Friday, April 16, 2010
Shorts from the Carlisle School Committee, April 7
• Flat budget for FY11. The proposed school budget for next year will be held at FY2010 levels (see table). During a special public hearing on the FY 2011 school budget Superintendent Marie Doyle explained the flat budget will be achieved through reductions in administration costs, which are the result of combining the Superintendent/Principal position and a consolidation of positions in the Business Office. In addition, custodial and school committee costs will be reduced.
The cuts are offset by projected increases in supply, service, and special education costs, Doyle said. The FY11 budget was formed following six budget assumptions, Doyle explained: no new initiatives, supply and service costs increase by 3%, special education transportation increase by 5%, out-of-district costs increase by 5%, state reimbursement for special education (“circuit breaker”) will be $49,440, and utility costs will remain fixed. Doyle said the impact of the level-funded budget would be less administrative support, less curriculum support for teachers, and the purchase of fewer supplies.
• Highland Building uses. Carlisle School Committee (CSC) member Bill Fink brought to the CSC some questions from the Highland Building Committee about possible uses of the former school building. One option would be to renovate it for apartments for teachers and school employees, he said, adding that this use would generate income. Fink asked how the CSC would feel about being “a landlord” of a rental property. CSC member Dale Ryder noted that school staff would have gone through the CORI criminal background checks. She said, “Parents wouldn’t want to have just anyone living near the school.”
Superintendent Marie Doyle suggested using the space for a child-care center for school staff. Ryder commented that a child-care center would be a “huge benefit for the staff.” Fink wondered if the Extended Day program would be interested in moving into the building. CSC member Mary Storrs said the current extended day location has had “extensive renovation” and expressed doubt that the organization would move. Ryder said the CSC would be interested in any activity that is “child-centric.”
• Out-of-town enrollments. The CSC voted “Not to participate in the [School] Choice Program for 2010-2011 for space reasons.” Under this program any student from another town can enroll in a participating school district upon payment of a fixed tuiton.
The committee has limited out-of-town enrollments to the children of faculty, approved on a case-by-case basis. On April 7 the CSC gave their approval for fourth-grade teacher Jason Naroff’s son to attend third grade at the school in the fall.
• Anti-bullying policy. The CSC passed the new Anti-Bullying policy, after removing the reference to “electronic” types of bullying. Koski pointed out that the policy already prohibits bullying “in any form,” which covered all forms of bullying. The new policy is based on policies from other schools. Doyle noted the school has an obligation to follow up on issues of bullying, especially in cases where it is clear the student is being affected in school, even though the bullying may be taking place outside of the school.
• Policy review. The CSC reviewed the Library Selection Policy which is modeled on the American Library Association’s recommended policy. The goal of the library, the policy states, is to “provide a diverse collection of print and non-print resources to support the interests, curriculum, and learning needs of the Carlisle School community.” Changes were limited to removing procedural information in the policy, which would be placed instead in a procedures manual.
The CSC reviewed the Reporting of Child Abuse and Neglect policy. The only change was the removal of the word “serious” in the sentence that discusses physical or emotional injury. The word “serious” was incorrectly included in the original policy, Assistant to the Superintendent Claire Wilcox explained to the committee. Source for the policy include the Massachusetts Association of School Committees and the Concord Public Schools. Votes on both policies will be held at the next meeting.
They also voted to accept the ADA Compliance and Physical Restraint policies, both of which had no updates. ∆
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