Originally published in Island Ad-Vantages, May 18, 2017
CSD 13 board approves budget
Down 3.3 percent
by Monique Labbe
CSD 13 board members approved a $6,252,846 budget for the 2017-18 school year on May 11. That budget is a 3.3-percent decrease from the 2016-17 budget.
In a superintendent’s memo handed out at the meeting, Union 76 Superintendent Chris Elkington listed ways the budget would benefit students. Some of those included the reallocation of funds for a facilities study so the district could develop a plan for future building needs, and the emphasis and support of increased supervision and evaluation of teaching staff, which Elkington noted is the “best way to improve the instruction and learning opportunities our children receive.”
Elkington said the budget “listens to our community” by adding back a social studies position in grades 7-12. In the first version of the budget, that position had been eliminated with the idea that one teacher would teach grades 5-12. Terry Seibert currently holds that position.
The budget eliminates the teaching contract of Leslie Billings as the Deer Isle-Stonington High School math teacher; however, Billings will move to the elementary school to teach the same subject. The English and Language Arts position at the elementary school has also been eliminated, with the idea that other teachers will fill in the gaps.
The restructuring of positions allows the staff and students to prepare to move toward a K-12 model that has been discussed throughout the budget process.
“It starts to look at building a new culture, based on looking at ourselves as a K-12 school, where students will start to support other students and staff will support each other,” Elkington said in his report.
Two public review meetings have been scheduled for discussions pertaining to the budget. Those meetings are 5:30 p.m. on May 25 in the DISHS cafeteria and 5:30 p.m. on June 1 at the Reach Performing Arts Center.
The district budget meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. on June 5 in the DISHS gym.