BOE sets workshop schedule; reinstates middle school sports

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TAYLOR MURCHISON-GALLAGHER

STAFF WRITER

The Plainville Board of Education held their final meeting of 2019 on Monday, Dec. 16, where they were asked to vote on the budget meeting calendar and the proposed capital improvement budget plan.

Sam Adlerstein, the Plainville Community Schools director of business and operations, updated the board on the budget development process, before the board voted on the proposed budget meeting calendar.

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At a previous BOE meeting, Superintendent Steven LePage explained that the budget process begins in late August and early September. The first public meeting in the process will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 7 at 6 p.m. in the Plainville Public Library conference room at 56 E Main St., when the BOE and Town Council will meet jointly.

Adlerstein said the first look at the Superintendent’s budget draft will be during the budget development meetings on Tuesday, Jan. 21, Thursday, Jan. 23, and Monday, Jan. 27. All three meetings will be held at 7 p.m. in the Plainville High School Learning Commons.

“Those three budget workshops are a great opportunity for folks to come out and really learn a lot about the district budget,” said Adlerstein. “The board typically asks a lot of good questions, and we really go through it with a fine toothed comb, working toward a budget that really meets the student needs in an efficient and effective manner as possible.”

The budget meeting schedule was unanimously approved by the board.

Adlerstein shared that the initial proposal for the 2020-21 capital improvement budget totaled $682,400. This consists of a request of $326,000 for facility improvements and work, and $356,400 for technology. This total is subject to change as the town council will make a final approval later in the spring before the budget is brought in front of voters at the referendum.

The business director used the capital improvement budget that is currently in place to explain the process. At this time last year, the BOE had put forth a total capital improvement budget of $566,935. It was reduced by the town manager’s office and the town council, until it was approved by the residents of Plainville during the referendum at a total of $310,473 ($31,250 for facilities, and $279,223 for technology).

Adlerstein explained that the 2020-21 initial request contains many of the items from previous facilities capital budgets that were not approved or were not able to occur due to the final budget approval.

“Technology, not quite as much reduction—I know Kevin Ross [Plainville IT Director] has really worked to perfect his rotational technology plan that supports the curriculum the best we can,” said Adlerstein. “He’s really gone a long way toward perfecting that, where right now Mr. Ross proposes a technology plan that’s fairly level year to year, that rotates needs and equipment in and out, and the idea is that if we stay caught up there won’t be any one big need in any one year.”

The capital improvement budget initial proposal of $682,400 was unanimously approved.

During last year’s budget season spring sports at the Middle School of Plainville was cut due to budget reductions.

Previously, LePage had explained that the cut was intentional, as it would allow for creative fundraising efforts in order to fund the programs.

In November, a 5K road race was held where about $8,000 was initially raised.

LePage said that the total money raised had increased following the race, bringing the total amount raised to about $9,400. Due to fundraising efforts and some budget reallocations, LePage announced that spring sports have officially been reinstated.

Chairperson Becky Tyrrell explained that due to a special meeting held in November, the BOE would be restructuring the board subcommittees and that the change would go into effect in January 2020. The subcommittees will now consist of a combined facilities and finance subcommittee, a policy subcommittee, an outreach subcommittee, and a curriculum subcommittee.

To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Taylor Murchison-Gallagher, email her at TMurchison@PlainvilleObserver.com.