Tag Archives: transportation fee

Key Takeaways from the FY17 School Budget

The School Budget was approved by the School Committee on January 21 and then forwarded to the Town Manager.  The Town Manager will present the overall town budget to the Selectmen by March 1. For now, here are eHop’s Key Takeaways from the FY17 School Budget.


Total FY17 Budget $40,902,901.  This is an increase of 4.495% ($1,759,460) from the FY16 Budget



  • 1.2 FTE English Language Learner positions (Curriculum – District)
  • 1.0 FTE Maintenance staff (Buildings & Grounds – District)
  • 0.5 FTE Middle School Custodian (Buildings & Grounds – Middle School)
  • 1.0 FTE Technician Asst. for all buildings (Technology – District)
  • 1.0 FTE Student Data Coordinator (Technology – District)
  • 1.0 FTE Literacy Coach (shared by Center and Elmwood, replacing a Reading Teacher)
  • 1.0 FTE  Instructional Assistant (Center)
  • 0.5 FTE Intensive SPED Teacher (Special Education – Center)
  • 1.0 FTE Board Certified Behavior Analyst (Special Education – Center)
  • 1.0 FTE Grade 2 Teacher (Elmwood)
  • 0.5 FTE Learning Specialist (Special Education – Elmwood)
  • 0.2 FTE Administrative Assistant (Elmwood/Preschool)
  • 0.8 FTE Adjustment Coordinator (Hopkins)
  • 1.0 FTE Reading Coach (Middle School)
  • 2.0 FTE Paraprofessionals (Special Education – Middle School)
  • 0.8 FTE Subject Matter Leaders (High School)
  • 0.5 FTE Intensive SPED Teacher (Special Education – High School)
  • 1.0 FTE Board Certified Behavior Analyst (Special Education – District)


  • 1.0 FTE Elementary Curriculum Coordinator (Curriculum – District)
  • 0.6 FTE Lunch Monitors (Elmwood)
  • 0.5 FTE Library Assistant (Hopkins)
  • 1.0 FTE Grade 5 Teacher (Hopkins)
  • 1.0 FTE ABA Coordinator (Special Education – District)
  • 0.7 FTE Speech & Language (Special Education – District)

Building maintenance:

The Preliminary FY17 Buildings & Grounds budget includes extraordinary maintenance items totaling $210,750. 

  • Elmwood: $79,000
  • Hopkins: $15,000
  • HMS: $48,000
  • HHS: $20,000
  • Systems: $18,750


The Bus Fee for students in grades K-6 living less than 2 miles from school has been eliminated, which increased the total budget by $53,475.  Currently 1,254 K-6 students are eligible to ride the bus for free, while 345 K-6 students pay the bus fee, and 100 K-6 students do not ride the bus. All students in grades 7-12 who opt to ride the bus will still pay the $155 fee next year.  All other fees for next year will remain the same including parking fees, athletic fees and preschool tuition.

Projected Class Sizes 2016-17:

Grade# of StudentsAvg Class Size
Grade 123621
Grade 2251*20.9
Grade 3241*21.9
Grade 426422
Grade 522622.6
Grade 628324
Grade 726422
Grade 831623
Grade 9277*n/a
Grade 10261*n/a
Grade 11271*n/a
Grade 12284*n/a
* This table was edited after it was originally posted. Projections for grades marked with a star were added after receiving a copy of the November 2015 NESDEC Projections from the Superintendent's office on 2/10/16.

FY17 Budget Documents:

* Items marked with a star were added on 2/10/16 after our blog was originally posted.

Even More School Budget Presentations


At the Thursday, December 17 School Committee meeting, the following FY17 budget presentations are on the agenda:

The meeting begins at 7:00pm in the Middle School Library, public comments are scheduled near the beginning and again near the end of the meeting, about 9:10pm. Barring technical difficulties, you may also watch the meeting on HCAM-TV (Comcast 8 / Verizon 30 / Streaming www.hcam.tv). Click here to view the meeting agenda.

Time to Give Input:

If you have questions, comments or concerns, now is a good time to voice them while budgets are not yet final. Email both the School Committee and the Superintendent at the following addresses:

  • hpsschoolcommittee@hopkinton.k12.ma.us
  • cmacleod@hopkinton.k12.ma.us

Budget Documents Already Presented:

Transportation Policy Forum Recap


Superintendent Dr. Cathy MacLeod, along with Ralph Dumas and Mary Ann Fitzpatrick “opened the conversation” about the proposed updates to the transportation policy last Thursday, December 5.  While they had hoped to discuss bus pass applications, childcare scheduling, bus stop switching and carry on items the attendees wanted to focus on the consistent daily transportation plan.  This would limit a family to one pick-up and one drop-off location.  Many of the participants in this evening’s discussion were opposed to this limitation due to work and childcare schedules.        

Dr. MacLeod urged those who have suggestions to email her directly at cmacleod@hopkinton.k12.ma.us.

School Transportation Public Forum Thurs Dec 5


The Superintendent recently announced a Transportation Policy public forum to be held on Thursday at 6:00pm at the Middle School. Join her for an overview of proposed updates and changes related to bus pass application deadlines and late penalties, childcare scheduling, bus stop switching at the elementary level, and procedures for bus carry-on items. If you cannot attend, but would like to give feedback, please contact the Superintendent’s office at cmacleod@hopkinton.k12.ma.us.

Transportation Public Forum
Thurs Dec 5 at 6:00-7:00pm
Middle School Lecture Hall

Current HPS Policies Related to Transportation:

Discussion of Fees to Parents

At the January 17 School Committee meeting, one of the topics of discussion was fees to parents and whether some of the fees should be decreased, eliminated or remain the same. No decisions were made last week, but a list of topics discussed and a list of current fees is given below. Please feel free to contact the School Committee and Superintendent with your opinion on fees. They will be voting on a final budget on January 31.

Discussion Topics:

  • At least two School Committee members would like to see both a decrease in the total school budget and a decrease in fees.
  • Some School Committee members wondered if the threshold for financial assistance should be increased? 
  • At least one School Committee member suggested that parents don’t mind the sports fees as much as the bus fees and perhaps it would be a good idea to reduce the bus fee but keep the sports fee as is.
  • The finance director noted that creating a walking zone around the Middle School and High School could save $74,000 by eliminating a bus and adding a crossing guard instead.
  • Several School Committee members suggested they would like to see a 10% reduction in bus, parking and athletics fees, but would first like to see how that impacted the rest of the budget and if other services might need to be cut instead.

Fee Type – Current Rate – Expected FY14 Revenue
Transportation/Bus Fee – $210 per year – $275,000 Revenue ($420 family cap, no charge for K-6 students living more than 2 miles from school)
Daycare Transportation Fee – $100 per student – $25,000 Revenue
Parking Fee – $210 per year – $50,000 Revenue
Preschool Tuition – $3,200 per year – $125,000 Revenue
Full Day Kindergarten Tuition – $4,000 per year – $288,000 Revenue
Athletics Student Fees – $150 per sport – $215,000 Revenue (Per student per sport, no family cap)
Athletics Gate Receipts – fee varies – $35,000 Revenue
Student Activities Fee – $25 per year – $19,000 Revenue (Middle School/High School, Per student, no family cap, but this fee was NOT charged in 2012)
Total Projected Revenue from Fees if Rates Remain Unchanged 

Financial Assistance: Currently fee waivers are available to families earning less than one and one-half times (150%) the Federal Poverty Guideline and fee reductions are available to families earning less than two times (200%) the Federal Poverty Guideline. Read more…