School Committee Public Hearing Tonight

School Committee Public Hearing Tonight
Thursday, January 28 at 7:30 p.m.
Middle School Library

Please note that this meeting is not televised, but the public is welcome to attend and comment.

2010-11 Budget Documents are available on the School Committee website:
http://www.hopkinton.k12.ma.us/newweb2/schoolcommittee/budget/budget.php

Superintendent’s Preliminary FY 11 Budget Presentation
Athletic Department Executive Summary
Buildings and Grounds Executive Summary
Center School Executive Summary
Central Office Executive Summary
Curriculum Executive Summary
Elmwood School Executive Summary
High School Executive Summary
Hopkins School Executive Summary
Middle School Executive Summary
Student Services Executive Summary
Technology Department Executive Summary

If you are unable to attend the meeting, you may contact the School Committee with any questions or comments.

Nancy Burdick: nancyb88@hotmail.com
Rebecca Robak: rebeccarobak@aol.com
Richard Demont: rdemont@demontlaw.com
Jean Bertschmann: jeanber65@hotmail.com
Troy Mick: troymick@verizon.net

Budget Season Continues: HS, MS and Athletics Updates, New Trash Limit, School Committee Session Tonight

The Hopkinton town and school budget season continues. We have updates from the January 12 Board of Selectmen meeting, as well as updates from the January 7 School Committee meeting regarding the high school, middle school and school athletics department budgets. The School Committee has meetings on January 14, 21, and 28 to discuss the other departmental budgets.

Notes from the January 12 Board of Selectmen Meeting

  • The Board of Selectmen voted to implement a two barrel trash limit per household effective March 1, 2010. This is a decrease from the current four barrel limit and is expected to save the town money.
  • The Board voted to lift the hiring freeze with respect to replacing the Facilities Director and rename the position to Town Engineer/Facilities Coordinator.
  • The Board voted to lift the hiring freeze to replace a police dispatcher due to a resignation.
  • The state has certified Free Cash in the following amounts:  $595,592 (General Fund), $500,648 (sewer Enterprise Fund), $643,557 (Water Enterprise).
  • The Town Meeting Warrant will open on Friday Jan 15th & close on Thursday March 4th at 4:30 pm.
  • Annual Town meeting will begin Monday, May 3 2010.
  • Richard Flannery will start as new Hopkinton Police Chief on February 19 at 4 pm, pending contract negotiations.
  • Town Manager relayed the opinion from Town Counsel that it appears there are no impediments to the Library Trustees’ transfer of the library to the town. The Trustees & the Town must work out details before the transfer can occur.  In addition, with the goal of exploring an expanded library & filing a grant application with the state, the town manager expects to recommend that the BOS appoint a building committee.  Town Manager will make recommendations regarding a building committee at the next BOS meeting.

Notes from the January 7 School Committee Working Session
The High School, Middle School and Athletics Departments all presented two budget scenarios. One called the “Superintendent’s Budget” and one called the (2.65%) Budget.
High School Budget:

  • In the “Superintendent’s Budget”, High School Principal Alyson Geary has requested 1 new teacher to address increased enrollment next year of 20 students. She also requested a regular education instructional aide to staff the high school tutoring center, which is currently used by 37 students. She also requested a halftime library assistant to restore the position eliminated in last year’s budget. The library is used after school by approximately 100 kids and they would like for it to be able to stay open later.
  • In Ms Geary’s (2.65%) budget version the high school would go without the new teacher. They would also lose one science teacher and one guidance counselor. They would also deduct $10,000 from the budget for extracurricular clubs and activities.

Middle School Budget:

  • In the “Superintendent’s Budget”, Middle School Principal Dr. William Lynch has requested $3000 for extracurricular clubs and activities. A decrease in Grade 6 enrollment is projected, so in this budget the Middle School will reduce staff by one grade 6 teacher and one related arts teacher. 
  • In Dr. Lynch’s (2.65%) budget the Middle School will reduce staff by two grade 6 and two related arts teachers, which leads to a projected increases in class size to 25 in grade 6 and an average related arts class size of 25. In this budget the Middle School will cut $4000 for extracurricular classes, thereby reducing the number of clubs and activities available to students.

Athletics Budget:

  • In the “Superintendent’s Budget”, Athletic Director Eric Karjel will eliminate four freshman teams: boys soccer, girls soccer, baseball and softball.
  • In Mr Karjel’s (2.65%) budget the Athletics department will also cut the middle school wrestling team in addition to the four freshman teams lost in the Superintendent’s Budget, and institute a $300 surcharge for hockey.
  • To keep all teams, the Athletics Department needs approximately $35,000 more. Fees could be raised $25 per team to cover this amount. Hopkinton High School charges families a $125 fee per sport per student. Average sports fees in other towns are about $174 per sport.

Reminders
Upcoming School Committee Budget Working Sessions:

  • TONIGHT: Thurs Jan 14 at 7:30pm – Working Session to discuss Special Education, Buildings and Grounds, Central Office, and Technology Budgets.
  • Thurs Jan 21 at 7:30pm – Regular Meeting and Working Session to discuss Elementary School Budgets.
  • Thurs Jan 28 at 7:00pm – Public Hearing on the 2010-11 Budget and Working Session

Please note the public hearing and budget “working session” portions of all the meetings above are NOT televised, but are open to the public. The meetings are held in the Middle School Library.
Massachusetts Special Senate Election
Friday, January 15: Last day to vote by absentee ballot, see the Massachusetts Elections Divisions website for more informationhttp://www.sec.state.ma.us/ele/ or contact the Hopkinton Town Clerk at 508-497-9710 or annc@hopkinton.org.
Tuesday, January 19: Special State Election  – Polls are open 7:00am – 8:00pm. All Hopkinton precincts vote at Hopkinton Middle School, 88 Hayden Rowe St, Hopkinton MA 01748.

Town and School Budget Season is in Full Swing. Four School Committee Budget Working Sessions this month.

Despite the business of the holidays, all Town Departments were working to submit their 2010-11 budgets to the Town Manager by December 31st. There are many updates for you to be aware of. As you may know, all departments were asked to submit budgets based on a 2.65% reduction of the amount of their 2009-10 budgets.

At the request of the School Committee, Superintendent Phelan presented two budget scenarios to the School Committee on December 17, 2009: The “Superintendent’s Budget” scenario represents an increase of $807,859 over the FY 10 budget, and keeps services as close to those offered in FY10 as possible. The “(2.65%) Budget” scenario reduces the FY10 budget amount by $854,617. The difference between the two budget scenarios presented is $1,662,476.

According to Dr Phelan’s presentation, the (2.65%) Budget will result in the following scenario:

  • Class Sizes would increase. At the elementary levels, the increase could be by 2 to 3 students per class:
Grade
K
Gr. 1
Gr. 2
Gr. 3
Gr. 4
Gr. 5
Gr. 6
Gr. 7
Gr. 8
2009-10 students per class
20
24
24
22
24
24
24
23
22
Projected 2010-11 students per class
22
25
26
24
24
26
25
22
23

  • The percentage of High School core classes with over 25 students per class would rise from 18% to 22%.
  • The 5th grade instrumental music program would be cut.
  • The Middle School related arts program would be reduced.
  • High School Guidance staff would be reduced.
  • 4 Freshman athletic teams and 1 MS athletic team would be reduced.
  • Late buses would be eliminated at Hopkins, Middle and High Schools.
  • 13.4 Teachers would need to be laid off: 9.8 Regular Education and 3.6 Special Education Teachers

Dr. Phelan’s Presentation also detailed cost savings, revenue enhancements, and staffing changes over the past five years:

  • The schools have seen a total reduction in staff of 34.7. During those years, student enrollment has only dropped by 8.
  • The school district has generated $8.8 million in revenue enhancements through grants, fees, gifts and other proactive measures. Of that amount, $3.3 million has come from athletic, transportation, and community use fees.
  • The school district has realized $5.1 million in cost savings and efficiencies, including improving in-district Special Education programs; technology and administrative reorganizations; cooperative purchasing through professional collaboratives; and green initiatives. 

To view the PowerPoint presentation in its entirety click here:
http://www.hopkinton.k12.ma.us/newweb2/schoolcommittee/budget/10_11/Supt%20Preliminary%20BudgetV2.mht
(Works best in Internet Explorer)

The best way to stay informed on this important matter so that you can be a part of the decision making is to attend the next four School Committee meetings in January in which the Committee will review and ask questions about both the Superintendent’s Budget and the (2.65)% Budget by department.

  • Thurs Jan 7 at 7:30pm – Regular Meeting and Working Session to discuss High School, Middle School and Athletics Budgets
  • Thurs Jan 14 at 7:30pm – Working Session to discuss Special Education, Buildings and Grounds and Central Office Budgets
  • Thurs Jan 21 at 7:30pm – Regular Meeting and Working Session to discuss Elementary Schools and Technology Budgets
  • Thurs Jan 28 at 7:00pm – Public Hearing on the 2010-11 Budget and Working Session

Please note the public hearing and budget “working session” portions of all the meetings above are NOT televised, but are open to the public. The meetings are held in the Middle School Library.

If you wish to voice your opinion on any matter, please attend the meeting in person, and/or email the School Committee and Board of Selectmen directly.

School Committee:
Nancy Burdick: nancyb88@hotmail.com
Rebecca Robak: rebeccarobak@aol.com
Richard Demont: rdemont@demontlaw.com
Jean Bertschmann: jeanber65@hotmail.com
Troy Mick: troymick@verizon.net

Board of Selectmen:
Brian Herr: bherr@hopkinton.org
Matt Zettek: mzettek@hopkinton.org
RJ Dourney: rjdourney@hopkinton.org
Todd Cestari: tcestari@hopkinton.org
Michele Gates: mgates@hopkinton.org

Town Manager:
Norman Khumalo: nkhumalo@hopkinton.org