Archive for May, 2013

Highlights from 5/16/13 school board meeting

May 18, 2013

Two new elementaries will be built at no extra cost to community
English/Language Arts curriculum revised
Athletic updates
Extracurricular updates

  • Pay It Forward Day at the junior high was a huge success. Seventh graders went out into the community and completely many tasks.  Eighth graders provided supplies and funds.  It was an unbelievable day with lots of positive feedback from community members.  But it couldn’t have happened without the bus drivers who contributed their time to take our students around to different sites.  They also gave of themselves on Pay It Forward Day, and we thank you!
  • The Milford Schools Foundation announced their grants for Spring, 2013.  They provided 59 grants totally over $38k, bringing their total grants over the last 3.5 years to over $130k!  The district and everyone who receive a grant thanks the Foundation for their hard work and dedication to our schools and students!
  • Our budget is on track for 2012-13.  We will be closing out accounts in the next month.  Right now, we are showing a small savings vs. budget.  We will have more details in the next few months.
  • The board approved the revised 5-Year Forecast, which must be filed with the state by the end of May.  The forecast shows the levy holding us steady for the next three years, with a $5+ million deficit in 2017.  However, we expect that to change as more is learned about state funding.  We may also have additional expenses as we figure out requirements for the new evaluation system and other mandates (health insurance, etc) that must be added to our systems in the next few years.  We are still hoping to stretch the levy dollars farther than 3 years, and we will know much more in October, and even more as we work our way through new requirements.
  • The board approved a resolution in opposition to the expansion of the Edchoice Scholarship program.  This expands vouchers to K and Grade 1, and for families in income brackets up to 200% of the poverty level, despite the performance of your home school district.
  • This year, the district has a formal summer reading program for every grade level.  At the elementary level, schools have always offered ideas, but this year we wanted a more comprehensive and coordinated structure.  Each elementary school will have a summer reading list posted on their website.  Reading selections will be listed by grade level, allowing students to choose the level they need (i.e., students do not have to read just books listed for the grade they are in; they can choose based on their ability).  There will be activities and they will be required to log minutes.  All buildings will be in touch with families this summer, through email, C-Notify, phone calls and even Facebook messages.  There will be incentives and celebrations along the way.
  • The JH/HS summer reading program can be found at http://summerreading.milfordschools.org/.  This website, which was created by our ELA teachers, outlines requirements for each class.  Novels and activies are part of the program this year.
  • Missy Borger, who has served as principal of Seipelt Elementary since 2004, will be moving to the principal position at Pattison Elementary next year.  Mrs. Borger has done a wonderful job at Seipelt, and brought the school to the highest performance level in the district.  Pattison is excited to have her.
  • A committee has been formed to search for a new principal for Seipelt Elementary.  There are many good candidates already, which will go to committee in the next week or two.  I am excited to be serving on that committee, as my daughter is a Seipelt alumn and we loved our time there.  While we can never replace Mrs. Borger, we will find someone just as good to follow in the path she has created.
  • The board met in executive session to discuss security for our buildings.  While security procedures are confidential, rest assured we are working to ensure our buildings are as safe as possible for all our students.
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Thank you, Milford!

May 7, 2013

Here’s a huge thank you to all those in the Milford school district for passing the operating levy!  We greatly appreciate your trust in the school board and administration to manage your hard-earned money properly, and our teachers and staff to provide a high-quality education to your children.  I know the tax increase from the levy is a financial sacrifice for everyone, and for some it will be a significant hardship.  I wish there had been a different solution, but the state put us in an untenable position:  either cut valuable and necessary programs and services, or ask the community to make up the funding they cut from our budget.

The district promised this levy will last at least three years.  As long as I am on the school board, I promise to work to stretch these funds as far as possible.  We will also continue to seek out other sources of revenue and new options to run our business more efficiently.

For now, the good news is there will be no more reductions to what we offer.  Unfortunately, the reductions made after the November levy failed will stay in place; thankfully, we were able to find options that made a relatively small impact on our students.  The levy will not allow us to add any programs or services, but we will continue the path we are on, refining what we are providing with the goal of continuing to improve the quality of education.

Thank you again for your support.  As always, please feel free to get in touch with any questions, concerns, ideas, etc.

Go Eagles!