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2016-2017 Budget Overview

Nottingham School District

Budget Drivers Overview and Information

2016-2017

Vision Statement

The vision of Nottingham School is to establish and maintain an alliance among the school and community, which will continually adapt to new situations by improving the education offered to our students in order to prepare them for the ever-changing challenges of life.

 Mission Statement

Nottingham School provides a challenging academic environment in which students experience a sense of belonging and attain academic excellence and social success.


This document hopes to provide you with a brief overview of the “Budget Drivers” proposed Nottingham School District Budget for the 2016-2017 school year.  A direct focus on academic excellence and educating the whole child are key components to several aspects of the budget including professional development, technology, capital improvements, and personnel, as avenues to access and implement a quality education around the Common Core State Standards and our Response to Instruction programs. 

 

Each child in our community and in our school deserves to be healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged; academically, socially, emotionally, and physically.  Teaching to the whole child embodies our mission as a school to provide a sense of belonging, combined with academic and social success.  In addition to the social and emotional health of our students, we must continue to focus on the academic rigor that has been reinforced by the adoption of the Common Core State Standards.  This state-led initiative established a single set of clear educational standards for kindergarten through 12th grade in English Language Arts and Mathematics that states voluntarily adopted. The standards are designed to ensure that students graduating from high school are college and career ready by focusing not only on content acquisition, but the ability to think logically, perform multi-step operations and problem solve at the highest level.  To ensure that our students are ready for the 21st century and beyond, we must strive to educate them in a manner that embraces the latest 21st century practices.  This means access to highly trained personnel, appropriate materials, and current technology is a priority.  Our world is a much smaller place than it used to be, and with the help of highly trained staff, updated learning materials (textbooks, workbooks, etc.) and technology, our students can reach across the state, country, and the globe to work with experts or other students, at the click of a button.  Collaborative learning and multi-media presentations no longer mean what they did even 10 years ago.  The power of modern education assisted by current technology allows our students to collaborate with experts in the field, on problem based learning exercises in a real world fashion with authentic assessments. 

 

As a result, a few key aspects in the budget proposal focus on improvement of instruction, personnel, reading materials, and technology.  The information below highlights some of the proposed budget requests specific to Nottingham School:


 

I.            Technology – New Equipment                                                                       ($19,541.00)

The Nottingham School District Technology Plan of 2014-2017 outlines the needs and steps to bring our school in line with regard to 21st century skills and current statewide standards and assessment practices.  Currently the Nottingham community has supported the acquisition of new technologies, specifically around the use of Google Chromebooks, Tablets, and Interactive White Boards.  As we move toward a “1:1” culture we must continue to provide the training and tools to help students be college and career ready.  Technology can no longer be thought of as an additional subject to be taught or added to the “plate” of our students and teachers.  It is the “plate” that can support our school’s curriculum, instruction, and assessments.   The Common Core State Standards, New Hampshire’s Competency Based Education laws, and the State’s Assessment programs, support the collaborative methods of instruction and assessment that are key to college and career readiness and make use of the connective technologies we have employed.  The use of collaborative software, such as Google Drive and Google Classroom, allows for multimedia projects (such as videos, interactive white board presentations, and STEM related projects) to be done across disciplines and classrooms.  These technology based projects replace traditional posters and dioramas and in addition, the use of technology to assess students, both in the classroom and school wide, will give our staff quicker feedback on which to construct lessons and supports to better meet the needs of our students.  This budget proposal includes 50 Chromebooks, and 2 computer carts, printers.  This will bring us to a 2:1 student to computer/device ratio.

 

II.            Improvement of Instruction                                                                            ($19,500.00)

Professional Development Funds

 

There are two areas specifically highlighted, as they directly relate to the improvement of instruction and assessment and our building and district goals.  Next year we will begin to move toward Competency Based Education, learn to use a new English/Language Arts program, and continue to improve our use of technology.  The proposed funds will be used to support stipends for summer work ($14,500.00) and In-Service Training ($5000.00) to support our school building and district initiatives.  Recently staff used these funds to work as teaching teams to revise units of instruction, align curriculum to the Common Core, as well as to learn to utilize new technologies in the classroom to support curriculum, instruction, and assessment.  This work is invaluable, and with limited time during the school year, Summer time becomes an important part of our work year.  With the acquisition of new technologies, textbooks, and programs, as well as new state mandated initiatives, we need to provide our staff the time and resources to ensure their quality use and implementation.  Some of the results of this work are evidenced by the use of “Google Classroom” as an instructional tool and our new school and teacher websites. 

 

III.            Improvement of Instruction  - Warrant Article                                            ($50,000.00)

Purchasing a new English/Language Arts Program                                      

Reading and Writing (ELA/Literacy) is arguably the most important thing we teach in our school.  Problem solving and other higher order “thinking skills” are focused on along with the other “R’s”, however, the ability to read and write are gateway skills that allow the other disciplines to be learned and skills to be acquired.  It is also one of the more difficult skills for the human brain to learn.  In order to do this we must marry best practices of instruction and interventions with the best materials we can to support our ELA curriculum.  To that end, our School Board has adopted policies and endorsed procedures that allow us to review, analyze and purchase new curriculum related materials on an annual basis.  This schedule of review and analysis (each discipline or instructional area are reviewed every 6 years) will allow us to budget more efficiently and have a replacement program, if needed, which is both educationally and fiscally responsible. Currently we have a committee of teachers and administrators meeting to review and evaluate our ELA curriculum and make recommendations for materials to adopt next year.  The last time this occurred was 8 years ago, prior to the current state mandated testing and standards.  We are proposing a two year phase in for grades K-6, at approximately $50,000.00 per year.


 

IV.            Personnel – 1 Regular Education Paraprofessional                                       ($28,020.00)

By virtue of being the first “formal” levels of education, kindergarten and primary grade students arrive to school at a wide variety of academic, social, emotional, and behavioral levels.  This poses unique challenges to instruction, assessment, and socialization.  Best practices dictate that we educate these children with techniques that are often times delivered in small groups, and with a higher teacher to student ratio.  Also, many of the students entering kindergarten and the primary grades have not been evaluated to qualify for additional support under Special Education criteria.  As it is early in their education careers, and as part of our Response to Intervention program, Special Education testing doesn’t occur until the latter part of our intervention strategies, if needed.  It is common then, for kindergarten and the primary grades (k-3), to share regular education paraprofessionals to help deliver services and assist students with their academic, social, and emotional growth.  Currently we do not have a regular education paraprofessional.  In our school we do have a number of students who are involved in programs that require discrete trials, consistent observations and monitoring, as well as behavioral interventions when necessary.  In order to meet the needs of our current students, and those projected to arrive next year, this proposal includes one regular education paraprofessionals to assist in our K-3 classrooms.  The position is budgeted at a PII/step 5 in the contract, for a total salary of $16,020, FICA $1,239, Health $10,266.52, dental $272 and LTD $40.56.

 

V.            Personnel – K-4 Guidance Position to from 80% to 100%                              ($9,931.00)

In 2007, Nottingham School added a part-time School Counselor position at the rate of 20%. This position introduced the ASCA (American School Counselor Association) framework to Nottingham School by designing and implementing a comprehensive guidance curriculum for grades K-3. In 2009, Nottingham School increased this position to 80% though grant funds, and increased the curricular efforts to K-4, as well as implemented an RtI Behavioral Framework component at the elementary age. In 2011, this position was funded by the school budget, and we continue to have an 80% School Counselor in grades K-4.

The position of School Counselor has changed in recent years due to ASCA guidelines, student needs, special education, and school specific responsibilities.  Our guidance counselors are more than traditional academic based counselors.  They are teaching counselors, working to ensure that students are ready to learn.  They address the social, emotional, and behavioral needs as well as students’ academic needs.  As you can see by the chart below, the role and responsibility has increased significantly since 2007.  The current proposal would allow us to increase the Elementary School Counselor position from 80%-100% (full time) starting in September 2016. That would provide a full time School Counselor in grades K-4, as well as a full time School Counselor in grades 5-8.

 

2007-2009

(20% position)

2009-2014

(80% position)

2014-Present (80%position)

Caseload of approx 200 students

Caseload of approx 260 students

Caseload of approx 260

Designed and taught 30 min. guidance lessons in grades K-4

Designed and taught 45 min. guidance lessons in grades K-4

Design and teach 1 hour guidance lessons in grades K-4

Co-Chair of Child Study Team K-4

Co-Chair of Child Study Team K-4

Special Ed service provider for counseling/behavioral goals

Special Ed service provider for counseling/behavioral goals (Currently servicing 15 IEP’s)

Group counseling/lunch bunches

Group counseling/lunch bunches

RtI Behavior: behavior consults, observations, plans, and interventions

RtI Behavior: behavior consults, observations, plans, and interventions

504 Coordinator for K-4: 504 Referral through plan implementation process.

Provide behavior and  other 504 based interventions as part of the behavioral team

Homeless Liaison K-4

Co-treatment team with OT and Speech

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Chris Sousa,
Jan 27, 2016, 12:44 PM