Wednesday, January 11, 2017

January 3rd Meeting Recap

The Essex Westford Educational Community Unified Union School District board held its first meeting of 2017 on January 3rd in the Essex High School library.  Draft minutes are posted here.  Highlights of the meeting include:

-District CFO Deac Decarreau presented the base “rollover” budget to the board. This budget has been adjusted and compiled to reflect what it would cost to provide the same services in the 2017-18 academic year as in 2016-17. Some reductions were noted, such as a bond payment that is being retired and the fact that we will only be paying one superintendent. Since this is a base budget, it reflects no additions to services, even ones that are likely to be necessary (such as busing Westford students to Essex High). Proposed additions will be covered in the next four meetings which address sections of the budget in greater detail.

-The board approved three policies on second reading: Student Attendance, Student Privacy Rights, and Prevention of Harassment, Hazing and Bullying of Students. Policies can now be viewed in a handy central location on the new district web site a short time after they have been approved by the board.

-Brendan Kinney, who is heading up the board’s subcommittee work on transportation, discussed with the board the timeline, the work to define equity, and our goals for engagement.

The next regular board meeting will occur on Tuesday, January 17th.  Each Tuesday this month, however, will feature a budget work session. Members of the public are encouraged to attend and learn about the budget process.  Topics that will be covered are as follows:
Tuesday, Jan. 10: Administrative Budget (Central Office and District Wide Expenses)
Tuesday, Jan. 17: Special Education Budget
Tuesday, Jan. 24: Pre-K-12 Budget

Tuesday, Jan. 31: CTE Budget and Recommended Capital and Transition Budget

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