BALLSTON SPA — The Ballston Spa Central School District held a Board of Education Meeting on March 16 to discuss the budget and upcoming budget vote in May. The Board also held several recognitions before the budget presentation.
The Board of Education first recognized several students for their accomplishments in the music department, followed by the Ballston Spa High School’s Drama Troupe’s performance of the opening act of the upcoming Seussical the Musical, which will feature close to 90 high school students whether on stage, backstage, or in the orchestra pit. Seussical the Musical brings together all of Dr. Seuss’ beloved characters. Performances are April 1, 2, 8, and 9 at 7:30 p.m. and April 9 at 1 p.m. at Ballston Spa High School. Tickets will be sold at the door and cost $10 for adults/senior citizens and $5 for students (ages 5-18).
The BOE also recognized the Ballston Spa Elks Lodge #2619 as they have once again provided the district with funding for the BackPack Program through their partnership program. For the 2021-22 school year they have donated $6,000 to assist with supplying weekend meals to students who may otherwise go without. Of that donation, $500 was in memory of Billy Downs, who ran the Elks Food Pantry Program and volunteered with preparing the backpacks at the Gordon Creek Elementary School prior to the pandemic.
This particular budget presentation reviewed the functional areas of instruction, which is the largest piece of the budget at around $50,000,000; with everything included, the total budget will be around $98,00,000. The functional areas of instruction are as follows: Building Supervision; Professional Development; Teaching – Regular Education; Teaching – Special Education; Guidance Services; Library Services; Occupational Education; Summer School/Adult Ed.; Psychological/Social Work; Nurse/Health Services; Co-curricular Activities; and Interscholastic Athletics.
Superintendent Ken Slentz announced new pieces are influencing the budget this year:
“Since 2010 we are becoming less wealthy and more racially and culturally diverse. How in our budget are we recognizing these things?
Therefore, the first three budget goals, which were the ones discussed at this meeting, include:
Budget Goal 1 – supporting the increasingly diverse needs of the K-12 student body by maintaining the fine arts staff, the CTE program for grade 9-12, all interscholastic athletic teams and co-curricular clubs, and more.
Budget Goal 2 – supporting the ongoing implementation of the district’s multi-tiered system of supports which includes moving away from federal funding for the Spa Academy Program and additional funding for the implementation of summer school for grades 9-12.
Budget Goal 3 – supporting the continuous improvement of teachers.
To further these goals there is also a list of proposed new positions for 2022-2023: two teaching positions to reduce class sizes at K-5; two teaching position to support Middle Years International Baccalaureate Implementation in grades 6-8; two K-12 reinstated music staff teaching positions; three teaching positions to expand program support for students with disabilities in grades 6-12; one Social Worker for grades 9-12 with a focus on Spa Academy; one teaching assistant position to support the Primary Project Mental Health Program at Milton Terrace; and a Second Assistant Director for Special Education.
View the full meeting here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=C50tPAl0y_c. Or, visit the district’s website for more information at bscsd.org.