate One of Alpena donated $300 to each elementary school for library books, totaling a sum of $1,800.

∫ the board will be making visitations to Hinks Elementary and Ella White Elementary on Wednesday.

∫ the board will be hosting a retreat on Jan. 30 from 5-8 p.m.

Julie Goldberg can be reached via email at or by phone at 358-5688.