Friday, October 21, 2005
CCHS FY07 budget planning is underway
Preliminary budget information, enrollment trends and a list of possible capital improvements for the Concord-Carlisle High School (CCHS) were presented to the Regional School Committee and the Finance Committees of Carlisle and Concord at a joint meeting on Thursday, October 13. Special education was also discussed (see article below.)
This year there are ten new teachers at Concord-Carlisle High School. Concord-Carlisle Regional School Superintendent Brenda Finn stated, "[Like the rest of the state,] we are experiencing significant staff changes due to retirements of veteran teachers, a trend that is anticipated to persist for the next five years and then diminish." Last year, most of the teachers were new teachers. This year, teachers with more experience were hired. Finn continued, "Hiring, supporting and providing professional development is essential for retaining educators of excellence."
Finance and Operations Director John Flaherty spoke about the increasing high school population; "The high school has seen 33% growth over a seven-year period, with the trend expecting to continue through 2007-08 and then decline slightly." Currently, there are 1244 students, 312 are from Carlisle, 80 are METCO students, 11 are children of faculty who don't live in our district, and one is a ward of the state. The projected number of students for 2007-08 is 1285. Finn said, "There is a need to continue to increase curricular options. Last yearvery modest additions were made to curricular and extracurricular programs to keep pace [with the increasing enrollment."
Most of the grants were funded near the same level for FY06 as for FY05. The districts did see some reductions in federal grants and in the grant received from the Concord-Carlisle Community Chest, which supported part of a social worker's salary at the high school. The METCO grant has for many years been the largest grant received by the Concord schools and CCHS. Last year, the METCO grant was $794,200 to be used across Concord Public Schools and CCHS. This year, the grant has been divided, with $500,999 going to CPS and $363,701 going to CCHS. Overall, this is a $70,000 increase.
Finance and Operations Director John Flaherty presented a list of capital needs for facility improvement for the next five years. The point was made that many of the specified repairs would not be necessary if a new facility is built, as was recommended by the CCHS Feasibility Study Committee in July.
A number of the items on the list address the shortcomings of the high school highlighted in the New England Association of Schools and Colleges Report (NEASC), which came out this past spring. These items include upgrades to the fire alarm system, which will include replacing all exterior doors and the replacement of the existing intercom system, among other things. The list is extensive and includes heating system upgrades, window wall replacements in a number of areas, a new metal building for transportation and facilities, rooftop heating units, asbestos abatement and concrete floor removal to reconfigure utilities and fixture replacement in the science rooms and A/C units for the L Wing and the Band rooms. An estimated $2.6 million will be needed to replace the domestic water piping and faucets throughout the school. The price tag is no minor figure; it's over $8.5 million. When asked if all these items were necessary, Flaherty answered carefully, "This is a comprehensive list." The longer the current high school building is open, the more of these repairs and upgrades will need to be done.
© 2005 The