Walpole Site Base Committee Minutes – 1/4/22

Thanks to Mr. Cassarino we have more information from the Walpole Schools. This group meets monthly so that staff and community can discuss and share topics of interest to all. – Lil

Walpole Site Base 1/4/23

I. Forum/Approval of Minutes:

● Minutes reviewed/accepted

II. Old Business

● Budget was presented to the School Board.

● Building updates were given in November. 

Superintendent Search

● Committee has been formed and has been meeting regularly.

● Applications are in front of the committee for review.

● We have developed a job posting and the tools for evaluating candidates.

        Safe Grants for Building Security: 

● We have received grant monies to do the following: 

● WPS–$51,100

*New interior doors, locks, film for outside windows

● NWS—$74,475

*new doors, locks, film for outside windows, alert lights

● WES–$45,175 

*locks and film for windows 

Grand Total– $170,750

*These projects start spring and/or summer

Budget Committee Proposals

● The group did a very thorough job looking at allocated funds, very involved and very committed to looking at the budget 

● Admin Budget proposal::  $33,546,492.97 with a decrease of $302, 836.18:  0.89% 

● Budget Committee proposal: $32,853, 492.97, representing an additional $995,836.18  decrease or 2.94%

● Budget CommitteeCuts:  $588,000 of teachers (3 CAA, 2 FMRsD, 2 WAA, 1 AAA)

● Specifically Walpole would cut one from NWS and combine for 1 2/ 3 grade,  1 second, 1 third grade and 1 combo 2/3 grade

● The Other Recommendations—6-8, cut  1 math teacher, or reduce WES to 1 ELA teacher 

● Reasoning: There is a decline in enrollment  that merits these recommendations from the Budget Committee.

Further Recommendations: 

● $100,000 should be reduced from the para line —-the unfilled positions could be eliminated  district wide 

● $33, 000 central office cuts 

● $28,000 put back into the budget—for student needs–$20 per student in each classroom to offset the personal monies spent by teachers on classroom supplies.

Questions from Community Guests/Site Base Team to Mr. Cassarino and Mr. Varone 

● Do we need to take this advice from the committee? No, they can’t insist on these cuts, they can give the final numbers

● Combination grades were questioned.

● Was there research on combination grades? Mr. Varone mentioned 30 years of Langdon’s efforts in this area. Mrs. Rowe said it went well.  Mr. Varone mentioned the drop in population. Justin agrees that we need to develop a long term plan. 

● Justin mentioned the double math blocks that have changed test scores positively at WES.  

● Walpole test scores are above the state scores and can we really look at what we are doing. It was mentioned that Walpole is above the district and state average. Why aren’t we looking at how this was accomplished? 

● One campus possibility? We should really look at that and make a long plan. 

● Question about state ratios for classes, and have these data points been looked at. Mr. Varone mentioned the changing grade combinations in Acworth and Langdon. 

● A discussion ensued about how students are broken up into class groupings. 

● Has the budget committee looked at student opinions? This has not happened.

● Question about the intention of the budget cuts. Are these strategic decisions? 

● Mr. Varone explains the origins of the budget committee and the idea of balancing the interest of the community.  35%-40%.  

● A lively discussion continued about Walpole’s ability to manage their own tax dollars. Mr. Varone explained how the apportionment works and the possibilities of managing our own tax dollars in other words what it would take. 

● Mr. Varone explained that the budget committee looked at the bottom line. 

● Nancy LeClair, Chairperson,  mentioned how  the Site Base needs to get the information out to all community members.

● It was  mentioned to possibly look at sports as a possible cut. 

● What are the next steps?

○ We need to get this information out there.

○ Site Base will  write a letter to the School Board suggesting that a reasonable 3-5 year plan needs to be developed rather than random cuts.

○ January 9th is the next School Board meeting. (This meeting will take place in Walpole).

○ Letter committee: Alejandra Pallais, Carolyn LeBail and Justin Cassarino. Thank you to this group for volunteering. 

○ Thank you to Mr. Varone for his willingness to come to our meeting and address questions. 

III. New Business–none

IV. Other Business–none:  

Adjourned:  7:30 PM       Next Meeting: February 1, 2023, 6:00 P.M.   

School Board Meeting: January 9, 2023

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