Saturday, November 19, 2016

East Newton superintendent: District seeking input on going to four-day week

(From East Newton Superintendent Todd McCrackin)

During the November Board of Education meeting, I presented the board with research that had been conducted on the possibility of a four day school week for the 2017-2018 school year. 

 The purpose for researching the four day week was to try and improve the financial outlook of the district for the short and long term. 

 Our district relies heavily on state funding and our local revenue has not increased at a rate to which the district can maintain a consistent budget. 

 The East Newton district operates on the state minimum levy of $2.75 for its operational needs. Over the past five years the district has eliminated four full-time positions, contracted our food service, and refinanced our bonds in the debt service account, allowing for a no tax increase bond issue passed by patrons. This represents the fiscal responsibility and accountability of our board. 

 We are now seeking input into a four-day school week for the 2017-2018 school year, which has the potential to cut expenses.

It is important to note that the four-day school week is only a consideration at this time, the board and administration have a lot of work to do before a final decision is made on this issue. 

 At this time professional research has been reviewed, other four-day schools have been contacted, surveys conducted to those school superintendents and teachers at those schools will be surveyed soon. The staff has been informed and will be further consulted. 

 The next step is to gather input from the parents, students, and patrons of our district. The input will be gathered through open forums and a parent on-line survey. We will have a "Discussion Points" document placed on the website under the Parents tab soon and a parent letter will be going out as well. Community forums have been scheduled for January 11th and 18th times and locations are on the website calendar.

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