By Melissa Fales
School Committee approves $15,289,148 fiscal year 2012 budget
Following a final public hearing on the fiscal year 2012 budget, the School Committee unanimously approved the district’s proposed $15,289,148 budget at their April 27 meeting.
The total reflects a four percent cut from fiscal year 2011’s budget of $15,856,046.
The total budget for Stanley M. Koziol Elementary school is $2,146,607. At the Ware Middle School, the total budget is $1,917,252. The total amount budgeted for Ware Junior/Senior High School is $2,971,868. In the area of Special Education, the budgeted amount is $1,912,373. The total maintenance budget is $1,151,509. The amount budgeted for the Central Office is $871,873.
The latest version of the budget includes the unexpected gain of approximately $84,000 as the result of a lower than expected retiree assessment. Beach explained this money was placed back into the budget and will cover the costs of one semester of dual enrollment. Andy Paquette of The Management Solution explained that the budget also includes a 10 percent increase in fuel costs to heat each building due to anticipated price increases.
The budget factors in the reduction of one Kindergarten classroom at SMK. This year, there are just over 100 Kindergarten students with just under 80 students registered to start Kindergarten in the fall. Beach warned the number of students may change right up through the first day of school. In the maintenance department, one full-time position and a part-time custodial position have been eliminated.
Beach said a vacancy in the high school math department due to a resignation will not be refilled. Instead, a business teacher position which had been eliminated in an earlier version of the budget will be reinstated.
While the current budget shows the elimination of a CAD position at the high school, Beach said she recently learned of an opportunity for Ware to partner with a neighboring school district to share a CAD teacher. As the budget stands, the high school will also see the loss of an English teacher and a Special Education teacher. Ware High School Special Education teacher Nancy Slater spoke about the impact the loss of a Special Education teacher would have on the program. Slater also expressed concern about the loss of the English teacher which she thought would mean the loss of the drama program. Beach said cutting an English position didn’t necessarily mean the end of the drama program. She said teachers in all departments where cuts will be made will be working together to reorganize tasks and see what they can continue to offer students.
Desjardins noted that the budget is a living document and changes will continue to be made as money becomes available or is spent. Beach said the budget was as accurate as possible with the information available. “We still have unknowns,” she said.
NEASC continues Ware Junior/Senior High School accreditation
Ware Junior/Senior High School Principal Lucille Brindisi announced that the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) has continued the school’s accreditation. “This is very good news,” said Brindisi. According to Brindisi, NEASC was especially pleased with the school’s increased offerings of Advanced Placement classes in subjects such as biology.
Truck Day to be held April 30
SMK Principal Marlene DiLeo reminded the committee about Truck Day which will be held Saturday, April 30 from 9a.m. to 3p.m. The event will feature many different types of trucks including an 18-wheeler and emergency vehicles. There will also be face painting, a bounce house and food. Admission is $10 per car on the day of the event, $5 per car if paid in advance. Call 413-967-6236 for more information or to purchase a ticket. The event is sponsored by the SMK PTO.
Fundraiser tag sale/ electronic and appliance recycling event set for May 7
The Ware Public Schools campus fundraiser tag sale/electronic and appliance recycling event will be held Saturday, May 7 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the campus of the Ware Public Schools. 10 by 10 spaces are available for the public to rent for $20. For more information or to rent a space, call 413-967-4271.