School Board Discusses Adult Education Grant Proposal and Tight Budget

The April 18 School Board Meeting featured the retirements of three members of the school district and discussion about the funds for the town’s Adult Education program.

After calling the meeting to order, it started with the announcement that three representative within the Londonderry school district were retiring.  Teacher Sara Blanch, Office Assistant Karen Olmstead and Technology Trainer/ Integrationist Jo Oswald have all announced their retirements and the board noted their contributions and the impact they’ve left before moving on with regular business.

Once the board had scheduled future meetings for May and June, committee reports were read off by Carolyn Hill and Mary Wing Soares.

Deliberations over several proposals were next on the list, starting with adult education.  Amity Small, Director of Alternative Education and Assistant Principal at Londonderry High School, proposed the official budget for the adult education program to later be submitted to the New Hampshire Department of Adult Education for approval. The budget would mainly cover the required laptops and ODYSEEWARE licenses, an online educational tool, and the costs of hiring teachers and career guidance counselor, as well as books, supplies and food for the students.  On top of covering employee benefits, the budget would come to $64,355.  The board was quick to approve the budget proposal unanimously.

Next, Peter Curro announced the premium renewal proposal for Workers Comp Insurance and Property/Casualty Insurance.  The District recently had to change carriers because of the demise of their previous carrier, but Curro noted that they have had no issues with their new insurance broker, Davis and Towle.  The renewal premium of general insurance would be virtually the same at $135,000, while the worker’s comp premium would actually decrease from the current premium of $308,430 to $288,702. The board unanimously approved the proposal.

The board then discussed the proposed school board calendar for August 2017 to March 2018.  There were no issues to speak of and the board approved the proposal.

After discussing the School Board Liason’s Committee List, Peter Curro went on to elaborate on the 3rd quarter financial report. Curro was quick to note that the general fund budget is extremely tight at the moment. This can mainly be attributed to winter weather costs, unanticipated costs from Special Education and high elementary school enrollment. There were also concerns over revenue coming in at $44,000 under original projections.

Expenditures, on the other hand, appear on track with the budget.  Salary accounts should produce an estimated savings of $438,000, but benefits should produce an overrun of $350,000.  If all goes according to plan, the expenditure plan should go under budget by roughly $50,000, although some funds may have to come out of the Special Education Trust to cover out-of-district budget overruns.  According to projections, by the end of the fiscal year, the board is expecting to be roughly $45,000 under budget, presuming no more surprises complicate matters. The food service program is also projected to break-even at the end of the fiscal year.

After discussing February and March enrollment reports, the rest of the session was closed to the public so that the board could discuss personnel nominations and leave of absence requests in private, before finally adjourning the meeting.