BALLSTON SPA — The Ballston Spa Central School District held a Board of Education meeting on Dec. 15 to discuss the school budget along with some items on the agenda that are currently in progress.
With last week marking that 1/3 of the school has been completed, attendance data was complied, and Superintendent of Schools Ken Slentz announced that attendance was between 95-96%, despite COVID-19 and staffing shortages.
Budgeting for the 2022-2023 school year started in October, and will be finalized with a vote on May 17. While working towards providing a “meaningful diploma for all students”, points of focus for the budget are on curriculum development, instruction and assessment, student behavior and wellness, and communication, as well as recruitment, retention, and development of personnel. Furthermore, the BSCSD is budgeting for explicit instruction to ensure that every student is reading at or above grade level.
An official draft of the budgeting goals will be available in January 2022. A brief overview of what they will include is as follows:
Budget Goal #1 is instruction – tailoring the middle school curriculum to middle schoolers, not junior high, and creating more pathways in the high school building for students to learn in a variety of different settings. This will include spending money more intentionally on technology than in past years, and looking at the implications of the District’s Climate and Culture Project.
Budget Goal #2 is the multi-tiered system of support, and adding in a support structure for special education and technology.
Budget Goal #3 is to support the development of the staff, which could include a new teacher and administrator mentoring program.
Budget Goal #4 is collective bargaining agreements. Budget Goal #5 is improvements to facilities, systems, processes, and protocols. Budget Goal #6 is staffing change to support the previous budget goals.
Major costs in the school budget include, but are not limited to, labor contracts and health care.
Long range financial planning was discussed as well. The school’s Long Range Financial Plan, a five-year projection, was last updated 2 years ago. The school has confirmed it will receive state aid for the 2022-2023 and 2023-2024 school years and has been receiving federal grants to help with pandemic-related costs.
The next budget presentation will be on Jan. 5, 2022. Stay tuned to the district’s website, www.bscsd.org, for any changes/updates.
GlobalFoundries- Town of Malta Foundation Grants
Alongside the school budget, it was announced that Ballston Spa schools were awarded $19,000 in grants from the GlobalFoundries-Town of Malta Foundation for several of their projects and programs.
The Gordon Creek Elementary School PTA received $2,500 to host a visiting author as part of the PARP reading program. The Ballston Spa High School PTSA received $4,000 for the annual After Prom event. The Ballston Spa Middle School’s Drama Club, Launching Pad Productions – received $2,500 for the winter production of “The SpongeBob Musical”. And, the district’s Ballston Spa Partnership for Innovation in Education Fund received $10,000 for the district’s Robotics Program.
Some items discussed at the BOE meeting are currently “works in progress”. One being the development of a framework and steering committee, to be established in January 2022, that will work on the Climate and Culture Project that covers the District’s Title IX policy, harassment policy, code of conduct, wellness policy, and NYSED Regents Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Initiative.
View the full BSCSD BOE meeting here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=N2ZLNBK7z0Y.