By Robert L. Chakar, Jr., Ph.D, Superintendent of School
(With photographs from the ACS production of The Little Mermaid.)
As we approach spring, a lot of wonderful happenings have continued at Andes Central School. Our Technology Committee has presented to the faculty that our 1:1 laptop initiative has gone well this year together with our plans to upgrade our technologies in 2015-2016. Your children in grades 7-12 have thoroughly enjoyed having the ability to bring home a school laptop and working more efficiently. This initiative has continued to be supported by our community as well.
During our February break, our Travel Club, with chaperones Jeff Rhone, Ed McGee, Sharon Tucker and Natasha Merritt, traveled to St. John in the Virgin Islands and the Class of 2015, chaperoned by Ed and Grace Bacon, traveled to Puerto Rico. Everyone commented on how beautiful the scenery was and on what a wonderful time they had. Kathy Whittaker and the National Honor Society went to Washington D.C. for a LEAD Conference.
On another note, as Andes moves through the month of March and into April, the Board of Education will be working diligently finalizing a school budget for the community to vote on in May. As you may recall, the term “2% tax levy,” is really a “2% adjusted school tax levy.” Meaning, the amount of money that a school can request is based on an 8-step formula unique to its district. Currently, under the Governor’s levy limit, Andes will be allowed to request of its community a tax levy increase of 1.34% with a simple majority budget vote.
That said, we are working with a projected “flat” year-to-year revenue figure due to the Governor’s Office not releasing information about school districts’ revenues.
Andes is continuing to explore using revenues and expenditures to close any financial gaps, including not replacing a retiring teacher. In addition, we are continuing to utilize a combined grade 3 and 4 class when appropriate, as we have done with Prek/K, grades 1 and 2 and grades 5 and 6.
Lastly, as we finalize our budget request to the community, we are faced with State Aid funding similar to 2007- 2008 school year. All this, with climbing mandated costs in health care and retirement contributions. As always, your suggestions, questions, or comments are appreciated. Kindly feel free to contact my office at 676-3166 ext. 10. At Andes, our community of learners thanks you for your continued support of our children.~