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May 1, 2001

The Hamilton School Board cut an additional $184,000 from its 2001-2002 draft budget to bring expenses within the estimated state revenue limits. The cuts came from school capital outlay, in-services, utilities and a contigency position for unexpected increased enrollments.

Business Services Director Bryan Ruud presented the first draft of the $32.7 million budget at a previous meeting that includes a 6 percent increase in expenses and 4.17 percent increase in the mil rate. The proposed mil rate is expected to go from $12.92 to $13.46 per $1,000 of property value. The budget was built using conservative assumptions that the district will increase enrollment by 12 students, property value will increase by 5 percent, and there will be no additional state aid.

The initial budget presented in April exceeded revenue limits by $225,695, and the School Board took action then to reduce capital outlay and utilities expenses by $41,653. By cutting an additional $184,042 on May 1, the budget falls within the state-mandated revenue limits.

School Board President Gerald Schmitz said he was concerned about cutting one of two contigency positions from the budget. The contigency positions provide the district with extra teaching positions in case enrollment projections are off. But, Ruud said that administrators felt comfortable that the district was not experiencing rapid growth as it has in the past. He also noted that “hot spots” at Templeton in which certain grades experienced high class sizes were addressed with additional staff in the budget process.

With cuts made in April and May, the utilities increase for 2001-2002 will be $181,048 instead of an initial hike of $219,029. The increase is due mainly to higher energy costs.

Other increased expenses are for: increased enrollment; lower class sizes at Templeton; establishment of a high school honors program and Academic Decathlon team; more high school band opportunities; inclusion of a district technology-assessment coordinator; and an additional secondary level guidance counselor to implement the PLAN and EXPLORE tests in grades 8 and 10.

School Board members will vote on a final budget May 21 to go before voters June 18 at the Annual Meeting.

New math books approved

Educational Services Supervisor Dee Bauman, Ph.D., presented recommendations from middle and high school mathematics teachers who reveiwed and pilotted materials. She recommended approval of Scott Foresman/Addison Wesley as the mathematics program for grades 7 and 8. She said it is the same program used at the elementary level and adoption would ensure use of consisten mathmatic resources grades K-8. The Holt Rinehart and Winston series was recommended for middle and high school algebra because it matches the content and instructional focus of the K-8 series. School Board members approved the teacher-recommended mathematics series.

Individuals recognized

The School Board recognized many individuals.

  • Lannon parent Tijuana Ivory was honored for organizing an African-American History Month display.
  • Coca-Cola Bottling Company representative Ron Nowak was recognized for providing citizenship materials for Hamilton students.
  • Volunteers with the Hamilton High School Project FIRST Robotics project were presented with certificates of appreciation. They included GE Medical Systems employees Joe Balint, Carlos Rodrigues, Chris Paulik, John Lorbeicki, Sami Obaid, Mark Otto, Jean-Baptiste Thibault, Wei Wu, Laurence Yudkovitch, Shiv Gopalkrishnan, Obi Ugenyi, Sean Josephson, Sean Williams, Steve Michalski and Dale Kirner, Sr. Hamilton staff members who were recognized were John Budish, Becci Olson and John Alexander. Christopher Budish, a community member, was also honored.

Resignations accepted, appointment made

In personnel matters, the School Board:

  • accepted the resignations of school psychologist Chris Leiendecker, Templeton Spanish teacher Jennifer Gerritson, Templeton German teacher Jo Ann Hanrahan and Woodside and Marcy physical education teacher Erin Leinweber;
  • appointed Robert Pechanach, III as a Hamilton social studies teacher, Mary Johnson as a Templeton associate kitchen employee and Patrice Castner as a Maple Avenue assistant cook.