December 19, 2016

Committee to form to study facilities

The Hamilton School Board voted to convene a Facilities Advisory Committee in 2017 to review enrollment projections and facility space use throughout the district. Similar committees have been formed in the past — resulting in recommendations to add on to existing school buildings or construct new facilities.growth

The committee will begin meeting in January with a goal to present its findings and a recommendation to the School Board next spring.

The committee is expected to have broad community representation including parents, senior citizens, community members, business people, staff and administration. School Board members will be invited to listen to discussion at the meetings.

The School Board gave approval to formation of the committee following a presentation from Business Services Assistant Superintendent Bryan Ruud and Human Resources Director John Roubik. They highlighted enrollment projections, anticipated residential growth and current available space in existing schools. They concluded that the district will likely see significant residential growth in the next five years, and schools are being used near capacity.

The committee is expected to recommend a plan that will offer the best educational grade level configuration, create space for future growth at all levels and make good use of taxpayers’ money.

Ruud and Roubik described two building options that could address space needs throughout the district. Both involve building another middle school and transferring fifth-graders from the elementary schools to the middle school level.

  • One possible solution would be to build a new middle school to house grades 5 and 6, with Templeton used for grades 7 and 8.
  • The other option would have both Templeton and a new school each serve grades 5-8.

In addition, the district would like to provide new or remodeled space for the high school’s applied engineering and technology program.

Per-pupil allocations to drop for budget planning

As schools begin the budget process for the 2017-18 school year, they will do so with a somewhat more positive scenario than last year. The district is expecting an increase of 25 full-time equivalency students. The parameters schools have been given as they budget for next year are:

  • General school allocation will decrease by $9 per student at the elementary level and middle school and $10 at the high school;
  • The library allocation will increase $5 per student; and
  • Capital outlay per-pupil allocations will drop by $6 at the elementary level, $5 at the middle and high schools.

Last year anticipated school allocations dropped $13-32 per pupil, library allocations dropped $5 per student and capital allocations dropped $3-5 per students for an overall 12.2 percent allocation drop. The coming year’s overall allocation drop is expected to be 5.36 percent.

Tentative agreement ratified with ULE

The School Board ratified a tentative agreement reached with United Lakewood Educators, which represents district teachers. The agreement provides each teacher with a 0.12 percent base salary increase from 2015-16, retroactive to the beginning of the 2016-17 school year. The number is determined by the state based on the Consumer Price Index. The increase does not apply to teachers on a replacement contract or a plan of assistance. The teacher ratification vote is expected to occur this week.

Personnel business

In personnel news, the School Board:

  • granted the retirement requests of Templeton business education teacher Judith Schatz, Templeton grade 8 teacher Suzanne Lorenz and Willow Springs speech pathologist Barbara Michalak, all effective at the end of the 2016-17 school year;
  • accepted the resignation of Templeton associate kitchen employee Renee Brosig, effective Dec. 7; and
  • appointed Erica Kochanski as a part-time Marcy special services paraprofessional, Marissa Weber as a part-time Lannon instructional paraprofessional and Barbara Black as a part-time Templeton associate kitchen employee.