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Unable to attend the Jan. 29 community conversation? View a replay of the event by clicking on the "play" button above. The replay will also be shown on Channel 16 beginning on Feb. 3 on Tuesdays and Saturdays at 12 p.m, Wednesdays at 3 p.m, and Mondays at 7 p.m.

Thank you to everyone who attended the event!
Community conversation reviews list of potential changes for 2014-15 school budget

(Updated Feb. 12, 2014) Jan. 30, 2014—On Wednesday, January 29, nearly 50 Guilderland Central School District parents, students, staff and community members attended a community conversation to take a closer look at the district’s budget development process and to review a list of all potential changes and reductions under consideration for 2014-2015. The event was the community’s first opportunity to provide input and comments on the recommendations and to ask direct questions of the building and district leaders who have proposed those changes.

The community conversation began with a brief presentation (PDF) by Superintendent of Schools Dr. Marie Wiles and Assistant Superintendent for Business Neil Sanders on the district's budget outlook, including anticipated changes in expenses and revenues. Based on the district's rollover budget and maximum allowable tax levy limit increase, Guilderland is currently facing a budget gap of $1.8 million heading into the upcoming school year.

To help close that gap, leaders of each school building and program, both instructional and non-instructional, were asked to anticipate their program needs for next year and recommend reductions equaling five percent of their total program budget. Leaders reviewed enrollment, assessed student needs data (IEPs, assessment results, etc.), and consider external factors (costs for utilities , health, pension, etc.) to guide their thinking. District office leaders then reviewed the recommendations and prioritized the potential changes.

The results of that work were divided into six "topic" categories and presented during the community conversation event. View the list of potential changes (PDF) For more than an hour, participants worked in small groups to review the list of potential changes and discussed their questions, comments and concerns with both their peers and school leaders. Detailed rationale and impact sheets (PDF) were also distributed to provide additional background information on each recommended change.

A summary of the small group work, including common questions and answers from the event, can be found below:

Elementary Instruction and Staffing (PDF)

Middle Level Instruction and Staffing (PDF)

High School Instruction and Staffing (PDF)

Special Areas (PDF)

Special Education (PDF)

Educational Support Services (PDF)

 

Due to the length of time spent on the small group work, community conversation participants were not able to participate in the planned "town hall" style question and answer session. The session was rescheduled for Tuesday, February 4, and nearly 20 school community members returned for "part 2" of the evening. The replay of the "town hall" session is included in the video summary posted above.

Looking ahead, district leaders will review the compiled feedback from the community conversation events in preparation for the release of the Superintendent’s Budget on Thursday, February 27, 2014. If you were unable to attend the event but would like to submit your questions, comments, or concerns related to the list of potential changes, please complete our online Budget Feedback Form.

 

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