This article first appeared in the February 2nd, 2012 edition of the Vermont Standard.
By Gwen Stanley
At a Windsor Central Supervisory Union Carousel meeting last month, the supervisory union unanimously approved their school year budget at $1,659,278.
There are four major changes in the school’s budget for this year.
“Several of the key changes in the budget are related to the fact that we are beginning to get ready to implement Act 153, which is to go into action July 2014,” Board member James Leiter said at the January 9 meeting.
Act 153 is defined in state legislature as “An act relating to voluntary school district merger, virtual merger, supervisory union duties, and including secondary students with disabilities in senior year activities and ceremonies.”
The school psychologist at the high school will become an employee of the supervisory union, administrating to the entire K-12 group, because, Leiter said, “there are a relatively modest amount of assessments this year,” adding that WUHS would pay for the majority of the budget – salary and benefits, but that a small amount will come from grants.
The second major change for this school year’s budget will be a specific change in the realm of special education, as act 153 pertains in a large part to consolidation of special education services.
There is a waiver option in place if a particular school in the supervisory union chooses not to consolidate in this manner, but the supervisory union is making clear that they need to know that as soon as possible, and, according to the minutes of the meeting, “if a school does choose a waiver, they will be on their own.”
“We’d like to bring over the person in charge of special education at the high school in to the supervisory union, in order to make that person part of the administration team, along with Daphne Tuthill, that will oversee both the development and implementation of the changes required by Act 153,” Leiter said. Tuthill is currently Director of Instructional Support Services. The money for the new position will also come from the high school budget.
Another change this year will be a new math teacher.
“Vermont has a new core curriculum,” Leiter said, “and as part of efforts to implement that, we are requesting that there be a special expert in math instruction — and we happen to already have such a person.” He said that this person would focus on math education in grades 1-8 to help implement the new core curriculum and to guide the schools through the changes.
An increase in the budget went to administrative assistance needs, at a rate of a .13 FTE increase.
There are currently two full-time speech and language pathologists with the Supervisory Union
The next school board meeting is scheduled for Monday, Feb. 13 at 6 p.m. in the Teagle Library.