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Thread: What's new from the School Committee?

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    Default What's new from the School Committee?

    On Monday, December 5th, the committee began its discussion (summary) of the 2006-2007 fiscal year budget that it will recommend to the Finance Committee in late January or early February.

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    Default Next budget discussion January 9, 2006

    On Monday January 9, 2006, at 7:30pm, the School Committee will continue its discussion leading towards a budget request for the 2006-2007 school year. Superintendent Gary Burton will present the administration's recommendation budget for the committee's consideration.

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    Default Recent events: NEASC accreditation and ES math audit

    For a discussion of the NEASC accreditation process and where the high school stands, see the committee's 1/5/2006 Town Crier Guest Column.

    For a discussion of the recently completed elementary school math program audit, see the committee's
    12/22/2005 Town Crier Guest column.

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    Hello
    I hope this is getting to the school committee. As you are continuing to review the budget I would like to put a plug in for the middle school curriculum and staff. This school is amazing and I have never met more dedicated professionals. I would particularly like to commend a new math teacher named Melissa Bell. My daughter has struggled in math until this year when she has had Ms. Bell as her teacher. She is truly gifted at her job. Being a new teacher I am very concerned that she will be cut. I do not think the Wayland school system can afford to lose teachers like Ms. Bell. I would like to make the public aware of what the cuts will actually mean to the school system. I would like to encourage any other people who have had great experience with certain teachers to come forward and let their voices be heard. Thank you Margie Cohen

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Dieffenbach
    On Monday, December 5th, the committee began its discussion (summary) of the 2006-2007 fiscal year budget that it will recommend to the Finance Committee in late January or early February.
    Hi Jeff. As one who was on the board of the new High School project, I wonder if you can provide an update about a new design proposal. Also, I read in yesterday's Globe about the State freeze in aid toward new school rebuilding projects. The potential state aid was a large factor in the defense of the requested investment. How will the news from the state impact the next design?

    Thanks,
    Paul Grasso

  6. #6
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    Default Plan for Future of Wayland Schools

    Jeff,

    Along the same lines as the last post, I'd like to know how the School Commitee and administration is going about planning for the next 3-5 years of budgets, construction, curriculum, staffing, etc, how best to learn what those plans look like, and provide input to them.

    Clearly, with the potential effects of the Governor's proposed changes in annual budget funding formulas and construction funding approaches and with potential increases in revenues and/or students from the outcome of development at Raytheon property, planning will be difficult and several scenarios likely need to be considered. At the same time, these uncertainties suggest that having thought through the potential outcomes and our town's response is as important as ever.

    Short of attending many School Commitee meetings, how can we learn from those of you who do what the near and longer term future plans are for our schools?

    Thanks,
    Steve Goldstein
    Last edited by Steve Goldstein; 01-25-2006 at 08:59 PM.

  7. #7
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    Default Wayland Not in the Que

    I attedned the meeting at Happy Hollow last Thursday night in which Rep. Pope, Barbera Fletcher, and Dr. Burton where answering questions about the Wayland Schools, Override, etc. During that meeting Rep. Pope mentioned that there is now a new rule in place for granting state money to support a new high school where you won't be considered for money at all, unless you are in the que for money (meaning approved project by the town).

    Rep Pope says they are trying to change this.

    Also, heard that since we didn't pass the vote on the HS back in 2004, the price has risen from $57M to $80M for the proposed design. Ouch!

  8. #8
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    Default February 2 meeting

    I was not able to attend this meeting but I've just finished reading the Powerpoint presentation up on the Wayland School Committee website. A very interesting and well-researched analysis. Obviously it would have been better to hear specific questions about certain statistics and opinions on fututre trends, but the summary itself was self-explanatory for the most part.

    I look forward to hearing from those who were able to attend the meeting to get their insight. And in the message above, the estimate for a new high school is now $80 million? Is this documented anywhere?

    Thanks,
    Paul Grasso

  9. #9
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    Default $80 Million Hign School

    I'm not sure the $80M is documneted anywhere. I heard it at a School commitee meeting saying the rising costs of contruction (Katrina Relief, etc) has driven the costs up by 35% accross the board which they said the $80M number. As an example, Groton/Dunstable approved a new high school back in 2000/1, it took them two years to settile ona site for it. The cost went up $15M in those two years.

  10. #10
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Grasso
    Hi Jeff. As one who was on the board of the new High School project, I wonder if you can provide an update about a new design proposal. Also, I read in yesterday's Globe about the State freeze in aid toward new school rebuilding projects. The potential state aid was a large factor in the defense of the requested investment. How will the news from the state impact the next design?

    Thanks,
    Paul Grasso
    Nothing is definitive at this point, but here's a possible unfolding:
    1. Update the charge to the building committee (HSBC)
    2. Expand the HSBC to 15 members (at April ATM)
    3. Analyze Mass School Building Authority (MSBA) regulations beginning in July
    4. Submit application for reimbursement on 7/1/2007

    My understanding and sense is that the reimbursement picture hasn't been harmed.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Goldstein
    Jeff,

    Along the same lines as the last post, I'd like to know how the School Commitee and administration is going about planning for the next 3-5 years of budgets, construction, curriculum, staffing, etc, how best to learn what those plans look like, and provide input to them.

    Clearly, with the potential effects of the Governor's proposed changes in annual budget funding formulas and construction funding approaches and with potential increases in revenues and/or students from the outcome of development at Raytheon property, planning will be difficult and several scenarios likely need to be considered. At the same time, these uncertainties suggest that having thought through the potential outcomes and our town's response is as important as ever.

    Short of attending many School Commitee meetings, how can we learn from those of you who do what the near and longer term future plans are for our schools?

    Thanks,
    Steve Goldstein
    Several elements to a 3-5 year plan, much of which is "reactive" in the sense that we are only able to budget a year at a time and because future enrollments aren't certain. That said, here's what I see ahead:

    1. Continued commitment to excellent staff and curriculum
    - Paying well to attract and retain top teachers
    - Being cognizant of the impact of teacher pay on town finances
    - Pushing forward on initiatives such as updating ES math
    - Considering program enhancement if state aid picture improves

    2. Attention on enrollment
    - If ES enrollments continue to drop, we'll consider closing an ES

    3. Spending on capital
    - High school repairs/maintenance until new project is complete
    - Critical projects such as Happy Hollow roof

    These are somewhat off the cuff--the School Committee will be discussing (and reporting on) these and other issues following the conclusion of the Annual Town Meeting.

  12. #12
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Shawn Fennelly
    I attedned the meeting at Happy Hollow last Thursday night in which Rep. Pope, Barbera Fletcher, and Dr. Burton where answering questions about the Wayland Schools, Override, etc. During that meeting Rep. Pope mentioned that there is now a new rule in place for granting state money to support a new high school where you won't be considered for money at all, unless you are in the que for money (meaning approved project by the town).

    Rep Pope says they are trying to change this.

    Also, heard that since we didn't pass the vote on the HS back in 2004, the price has risen from $57M to $80M for the proposed design. Ouch!
    At present, the process for applying for reimbursement isn't finalized. It appears, however, that the MSBA (Mass School Building Authority) will approve reimbursement based on need (you can see the MSBA's criteria here) and a submitted application (no earlier than 7/1/2007).

    The $80M number is in no way official. Certainly, construction costs have escalated since the ~$58M project was outlined. At this point, we don't have a cost estimate for that project or one of any other scope.

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