Hancock district gets update on software conversion

HANCOCK – Employees of the Hancock Public Schools are in the process of installing new accounting software on district computers, and Monday, members of the Board of Education heard about the progress of the conversion.

Ken Maki, district business manager, said the change to the new software is about half completed, and it was required because of changes in policy made by the state of Michigan.

“The reason for the whole conversion was payroll,” he said.

Maki said the changes to the school retirement system made by the state have required school districts to install the new accounting software.

There are now 22 classes of employee and employer pay rates, Maki said.

“It’s been a major headache,” he said of the conversion.

However, Maki said the new system has been used for some things, and it’s working well so far.

“We have paid everything we’re supposed to pay,” he said.

The district is receiving the revenues it should, also, Maki said.

“The cash flow is fine,” he said. “Taxes are coming in.”

Maki said for the March board meeting, he expects to be able to give the board a financial update for the district and present needed budget amendments.

Board members also heard a report of recent grants by the Hancock Public Schools Foundation from Board of Education Vice President Robbyn Lucier.

The Foundation board met in January and awarded $5,100 to the district’s Study Island program, Lucier said.

“That extends it for three years,” she said.

Superintendent Monica Healy said Study Island is an online supplemental program the district began using in 2005.

“We use it as curriculum support daily,” she said.

Healy said the Foundation began funding the Study Island program for the district in 2007.

“Every year, we do a little more with Study Island,” she said. “It’s a great program.”

Lucier said the Foundation board also awarded $1,100 for a color printer for Gordon G. Barkell Elementary School.

In other business, board members:

heard a presentation about an award-winning video on the dangers of drunken driving, which was made last school year by eighth grade students Hannah Heikkinen, Ellie Lucier, Mollie McKenzie and Brennah Wasie.

The video was made for the Michigan Department of Transportation and the Michigan State Police, and sponsored by the Keweenaw Community Foundation Youth Advisory Council.