Hockey Rink, Casino, School Choice and School Budget Public Hearings

Parks and Recreation Hearing on Legacy Farms Land / Hockey Rink
Mon. January 23 @ 7:30-8:30pm
Hopkinton Town Hall, Room 215
Read previous EH blogs on this topic.

Regional Forum on Casino Legislation
Thurs. January 26 @ 7:30pm
Adams Middle School Auditorium, 323 Woodland St, Holliston
Please join members of your local Boards of Selectmen as we meet with legislative leaders to discuss the recently passed Gaming Legislation. The discussion will outline the legislation and the options for surrounding communities impacted by the new law. Senator Karen Spilka and Representative Carolyn Dykema will be in attendance. Audience members may ask questions and make comments. Read previous EH blogs on this topic.

School Committee Public Hearing on School Choice and the 2012-13 School Budget
Thursday, January 26 @ 7:00pm (Not Televised)
Middle School Library, 88 Hayden Rowe St
Public Hearing – FY13 Budget and School Choice
ATTENTION! If you can only attend one school committee meeting a year, this is the most important one to attend. It is your chance to voice your opinion on the budget.
Read previous EH blogs on these topics.

REMINDER – Preliminary 2012-13 School Budget

Click to view a pdf file of the Superinendent’s Preliminary 2012-13 School Budget Presentation.

Or on HCAM-TV you can watch a brief 7 minute summary of the budget presentation or watch the whole meeting. Follow this link:
hcam.tv/videos/superintendent-landman-presents-preliminary-budget

Please note that school budget discussions are NOT televised. So far no one has come to speak during the public comment portions of the school committee meetings to speak up about fees, class size or any other topic. As always you should feel free to contact the School Committee hpsschoolcommittee@hopkinton.k12.ma.us and Superintendent jlandman@hopkinton.k12.ma.us at any time with questions or concerns. You may also voice your opinion publicly at the School Budget Public Hearing coming up on January 26.

School Committee Meeting
Thursday, January 19 @ 7:00 PM
Middle School Library, 88 Hayden Rowe St
Regular Meeting/Working Session – FY13 Budget Topics:
Middle School, High School, Athletics, Town Meeting Articles, Athletic Fee, Parking Fee, F1 Visa Tuition, Walking Zone, 1:1 Laptop Initiative, Bus Parking Lot (The Budget Portion of the Meeting is Not Televised)

School Committee Public Hearing on School Choice and the 2012-13 School Budget
Thursday, January 26 @ 7:00pm (Not Televised)
Middle School Library, 88 Hayden Rowe St
Public Hearing – FY13 Budget and School Choice
ATTENTION! If you can only attend one school committee meeting a year, this is the most important one to attend. It is your chance to voice your opinion on the budget.

Budget Overview – 3.95% Increase from Last Year
Superintendent Landman presented his preliminary 2012-13 (FY13) school budget at the December 20 School Committee meeting. Some highlights are included below. Please note that nothing is final at this point, this is just the beginning of a process. The School Committee will provide feedback to the Superintendent who will then refine the budget before the School Committee votes on a budget to submit to the Town Manager by the February 1 deadline.

Thumbs Up:

  • Maintains close to level services for 2012-13
  • Continues to work toward Strategic Plan goals such as:
    • Aligning our math curriculum with Common Core standards
    • Intervention Pyramid for struggling students
    • 21st Century Learning (such as online classes at the HS)
    • Technology Infrastructure Updates, such as replacing teacher laptops that are more than 5 years old
    • Critical Language (Mandarin) at the HS
    • Exploration of how to add the study of world languages to grade 6 and below
  • Create a school bus parking lot in town to save fuel, as well as save on excise tax paid to the other town where our buses currently park.

Thumbs Down:

  • $707,268 Decrease in budget offsets from last year such as state circuit breaker special education funding and education job grants
  • Increased class sizes in grades K, 1, 4, 6 and 8 (see chart below)
  • More high school classes with over 25 students (17% this year vs 20% next year)
  • A net cut of 2.6 Staff Members compared to last year (a net cut of 20.4 staff members since the 2006-07 school year)

Proposed Class Sizes:

Grade Strategic Plan
Guideline
2011-12 2012-13 Proposed Change
PreK n/a 19 18 Decrease
K 19-21 21 22 Increase to above guideline
1 19-21 21 22 Increase to above guideline
2 22-24 24 24 Same
3 22-24 24 20 Decrease
4 22-24 22 24 Increase
5 22-24 25 25 Same but still above guideleine
6 n/a 19 22 Increase
7 n/a 23 18 Decrease
8 n/a 17 23 Increase

Mixed Bag:

  • Increase student bus fees from $210 to $250 per year
  • Increase student athletic fee from $125 to $200 per sport
  • Increase student parking fee from $210 to $250 per year
  • Assess a daycare drop-off bus fee of $100 per student
  • Creation of a “walking zone” and elimination of the bus for Middle School and High School students living close enough to walk to school.

Summary of the Preliminary 2012-13 Budget:
$32,957,722 This Year’s Approved Budget 2011-12
+$1,518,755 Fixed Cost Payroll Increases (contractual obligations)
+$62,401 Other Fixed Cost Increases
___________
$34,538,878 Level Services 2012-13 Budget
+$285,425 Strategic Initiatives
+$71,000 Extraordinary Maintenance
-$69,342 Cost Cutting Measures
-$208,368 New Revenue (Fees)
-$359,608 Net Staff Positions Cut
_________
$34,260,733 Total Preliminary 2012-13 Budget – 3.95% Increase from Last Year

New Non-Profit Formed to Help Fund Expansion and Improvement of Hopkinton Public Library

Fundraising to be Kicked Off with a Princess Tea Party on January 22. Read more at hopkintonlibrary.org/hopkinton/documents/mother_daughter_tea_poster3.pdf

Press Release – January 4, 2012
The Hopkinton Public Library Foundation, Inc. today announced its formation as a new non-profit entity designed to support the Hopkinton Public Library.

Founded in September 2011, the Foundation will spearhead efforts to raise private funds for the expansion and state-of-the-art renovation of Hopkinton Public Library, pending receipt of a Library Construction Grant from the state and final approval from the Town of Hopkinton. Following the expansion, the Foundation will provide ongoing funding for long-term enhancements of the library, such as print and electronic collections and community-responsive programs for children, teens and adults. This expansion and improvement will make Hopkinton Public Library truly the educational and cultural center of Hopkinton, offering all residents enhanced access to information, entertainment and knowledge through materials, programs and cutting-edge technology. In May 2011, Hopkinton Annual Town Meeting approved the proposed plan for renovation and expansion. These plans, and a virtual tour, are available online at hopkintonlibrary.org.

In July 2011, the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) awarded a grant to the Town of Hopkinton for the planned expansion and renovation of the current library building. The MBLC grant of $4.5 million, available as soon as July 2014, will offset the project’s total estimated cost of $10.2 million. The initial purpose of the Foundation is to raise private funding to further defray cost to the town.

To begin its fundraising effort, the Hopkinton Public Library Foundation will host a Mother & Daughter Princess Tea. The event will include live performances by Disney®’s Belle, Cinderella and Rapunzel, and a delicious sundae bar, specialty pastries, tea and light refreshments. The Mother Daughter Princess Tea will be held on Sunday, January 22nd, 2012, from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the DoubleTree Inn, Westborough, MA. Tickets are $35 per person and are available by contacting Lindsay McDermott at Lindsay.mcdermott@yahoo.com.

The Hopkinton Public Library Foundation is led by a Board of Directors comprised of eight Hopkinton volunteers. Directors are Scott Richardson, John Ferrari, Laura Barry, Ron Eldridge, Katie Davenport, Amy Montalto, Joe Markey and Lindsay McDermott. Ex Officio Board members are Rownak Hussain, Director of Hopkinton Public Library, Christine Clifford, on behalf of the Friends of the Hopkinton Public Library, and Mike McNamara, on behalf of the Hopkinton Public Library Board of Trustees. In addition to the Directors, the Foundation already has recruited the assistance of countless volunteers. If you are interested in learning more about Hopkinton Public Library Foundation, or would like to volunteer, please contact the Foundation at info@hopkintonpubliclibraryfoundation.org.

Hopkinton Public Library Foundation wishes to thank the Friends of the Hopkinton Public Library and the Hopkinton Public Library Board of Trustees for their support and contributions to Hopkinton Public Library Foundation. All three groups play a critical role in supporting the Hopkinton Public Library. The newly formed Hopkinton Public Library Foundation exists to address long-term library funding needs including facility renovations, expansion and resource enhancements. The Friends of the Library is a non-profit, membership organization that generously supports the immediate needs of Hopkinton Public Library through its important activities such as the library books sales and its annual apple crisp sale at PolyArts. Both the Library Foundation and the Friends of the Library provide financial support to enhance, but not replace the Town’s budget. Finally, Hopkinton Public Library Board of Trustees, consisting of five elected members, oversees the public administration and management of Hopkinton Public Library on behalf of the Town. Hopkinton Public Library Foundation looks forward to working with both the Friends of the Library and the Trustees to realize its shared goal of providing Hopkinton residents with a library facility that will better serve all residents, and provide Hopkinton with the educational and cultural center it deserves.

Center School Survey Results

On Wed., January 4, the results of the recent community survey regarding criteria for an elementary school building project were presented to a joint meeting of the Board of Selectmen and the School Committee. At this meeting the two boards voted to withdraw the original MSBA Statement of Interest for Center School and also voted to submit two new Statements of Interest to the MSBA. The first priority Statement of Interest is for Center School and the second priority Statement of Interest is for Elmwood School. At this time the Hopkinton Elementary School Building Committee members were thanked for their service and then the committee was dissolved. It is anticipated that a new committee will be formed in conjunction with a new school building project.

View the results on the school website:
https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=sites&srcid=aG9wa2ludG9uLmsxMi5tYS51c3xoZXNiY3xneDoxYzVhYTc2ODI4NWM0Yzc0

Recent Articles on this topic:

Survey Results Provide No Clear Cut Option for Center School
By Michelle Murdock, HCAM News Director
http://www.hcam.tv/news/survey-results-provide-no-clear-cut-option-center-school

Survey: Hopkinton’s Center School is an urgent issue
By Michael Morton, Hopkinton Crier
http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/news/x987654173/Survey-Hopkintons-Center-School-is-an-urgent-issue#ixzz1jozvNGSF

Hopkinton Residents In Favor of Town-Wide Schools
By Sean O’Donnell, HopkintonPatch
http://hopkinton.patch.com/articles/town-officials-discuss-center-school-survey-results

Other Town and School Budget Updates

Hopkinton town election has 18 seats up for grabs
By Michael Morton, Hopkinton Crier
http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/news/x873521947/Hopkinton-town-election-has-18-seats-up-for-grabs#ixzz1jp1Z6ui7

The Town of Hopkinton seeks a new Finance Director
http://www.hopkinton.ma.us/hr/postings/FinanceDirector.pdf

Area schools trying to rein in student fees
By David Riley, Metrowest Daily News
http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/news/x2062851446/Area-schools-trying-to-rein-in-student-fees#ixzz1jp1wcD69

Hopkinton selectmen take steps to regionalize services
By GateHouse News Service
http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/news/x58612511/Hopkinton-selectmen-take-steps-to-regionalize-services

Three MetroWest towns cook up high-tech plan
By Michael Morton, Metrowest DailyNews
http://www.wickedlocal.com/hopkinton/news/x1496065246/Three-MetroWest-towns-cook-up-high-tech-plan

Early Keefe Tech budget shows 5.78% increase
By Scott O’Connell, Metrowest Daily News
http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/news/education/x1178907684/Early-Keefe-Tech-budget-shows-5-78-increase

Classroom Technology Keeps Education Current
By Sean O’Donnell, HopkintonPatch
http://hopkinton.patch.com/articles/classroom-technology-keeps-education-current

Princess Tea Party Kicks Off Library Fundraising
By Sean O’Donnell, HopkintonPatch
http://hopkinton.patch.com/articles/princess-tea-party-kicks-off-library-fundraising

Developer awaits town’s OK for Hopkinton land sale
By Michael Morton, Hopkinton Crier
http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/news/x1014147587/Developer-awaits-towns-OK-for-Hopkinton-land-sale#ixzz1jp4M1uhH

Fees pose conundrum for Hopkinton town leaders, school officials
By Michael Morton, Hopkinton Crier
http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/news/x1266412429/Fees-pose-conundrum-for-Hopkinton-town-leaders-school-officials#ixzz1jp4aKRV2

Hopkinton parents surveyed on laptop leasing
By Gatehouse News Service, Metrowest Daily News
http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/news/x735287032/Hopkinton-parents-surveyed-on-laptop-leasing

New Website, Budget Talks and a Leaky Roof
By Sean O’Donnell, HopkintonPatch
http://hopkinton.patch.com/articles/new-website-budget-talks-and-a-leaky-roof

Ashland, Hopkinton ready to explore fire department merger
By Laura Krantz, Metrowest Daily News
http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/news/x406232926/Ashland-Hopkinton-ready-to-explore-fire-department-merger#ixzz1jp57AUhN

New group forms for Hopkinton library project
By Michael Morton, Hopkinton Crier
http://www.wickedlocal.com/hopkinton/news/x1014146953/New-group-forms-for-Hopkinton-library-project

Center School Survey Results Wed Jan 4 @ 6:30pm at HHS

On Wed., January 4, the results of the recent community survey regarding criteria for an elementary school building project will be presented to a joint meeting of the Board of Selectmen and the School Committee. More than 1200 voters responded to the survey. The meeting will be held in the High School Auditorium at 6:30 pm, and will be broadcast live on HCAM-TV (Comcast 8/Verizon 30). The community is encouraged to attend.

At 6:30, Paul Flaxman, Vice President of Boston Research Group, will present the survey methodology, data, and results, followed by questions and answers from both boards. At the conclusion of the discussion, the meeting will be opened up to community members who would like to ask questions regarding the survey.

The survey presentation and public discussion will end promptly at 8:30, at which time the Board of Selectmen and School Committee will consider and vote on potential Statements of Interest for the Center School and the Elmwood School, in order to meet the January 11 deadline for submission to the MSBA. A vote of both boards is required. The boards will also discuss the Hopkinton Elementary School Building Committee (HESBC).

Preliminary 2012-13 School Budget

Superintendent Landman presented his preliminary 2012-13 (FY13) school budget at the December 20 School Committee meeting. Some highlights are included below. Please note that nothing is final at this point, this is just the beginning of a process. The School Committee will provide feedback to the Superintendent who will then refine the budget before the School Committee votes on a budget to submit to the Town Manager by the February 1 deadline. If you have an opinion, question, comment or concern about any part of the budget you should feel free to contact the School Committee hpsschoolcommittee@hopkinton.k12.ma.us and Superintendent jlandman@hopkinton.k12.ma.us at any time. You may also voice your opinion publicly at the School Budget Public Hearing coming up on January 26.

Thumbs Up:

  • Maintains close to level services for 2012-13
  • Continues to work toward Strategic Plan goals such as:
    • Aligning our math curriculum with Common Core standards
    • Intervention Pyramid for struggling students
    • 21st Century Learning (such as online classes at the HS)
    • Technology Infrastructure Updates, such as replacing teacher laptops that are more than 5 years old
    • Critical Language (Mandarin) at the HS
    • Exploration of how to add the study of world languages to grade 6 and below
  • Create a school bus parking lot in town to save fuel, as well as save on excise tax paid to the other town where our buses currently park.

Thumbs Down:

  • $707,268 Decrease in budget offsets from last year such as state circuit breaker special education funding and education job grants
  • Increased class sizes in grades K, 1, 4, 6 and 8 (see chart below)
  • More high school classes with over 25 students (17% this year vs 20% next year)
  • A net cut of 2.6 Staff Members compared to last year (a net cut of 20.4 staff members since the 2006-07 school year)

Proposed Class Sizes:

Grade Strategic Plan
Guideline
2011-12 2012-13 Proposed Change
PreK n/a 19 18 Decrease
K 19-21 21 22 Increase to above guideline
1 19-21 21 22 Increase to above guideline
2 22-24 24 24 Same
3 22-24 24 20 Decrease
4 22-24 22 24 Increase
5 22-24 25 25 Same but still above guideleine
6 n/a 19 22 Increase
7 n/a 23 18 Decrease
8 n/a 17 23 Increase

Mixed Bag:

  • Increase student bus fees from $210 to $250 per year
  • Increase student athletic fee from $125 to $200 per sport
  • Increase student parking fee from $210 to $250 per year
  • Assess a daycare drop-off bus fee of $100 per student
  • Creation of a “walking zone” and elimination of the bus for Middle School and High School students living close enough to walk to school.

Summary of the Preliminary 2012-13 Budget:
$32,957,722 This Year’s Approved Budget 2011-12
+$1,518,755 Fixed Cost Payroll Increases (contractual obligations)
+$62,401 Other Fixed Cost Increases
___________
$34,538,878 Level Services 2012-13 Budget
+$285,425 Strategic Initiatives
+$71,000 Extraordinary Maintenance
-$69,342 Cost Cutting Measures
-$208,368 New Revenue (Fees)
-$359,608 Net Staff Positions Cut
_________
$34,260,733 Total Preliminary 2012-13 Budget

Recent Articles:
Hopkinton Crier: 2013 Hopkinton school budget proposed
By Michael Morton/Daily News staff
http://www.wickedlocal.com/hopkinton/mobiletopstories/x2140451562/2013-Hopkinton-school-budget-proposed

HopkintonPatch: 5 Preliminary Budget Recommendations
By Sean O’Donnell
http://hopkinton.patch.com/articles/5-preliminary-budget-recommendations-for-hopkinton-schools-in-fy-13

Hopkinton Crier: Hopkinton may revive high school laptop plan
By Michael Morton/Daily News staff
http://www.wickedlocal.com/hopkinton/news/x987651427/Hopkinton-may-revive-high-school-laptop-plan

Hopkinton Crier: Hopkinton school budget meeting is Jan. 5
By Michael Morton/Daily News staff
http://www.wickedlocal.com/hopkinton/mobiletopstories/x1895997901/Hopkinton-school-budget-meeting-is-Jan-5