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Discussions continue regarding Regent School

REGENT -- For the second time this week, the Mott-Regent School Board met for a special meeting last night in Regent.

The meeting was called by board members Bill Gion and Tia Honeyman. Honeyman is also the most recently elected vice-chairperson of the board.

Items on the agenda for discussion were a possible motion to rescind the June 30 motion to "Move grades 5-8 to the Mott facility and retain the gym and the Regent facility to use," the possible re-adoption of the Super Majority vote (5-2) in order to implement any major changes to the existing school system, the possibility of allowing Head Start to remain in Regent, and a public apology for certain board member comments at the June 30 meeting.

"There will be no motion tonight to rescind the motion passed on June 30," said Gion. "The reason for that is that last night we did in fact amend that motion."

During a special meeting of the Mott-Regent School Board Monday night, the board voted on a motion that allows the Regent school grades 5-8 to remain open until June 30, 2009, under the stipulation it can fill the positions of custodian, cook and secretary by Aug. 1. If the positions are not filled, the Regent site is to be closed and moved to Mott.

"We tried to work through our differences and come up with a compromise," said board President Heather Hertz.

Gion then added he appreciated the board's cooperation during the process of these special meetings.

"Sometimes you have differences that you can't reconcile," Gion said. "I would like to commend the board for giving us the opportunity to go through this process to the degree that we did. It appeared to me last night that if we continue down this path, we were going to do more damage than good."

Each one of Tuesday's agenda items was brought to the board by Hertz, but no motions were made and no votes were taken.

Regarding a public apology, Gion noted during the Tuesday meeting he felt the need to apologize to those offended at the June 30 meeting.

"I've had some patrons outside our school district that have been offended by some of the comments that were made publicly by individuals or board members," Gion said. "I am going to say that these have been emotionally-charged weeks,...but as a board we have to be big enough to say we're sorry. We did not mean to offend any neighboring school districts, and we did not mean to offend any communities."

Public comment was welcomed during Tuesday's meeting, where concerns from the public included the age of the building in Mott, what will eventually be done with the building in Regent, heating issues of the gym and building in Regent, as well as the use of the gym and transportation issues for athletic practice.

For future plans concerning the move to Mott, Hertz said a transition committee will be formed at a later time.

"As of right now the gym will remain open, and that's part of the job of the transition committee, to work through the possibilities of what we can do with this site, as well as what we need to do with the Mott site," Hertz said. "It's a committee that I would suspect would be made up of community members as well as board members, so if you're passionate about something, volunteer to be on the committee and your voices will be heard."

No additional meetings regarding the Regent School have been set by the Mott-Regent School Board.