The School Committee invited residents at Monday night’s meeting to present their needs at the public hearing while also opening it up for concerns regarding the budget for the 2018-2019 school year. The committee is requesting $21,675, 488, for the operating budget, 79.1 percent ($17,145, 564) of which goes toward salaries.
Projected enrollment for the 2019 school year will rise 3.85 percent, as 94 additional students will be enrolled in the district. The committee is asking for another kindergarten teacher, which will lower the class size to an average of 21 students per class.
The Special Education Department is requesting a Board Certified Behavioral Analyst (BCBA), due to the increase in referrals from early intervention and preschool screenings with students that fall within the autism spectrum. Specific programming and support plans are needed for these students, and in the past the district has relied on part-time consultation and services provided by an outside agency, however; the need has outgrown the current services and a full time BCBA is being requested.
The reopening of Miller Field will now include fees for non-school sports and an additional $16,000 is being requested for the supplies and equipment that will be needed to maintain the field. There will also be $5,000 allotted to the Miller Field coordinator, who will be responsible for making sure that the field will be properly maintained.
A technology supply line is expected to cost an additional $45,000 to ensure that the replacement and upgrade recommendations are met. Retrofit provided the district with a three-year technology plan in 2017 and the district’s dedication to investing in technology and infrastructure improvements will require the requested amount to ensure the upgrade and replacement of desktop computers are met in a timely manner, as well as the iPad, keyboard, chargers, and Chromebook repair and replacement needs.
In order to address the technology issues, $42,000 has also been requested for the hiring of a full time technology technician who will be responsible for handling the ongoing repair and support needs related to iPads, Chromebooks, and desktops for grades K-5.