Up 3 percent from fy2010 budget
By Melissa Fales
WARE – The School Committee unanimously approved the proposed fy2011 school budget at their April 28 meeting. The budget totals $14,521,689 exclusive of transportation and $15,642,250 including transportation. Residents will vote on the budget at the Annual Town Meeting on May 10.
Budget Subcommittee Chair Aaron Sawabi noted that when the budget was reviewed at the last School Committee meeting, the district was facing a $90,000 deficit. He explained that through reallocations in the House Ways and Means funding as well as Medicaid adjustments and stimulus money available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, that deficit has been eliminated. As a result, the district was able to offer a raise of up to 2.5 percent for individual contract employees.
Just over half of the budget, $7,959,812, is devoted to salaries. The combined budget for salaries and operating expenses at Stanley M. Koziol Elementary School is $2,111,880. Salaries and operating expenses at Ware Middle School total $1,932,609. At Ware High School, the combined salaries and operating expenses total is $3,112,663. The $1,120,561 in transportation costs breaks down to $498,061 for regular transportation and $622,500 for special education transportation.
Potential wrestling and swimming coops with Palmer and Pathfinder
Co-Athletic Directors Scott Slattery and Mike Bernier presented the School Committee with the possibility of participating in an athletic coop with Palmer High School and Pathfinder to allow Ware students to participate in wrestling and swimming.
Slattery said the wresting team at Pathfinder is in need of players and has had to forfeit matches in many weight classes due to the small size of their team. Likewise, Palmer High School is in need of swimmers. Bernier noted that many Ware students are already involved on a recreational level with the Palmer swim team. By forming an athletic coop between Pathfinder, Palmer High School and Ware High School, students from all three schools would be able to participate in both sports. Slattery said there would be no user fees for Ware students to participate in wrestling and that there is a $150 per person user fee for students who want to swim.
Slattery said it would only cost Ware approximately $20 a year in interscholastic dues to participate in each additional sport. The initial coop would be established for two years, with the ability to continue into the future. The only potential issue is that students would have to find transportation to Pathfinder or Palmer High School on their own and may need to be dismissed early from school occasionally in order to participate.
The School Committee approved the idea contingent on an opinion from school counsel on potential liability regarding the students traveling from school to school. Slattery explained that School Committee approval was the first step and that the coop will have to be approved at the district level by an athletic executive board before it can go into effect at the start of the next school year.
Recycling fundraiser and tag sale scheduled for May 22
The district’s annual “If it has a plug…” electronic and appliance recycling fundraiser will be held May 22 on the campus of the Ware Public Schools from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. For a small fee, broken or unwanted appliances such as televisions, stoves, refrigerators, etc. can be recycled, with proceeds to benefit the Ware Public Schools Technology Department. Fees range from $2.00 for small items such as radios and toasters to $15.00 for larger items such as treadmills and washing machines. Senior citizens may call 967-4271 to arrange free pick-up of their large recycling items. There will also be a tag sale with items donated by faculty and staff held on campus during those hours. For more information about the fundraiser, visit http://www.warepublicschools.com.
May meeting schedule change
Due to scheduling conflicts, the School Committee will break from their regularly scheduled Wednesday meetings during May. Their next meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, May 17.