Shelley school district budget approved
SHELLEY — Shelley school board trustees approved the school district's budget for school year 2012-13.
"There are no real surprises," said Shelley Business Manager Trish Dixon.
"The first 10 days of enrollment will determine if the trustees need to decide on an emergency levy for the coming year," said Dixon.
In Shelley, an emergency levy is based on the first nine days of enrollment compared to the first nine days of the previous school year, she said. If there is an unexpected increase in the number of students, a certain formula is applied to cover costs of the unexpected students.
Emergency levies are not voted on by the patrons.
Dixon pointed out the contingency reserve category.
"It used to carry a balance of $50,000 or more for unexpected expenses," she said. "It is now empty but eventually times will get better."
Salaries and benefits make up 88.4 percent of the budget in Shelley.
"We try to keep salaries and benefits in the 85 or 86 percent area," said Superintendent Dr. Bryan Jolley. "The 3.4 percent increase in salaries and benefits equals about $300,000. That is somewhat close to the supplemental levy.
"Thank goodness we have the levy to pull us through," he said.
"Last year, we needed to dip into the fund balance," said Jolley.
There is no need to dip into the fund balance next year.
"We are careful to build it [the fund balance] up," the superintendent said. "We try to keep programs and personnel as stable as possible which we have done well for three years.
"It would help us if the state would make up steps and lanes [for certified personnel]," Jolley said.
"Conservation continues, with people being very careful on spending and turning out lights," he said. "Classrooms have high student ratios."
David Porter with Porter House, Inc., from Idaho Falls proposed renting Goodsell Elementary from the school district.
"We need additional space for training," Porter said. "We provide adult training, including computer training, and we are a subcontractor for the site."
In the facility in Idaho Falls, the room won't hold any more than eight to 10 people.
"We need additional space," Porter said. "We need a space for 20 or more people in a classroom."
"We are not going to change anything," he said. "[The space used at Goodsell Elementary] will still be classrooms.
"We won't change the use of it," Porter said. "We will not remodel anything."
"We will use tables, chairs and the chalkboards," he said.
The amount of rent the school district would charge will be discussed during the July school board. The trustees made no decision.
Porter said he was considering using four classrooms and the outer offices. The auditorium might be utilized.
The changing math curriculum was discussed. Common Core is the new curriculum. It replaces Saxon Math.
"A lot of content is being pushed down into lower grades," said Judy Smith.
"We are asking more of teachers and students.
"The aim is to go deeper into the curriculum, helping kids gain more understanding in math concepts," she said.
"We will not be leaving big holes and gaps in the curriculum," Smith said. "We will be teaching kids to think more mathmatically."
Two mothers were concerned their students would not have an opportunity to get into accelerated math classes.
One mother said, traditionally in Shelley, sixth grade is when students register for accelerated math classes so they can take the higher level math classes in high school.
"Then why are there only 20 students in calculus?" asked Smith.
With the new curriculum, eighth graders that qualify will take Algebra in one year, Smith said. Ninth graders can take geometry; tenths graders will be in Algebra II. Eleventh graders will take pre-calculus and 12th graders will be in calculus.
Policies discussed included that certified employee contracts are required to be signed 10-days following the issuance of the contract. After the 10-day deadline, contracts will be considered on a case by case basis.
A fund raising policy was discussed.
"We don't want to limit us," said trustee Jamie Higham.
This policy will be discussed in the July meeting.
A policy for social media was discussed that includes harassment and cyber-bullying.
"The policy treats the symptoms," said Superintendent Jolley. "We need to educate our kids that how they use social media can come back to haunt them."