Curriculum Budget Up, Library/Media Budget Down

Assistant Superintendent of Schools Andy Corey outlined the district’s curriculum and library/media budgets for the School Board, noting that curriculum is up by $53,675 from the current year and library/media is down $10,674.
“The curriculum budget includes district wide activities for curriculum, instruction and activities,” Corey said at the Thursday, Dec. 12 meeting. The increase includes a $40,000 phasing in of a new middle school math program.
“The current math program has been in place for over 13 years and the middle school math program was scheduled to be replaced four years ago, but as a result of tight budgets and the uncertainty surrounding Common Core, we intentionally delayed it,” Corey said.

Corey said the remaining increase is a result of the district’s continued expansion of its dual enrollment college course program with Southern New Hampshire University. He said Geography, Human Relations and Public Speaking courses will be added, as well as funding for an additional three dual enrollment courses – two music courses and one mathematics course – that are in the approval phase, with textbooks at a cost of 25 books at $125, for a total of $3,125.
Corey said the assessment portion of the budget is level funded at $79,170 and includes money for all testing materials. The budget area called “Improvement of Instruction district wide” is also level funded at $305,000, which he termed a contractual obligation.
“We budget $135,000 at the elementary level, $70,000 at the middle school level and $90,000 at the high school, and $10,000 for district wide employees,” he said. “This budget reimburses professional staff for attendance and completion of coursework, workshops and conferences. The amount of reimbursement is capped at $1,500 for staff to attend workshops and conferences and $2,250 for staff enrolled in an approved Master’s Degree program.”
The “Improve Instruction Curriculum Work” portion is level funded at $54,450, and covers the summer curriculum and ongoing curriculum through the year – $12,200 for the elementary level, $18,500 middle school level and $23,750 for high school.
“Some of the things we anticipate spending the money for this summer are modifications and adjustments to our curriculum toolkits, curriculum map adjustments, six Traits of Writing seminars, Professional Learning communities for both the core team and grade level work, and the new math program at the middle school,” he said. “And we will be looking at our competencies while reviewing exam credit classes at the high school.”
The fourth component is “Improve Instruction through Professional Service Training.”
“This is $52,500 and is an increase of $6,000,” he said. Of that sum, $20,000 goes to the Londonderry Teachers Academy, the district’s in-house training program.
“We also fund $10,000 to our Induction Institute,” he said. “All new teachers in Londonderry for their first two years are required to attend training to better acquaint them with our evaluation system.”
Corey said that with the reduction in federal Title I funds, it was necessary to increase the three professional services lines, elementary, middle and high school, by $2,000 each.
He said the Gifted and Talented portion of the budget was level funded at $23,500. It starts at grade three with testing and proceeds through grades four through eight and includes supplies at $6,000, funds the middle school program with $7,000, and funds dues and fees at $5,000 for memberships, math competitions, Math Olympiad, Thinking Cap Quiz Bowl ant the spelling and geography bees. It also funds Gifted and Talented district wide travel for Destination Imagination at $5,000 and Gifted and Talented transportation for special curriculum personnel mileage between schools at $500.
Board member John Laferriere said that last year Corey had allocated $305,000 for teacher reimbursement, a figure now at $173,000.
Superintendent of Schools Nathan Greenberg said the current figure does not include the full year, and anticipated spending would use the full amount.
Board member Leitha Reilly said she was pleased to see public speaking added to the curriculum, as she thinks it important for young adults going out to the workforce and other areas of life.
Corey said the strategic plan highlighted public speaking.
Corey noted he had spoken with Greenberg and asked if money were left over at the end of the year, he would like it to be used to accelerate the implementation of the math program.
Corey said the proposed FY 15 library budget represents a $10,674 decrease.
“This budget strives to ensure that all students and staff are effective users of ideas, information and technology,” he said. “Our school library media centers provide a comprehensive collection of resources in a wide variety of formats to support curriculum, promote an appreciation of reading and to develop information literacy, communication and technology skills. Additionally, web, video and radio services are managed and provided by this program to ensure effective and timely delivery of information and digital content to the learning community.”
No new positions are recommended. Last year’s budget was $210,896.
Board member John Robinson asked if the district used only iPads, and information technology director Shawn Coe said Nooks were also used.
Reilly asked if the district and the town’s Leach Library worked together, and Corey said that was hard to do, as the Leach Library has lending time limits.

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