By Sterling McGinn

CTE (Career and Technical Education) instructor Linus Parr gave an update on the school’s program at the beginning of the April meeting of the TAS Board. The meeting was held in-person, and via Zoom in the school cafeteria on Monday, April 19.

Parr showed the board the many updates and additions to the high school woodshop, along with projects his woodshop and CTE students are currently working on. “Everything you will be seeing is all brand new, and state of the art,” stated Parr.

Around $30,000 worth of CTE bond money was used for the many additions to the program. The CTE millage was passed through the ISD several years ago. TAS offers a two-hour geometry and construction course, which provides a math credit and an elective credit. Students taking and meeting the requirements in the CTE course will receive four college credits that can transfer to Bay Mills Community College.

In the woodshop, two new drill presses were purchased to replace older versions. The four large shop tables were broken down into smaller tables to allow for more students to work at them. A system to remove sawdust generated from sander stations and lathes is also being constructed with PVC pipes. “The kids have been doing a lot of the work that you see in here during the course of the year,” explained Parr.

The band saw and chop saw haven’t been replaced, but are being maintained. The old dust collector has been removed and an electrical upgrade will take place allowing for a new dust collector to be installed.

He also showed the board members the saw-stop–a modern and safe saw, which many schools are currently using. “Most every woodshop program in the U.S. is going with one of these saws,” Parr said. “If a child’s finger hits this blade, the mechanism comes up–locks it–pulls the blade and destroys it.” The swift action saves the finger from being cut.

He also showed the board birdhouses that were constructed of scrap cedar. Students purchased the cedar by ultimately selling the birdhouses. He said the students were taught the economics of buying lumber, and he taught them how to build birdhouses through math.

Other ongoing projects include: the construction of hunting blind style structures and raised flowerbeds. “There is a lot of time. A lot of reorganization, and a lot of selling off of old equipment, and putting it back into the program,” stated Parr.

In other business, the board voted to accept the retirement of kindergarten teacher Christine Pleiman. Her retirement will take effect at the end of the 2020-2021 school year.

In her administrative report, Superintendent Stacy Price reported that due to current COVID-19 regulations, Newberry High School graduation would take place at the football field on Friday, May 28 at 7 p.m. She also said that if current restrictions stay in place, baccalaureate and class night will be held in the gymnasium, and will only be open for families.

Also approved that evening was the 2021-2022 ISD budget, a paraprofessional circumstantial pay increase, and the extended learning plan.