Wayland schools adopt ‘Capturing Kids’ Hearts’

Dr. Christina Hinds

Though there was considerable debate, the Wayland Board of Education unanimously approved Supt. Dr. Christina Hinds’ recommendation to implement the “Capturing Kids’ Hearts” program to deal with student discipline policy.

There were objections to going with the program, beginning with citizen Jeff Koon, who maintained it might be a waste of $200,000 and result in “people training other people every year.”

Board Treasurer Toni Ordway opposed the recommendation because, “We’re proceeding without a plan for funding. It would be a mistake.” She suggested the board wait until new Supt. Tim Reeves comes on board in July.

But Hinds said there would be no cost after the first year and training for teachers already had been budgeted. She added that Wayland schools endured a record 11 expulsions this year.

Board Trustee Cinnamon Mellema said if the board declined to implement the program, “We have $200,000 just sitting there that we don’t have a use for.”

She added that “Capturing Kids’ Hearts” was used in the building where she and her husband worked and it seemed to work fine.

Hinds then said, “There’s flexibility. This is to be evaluated every year.”

Casini said that when the program first was offered, “There was a hefty price tag. But now it’s like free money (because the America Rescue Plan fund handles it). The cost of doing nothing is greater.”

Mellema went on to say, “I think our kids are worth the investment and we know we have the funding for it.”

Eventually, the vote was 7-0 to implement the program.

In other business Monday night, the board:

• Officially voted to put the $48.5 million bond proposal for a new pool and other school repairs and renovations on the Aug. 2 ballot. The board has been studying and discussing replacement of the 49-year-old pool because its condition has fallen into constant state of disrepair.

• Agreed to spend $13,837 with Merchandise Equipment on a new “smoker” device at the high school to prepare popular items such as pulled pork.

• Was treated to a presentation from students in the Robotics program, who recently competed at the state level. Their machine that shoots and transports tennis balls was a special guest.

• Learned that Karen Iehle at the high school, Jill Terrell at Pine Street Elementary and Carrie Hasse were selected as recipients of the Outstanding People for Education award for this academic year.

• Was told by Assistant Supt. for Finances and Operations Patricia Velie that Wayland has lost the equivalent of 277 students since the start of the Covid pandemic two years ago.

• Formally approved the new superintendent’s contract with Tim Reeves, who was present at the meeting and plans to meet with Dr. Hinds for planning sessions. He will begin duties June 20 on a per diem pay basis until he officially takes the reins July 1.

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