Awards programs are over. Activities are over. Graduation is over. The school year is over. How did we fare?
Pretty well, I believe.
As a district, we need to be about learning in a fiscally responsible manner. On June 7 and 8, the district schools conducted an end of the year data retreat. We examined the results of local, state and national tests. We looked for children who were not reading or doing mathematics at grade level. We looked at students who were performing at high levels – did they continue to grow academically? We looked at how well teachers collaborated on behalf of student learning. It was a positive experience where I heard conversations of celebration and also about how we can do better. As a district, we should be proud of the work our staffs do and the impact they have on our children. They are always looking to continuously improve.
Fiscally, we ended the year on a high note. We reduced the cost of our health insurance program while not majorly impacting the coverage. Employees taking family insurance will pay $700 less in 2012-13 than this year. We were able to adjust our post retirement health benefits to save the district long-term money – approximately $7.3 M over the next 30 years. Last week, due to fewer teachers retiring than we had planned, an unneeded monthly health insurance payment, and some federal jobs money, we will be able to recommend to the BOE the creation of a $600K stabilization fund for future district needs. We know we won’t always have years like this, but we need to celebrate them when they occur and use them to plan for the future.
On June 25th, the BOE will have the opportunity to give final approval to the new Employee Handbook, which will take the place of our soon to expire, negotiated agreements. This Handbook respects the people we have working in our district and is good for kids because it keeps good people in the classrooms.
The next edition of the Community Newsletter will be coming out in a few days. It will give you a more complete overview of our school year. In the meantime, thank you for your continued support of our schools and district. We are all in this together. Fran Finco