By Robert L. Chakar, Jr., Ed.D.
Superintendent of School
As we approach spring, a lot of wonderful happenings have continued at Andes. Our Senior Class and Student Council were able to successfully solicit, at no cost, Jason Womack, a known keynote motivational speaker, to come to Andes and share his thoughts with our 7-12 student body. Mr. Womack, author of Your Best Just Got Better, has a varied background and was well received. In addition, our Technology Committee has presented to the faculty how well our 1:1 laptop initiative this year has gone. Your children in grades 7-12 have thoroughly enjoyed having the ability to bring home a school laptop and work more efficiently. This initiative has been supported by our community as well.
During the February break, our Travel Club and the Class of 2013 traveled to Costa Rica. While there, they toured a hummingbird and butterfly exhibit, saw crocodiles, sloths, monkeys, toucans and tropical fish. They took several hikes through the mountains of Monteverde and on the beach, went kayaking and zip lining. Everyone commented on how beautiful the scenery was and what a wonderful time they all had.
On another note, as Andes moves into April, the Board will be working diligently to finalize 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, and under a simple majority vote, Andes will be allowed to request of its community a tax levy increase of 4.26%.
That said, we are working with a projected year-to-year revenue decrease of $20,751.00 for the 2013-2014 school year; in addition to a mid-year reduction in the amount of $10,126.00 for the past 2012-2013 school year. Those funds total a real reduction in revenue of $30,887.00 from this year into next year. Andes is continuing to explore using revenues and expenditures to close this gap including not replacing a retiring teacher. In addition, we are considering a combined grade 3 and 4 class; as we have done with PreK and 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 the 2005-06 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 thank you for your continued support of our children. ~