|BOARD HOLDS FIRST READING ON BUDGET REDUCTION RESTORATION PLAN
|Posted Date: 4/10/2012
The Westerville City School District Board of Education on April 9, 2012, held its first reading of a Budget Reduction Restoration Plan proposed by members of the district’s administrative team.
If approved, the restoration plan would negate $7.35 million in reductions and reinstate numerous positions, programs and services previously included as part of $18.5 million in reductions necessary to address a deficit at the end of Fiscal Year 2013. Academic program, staffing and service level restorations have been made possible by the community's approval of Issue 10 on March 6, 2012.
Members of the Board of Education and Executive Team early in the process created a decision-making framework to prioritize the academic programs and services to be restored. The matrix took into account the breadth of the impact that the restoration would provide, how its outcomes would positively affect performance on the local report card, and how it would contribute to students’ acquisition of 21st century skills.
Ratings from the decision-making matrix were converted into point values that were then used to develop a prioritized restoration list. Officials were conservative in their estimates in order to provide the financial flexibility needed to address any future unfunded or underfunded state mandates.
If approved as presented, the restoration plan would include the following items:
The full presentation to the Board is available on-line in two locations:
- Non-Title Reading Intervention Teachers
All six FTE positions approved for reduction would be restored to support research that suggests children who cannot read well by third grade are four times as likely to drop out.
- Gifted Intervention Services
All five FTE positions approved for reduction would be restored and provide these services in a re-imagined program, including a virtual model for elementary students identified in a specific content area.
- Related Arts
Of the 55.85 FTE approved for reduction, 24.7 FTE would be restored or re-imagined. This includes 8.5 FTE in art, 9.4 FTE in music and 6.8 FTE in physical education (P.E.). Specialists in art, music, physical education, and technology will serve all elementary schools using an infused model of delivery based on research that shows students need integrated learning environments to help develop skills and knowledge. These specialists will partner with classroom teachers to develop and deliver instruction through integrated lesson plans that cover all content standards. At the middle school level, students in sixth grade will be able to take P.E., orchestra, and band. Students in seventh grade will be able to take art, orchestra, band and choir. Students in eighth grade will have access to P.E., Spanish 1, orchestra, band, and choir classes. At the high school level, students will have access to several art courses, including Art Foundations, Digital Arts, 2-D Visual Art, and 3-D Visual Art. Music courses will include concert band, symphonic band, marching band, orchestra, and concert and symphonic vocal ensembles. Students also will be able to take to P.E. 1 and P.E. 2 courses.
- Non-Title Instructional Coaches
Of the 4.2 FTE approved for reduction, 3.2 FTE would be restored and continue to serve in five major capacities of curriculum specialists, instructional specialists, data coaches, co-teachers, and professional development providers. The remaining one FTE would be repurposed into an elementary technology specialist position to help teachers successfully integrate the use of multiple technologies in their classrooms. This is critical as Ohio moves to on-line standardized assessments by 2014-15.
- High School Electives
Of the 13.8 FTE approved for reduction, seven FTE would be restored or re-imagined. This includes two FTE in health (blended courses including on-line and face-to-face), two FTE in science, one FTE in Social Studies, and two FTE in business. Additional non-traditional options for students include Credit Flex, Otterbein Offerings, and Post Secondary Education Options at public universities.
- International Baccalaureate Diploma Program
Alternative funding will be used to cover specific IB costs previously paid from the district’s general fund.
- Athletic – Extra/Co-Curricular
These programs will be re-imagined to reduce general fund costs by 50 percent.
- Non-Athletic Extra/Co-Curricular
These programs will be re-imagined to reduce general fund costs by 50 percent.
- Middle School Guidance Services
All three FTE positions approved for reduction would be restored to maintain current level of support services to middle school students and families.
- World Languages
Of the 2.2 FTE approved for reduction, .8 FTE would be restored or re-imagined. This includes .2 FTE in French due to course requests and .6 FTE to create a middle school exploratory course in Chinese as the district begins a transition to include languages of a global economy.
- Media Specialists
Of the six FTE approved for reduction, two FTE would be restored. As a result, all secondary schools will have a full time media specialist and the elementary schools will share four full-time media specialists. Additionally, two FTE would be repurposed as elementary technology specialists.
- Magnet Program
District officials in January shared a “bridge plan” for the 2012-13 school year that consolidates Central College and Longfellow elementary schools into Hanby Elementary. The magnet program lottery will be used to fill vacancies in grades two through five only. Emerson Elementary will continue to serve as the World Languages and Cultures program site for grades 2-5 during the bridge year. An Elementary Programming Administrative Committee will make recommendations regarding elementary programming for 2013-14 which will include increasing access to the magnet program, increasing choice for families and decreasing costs to general fund.
High school transportation will be restored to K-8 state minimum levels, which include a two mile non-transport boundary and bus stop walking distances of up to one-half mile. This is projected to allow the district to reduce 10 FTE transportation positions. District officials also will re-imagine current transportation guidelines using a safety matrix and feedback from constituents. District officials will sponsor meetings at each school building to gather this feedback and identify areas needing transportation above state minimum service levels.
- Custodial/maintenance services
Of 30 FTE approved for reduction, 14.25 will be restored. Custodial and maintenance services are necessary to ensure the quality of building infrastructures and maintain the health and safety of students, staff, and community members.
- School day schedules
- Reduced and re-imagined programs will cause a slight reduction to the length of the school day at all levels. The elementary school day will be shortened by 10 minutes, the middle school day will be shortened by 23 minutes, and the high school day will be shortened by 16 minutes. The elementary day will consist of 315 instructional minutes. Related Arts will be infused into the general instruction and students will have 60 minutes total for lunch and recess. The middle school day will consist of six academic periods that are 55 minutes each and a 35 minute lunch period. The high school day will consist of seven periods, including lunch. Each period will be at least 50 minutes in length, with two periods 55 minutes in length. Slight variations will exist among the three high schools.
The Board is anticipated to hold a second reading and cast its final vote on the restoration plan during its next regular meeting on April 23, 2012. The meeting will begin at 6 p.m. in the Westerville South High School commons.
- Visit www.wcsoh.org. Click on the "Board of Education" link in the left-hand column. In the center of the subsequent page, follow the link to Board meeting agendas, which will open up BoardDocs. In the new window, click on “April 9th Regular Session” in the left-hand side, then click on “View the Agenda” in the center panel. Click on item 12.04 First Reading - Restoration of Programs & Services and open the attached document. Users can navigate back to this location later to hear the audio recording of the presentation.
- Visit www.wcsoh.org. Click on the “Budget Reductions & Restorations” box in the center panel. A link to the presentation will be in the right-hand column on the subsequent page.