Superintendent's Update for April 21, 2017

Post date: Apr 25, 2017 4:03:53 PM




Office of the Superintendent

Telephone (207) 348-9100 Fax (207) 348-9103

“It takes a whole community to educate a child.”

Superintendent’s Memo

To: CSD 13 Parents, Guardians, Community Members

From: Christian M. Elkington

Re: CSD 13 Superintendent’s Update #3

Date: 4-21-17

With a less than effective roll-out of the 17-18 CSD 13 Budget Draft many questions have come up in regards to how is this budget better for kids? The board and I have discussed many times their concerns with the lack of strategic planning and follow-through that has not occurred over the last 3-5 years prior to my becoming superintendent. Without system-wide planning and follow-through by administration and staff, improvements to instruction and learning, along with improvements to our district’s professional “culture of learning” have not and will not occur. When you add to this the budget difficulties, loss of trust and the negativity of the years 2014-2016, you can see why we are where we are in the spring of 2017.

When I took over in May of 2016 the board asked me to start to dig in and find the causes of where we found ourselves and to then suggest solutions. That those solutions needed to start to bring everyone together. In my review of our situation, I agree with our board that increasing a budget without first looking at ways to reallocate present funding does not make sense if we are going to rebuild our Learning Organization and come face-to-face with our problems and needs.

How is this budget better for kids?

- It starts to look at building a new culture, based on looking at ourselves as a K-12 School, where students will start to support other students K-12 and where staff will support each other K-12.

- It reallocates funds to start a strategic planning process. The only way to build something better.

- It reallocates funds for a Facilities Study so we can develop a plan for our future building needs.

- It emphasizes the need to share positions K-12 and within U76 so that we can continue to employ full-time people and not look to try and hire part-time people or contractors, which can be more expensive and take funds away from other needs.

- It continues to emphasize increased supervision and evaluation of our teaching staff, which is the best way to improve the instruction and learning opportunities our children receive.

- It reallocates funds to create a Behavior Program at DISES so that children with identified needs are better supported and so that children without these needs can have less interruptions to their learning.

- It reallocates funds to start to develop a K-12 drug and alcohol curriculum along with other program needs with the added support from OFIP and the Town of Deer Isle. Our staff needs a new direction, new strategies and assistance with the signs of drug and alcohol concerns along with related issues we see affecting many of our students each day.

- It develops a partnership between Adult Ed and DISHS to start to broaden course offerings by also developing distance learning opportunities through online programs and partnerships with other high schools ensuring greater choice for high school students taking advantage of them.

- It follow’s-up with the planned repair and maintenance efforts being made this year in a more informed way for 17-18, as we plan for both long-term and aesthetic improvements which are long overdue.

- It takes on one of our biggest concerns for the future of instruction and learning on our island, our need to be able to recruit excellent people to work here! Over the last several years our salary and benefit packages have fallen behind many on the Peninsula. This makes it very difficult to recruit good people to apply for our openings. This past year we had multiple professional positions for which we were unable to find qualified people and we had to piece together supports as best as we could. We have the potential to have several people retire over the next 5 years and must now plan to level the recruiting field so we can hire the best people to teach our children.

- It tries to make smart reallocations while dealing with a loss of state funding so as not to drag us back into the difficulties and budget battles of just a few years ago.

We know that our student’s academic results are not now where we want them. Our test scores and academic results are not making the gains we would like to see, and that our children must have to be successful in the 21st Century. This is our number one concern and a concern for every student, parent, guardian, staff member and community member. The 17-18 CSD 13 Budget starts to put in place the structures, systems and thinking needed to start to turn our district results around in the years to come.

In order for our towns to finalize tax bills we cannot move back our timeline. The following timeline has a few adjustments so as to increase public feedback opportunities and is the final plan for this year:

2017-2018 CSD 13 Budget Development Timeline

4/24/17 Superintendent & Board Chair review budget w/Stonington Select Board

4/25/17 Budget Workshop: Review of Adult Ed & Food Service Budgets, suggestions and

adjustments from previous mtg. 5:30 PM at DISHS

4/27/17 Superintendent & Board Chair review budget w/DI Select Board

4/28/17 Budget Workshop: Final review of suggestions and adjustments 3:30 PM DISHS Cafe.

For those not able to attend due to timing, please submit suggestions for changes via email to the Superintendent by Thursday, April 27th, 5:00 PM.

5/2/17 School Committee Mtg. to approve 17-18 Budget DISHS Cafe

5/4/17 Special School Committee meeting to approve warrant articles and warrant for Budget Validation Referendum 5:30 PM DISHS Cafe

5/8/17 Public Budget Review Mtg. 5:30 PM DISHS

5/11/17 Public Budget Review Mtg. 7:00 PM DISES

5/12/17 Budget materials delivered to the Town Office: budget, warrant articles, narrative

5/16/17 Budget insert for the paper

6/5/17 District Budget Meeting 5:30 PM DISHS Gym

6/6/17 School Board Mtg. (sign warrant articles)

6/13/17 Referendum on Proposed Budget: within 10 days of Town Meeting

Please go online to in order to check for budget information along with other information about CSD 13 and Union 76. Thanks!