Tuesday, May 15, 2018 is the Annual Budget Vote & Board Trustee Election, from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Below is the annual letter from Dr. Jason A. Andrews, Superintendent of Schools and Pete Nowacki, Board of Education President. You can see this letter and the entire budget newsletter here
We are pleased to present you with the 2018-2019 spending plan for the Windsor Central School District. As always, it is our goal and challenge to develop a spending plan that is fiscally responsible to our tax payers, in both the short and long term, while maintaining the strong education programs that are important to our students’ success. We continue to utilize a zero-based budget model and have examined all programs with a critical eye to ensure they remain effective and are operated in an efficient manner. We have carefully scrutinized each line of the budget to confirm the proposed spending is necessary and appropriate. We have given great attention to maximize revenues, and are once again not using reserves to balance the budget. This is critical to the long-term financial health of the district.
The goal of this proposed budget is to provide students with a number of diverse programs, giving them many opportunities to continue to grow and be successful. The proposed budget reflects a 2.76% increase in spending. This increase will provide us with additional opportunities to enhance and maintain our strong programming. Among the improvements we are making include the expansion of Mod 11 enrichment and intervention programming in both the Middle School and High School, elementary after-school enrichment programming, Summer Program expansion of opportunities for all grade levels and an upgraded bus camera system to support the safe transport of our students.
We are also asking for your approval to purchase a 6.7-acre parcel of land at 1200 State Route 79 in Windsor, across the street from the High School campus. The total cost of acquisition and demolition would not exceed $115,000. The District intends to use the property as a “land lab”, offering a number of opportunities, including community gardening, enhancing experiential learning opportunities and expanding the Ag in the Classroom Program. The District has also recently appointed a full-time Agriculture Instructor in the High School for the 2018-2019 school year, furthering our effort to provide a robust agricultural career pathway.
The proposed 2018-2019 tax levy reflects a 3.70% increase from the 2017-2018 budget. The tax levy limit requires districts in New York State to apply an eight-step formula to determine the tax levy increase a district can propose. We have applied this formula to determine our proposed tax levy for this proposed budget. Once again, we have stayed within the tax-levy limit. Though the final tax rates will not be known until August, we anticipate that the average homeowner will see a minimal increase to their actual tax bill.
Our students continue to excel. Whether on the athletic fields, in the science lab, or in many of our extra-curricular activities, our students are thriving. The District is expanding its 1:1 Chromebook program, ensuring more students will have their own Chromebook to use during the school year. In addition, a major focus in the District has been the development of career pathways and pipelines, which will be made possible through partnerships with businesses, colleges and universities. Part of this effort is the District’s addition of a full-time Agriculture Instructor in the High School for the 2018-19 school year. Once again, for the 10th consecutive year, we have earned the School Safety Excellence Award (Titanium Level) from Utica National Insurance Company. We are incredibly proud of the success of our students and staff.
We invite all residents to attend a public hearing on Tuesday, May 1, 2018, at 6:00 p.m. in the Windsor Central High School Library to share your thoughts or questions. The District vote will take place on Tuesday, May 15, 2018 from 10:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m.
If you have any questions, we encourage you to contact the superintendent at 607-655-8216 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit our website (www.windsor-csd.org) for more information.
Jason A. Andrews, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools
Board of Education President