Residents in the Newton Community School District will soon receive the following information pertaining to its Elementary School Boundary and Alignment Study:
"The NCSD Board of Education began its consideration of elementary school boundaries and alignment in August of 2005. The District Improvement Team (DIT), a committee comprised of members of the school staff and community, began a more formal study of this topic in January, 2009.
"The DIT reported its findings to the board at a board meeting Nov. 25, 2009. The board then appointed a subcommittee to advance the study, share information with the public, gather public input, and ultimately develop a recommendation for the board's consideration.
"A persistent and dramatic decline in student enrollment in recent years coupled with significant budget cuts from the state level have forced the board to consider changes in the district. Initial school alignment discussions were focused primarily on school improvements for students and their learning, but recent financial challenges have created an even stronger urgency to consider adjustments to the way educational services are provided to our local girls and boys.
"Please review the information included in this handout and think about what you believe the board should consider when making boundary and alignment decisions in the near future. Thanks for your consideration and involvement!"
Certified Enrollment 1998-2010
- 98-99 - 3,619.2
- 99-00 - 3,557.7
- 00-01 - 3,552.6
- 01-02 - 3,549.6
- 02-03 - 3,458.2
- 03-04 - 3,396.8
- 04-05 - 3,389.2
- 05-06 - 3,396.7
- 06-07 - 3,328.6
- 07-08 - 3,326.5
- 08-09 - 3,267.2
- 09-10 - 3,202.2
> State Per Student Allotment = $5,768
> This year's drop of 65 students equals a reduction of $374,920 in state aid.
> District Certified Enrollment has declined by 417 students in 11 years. Should the current trend continue, next fall's enrollment will be down enarly 500 students over the past 12 years.
> Recent 10% Statewide Cut = $1,527,733 for Newton Community School District
Elementary School Realignment Alternatives and Associated Cost Reductions
Utilize all 5 elementary schools (4 elementary schools & 5th school houses central office, Basics and Beyond Alternative High School, and other district programs)
Reduction = $686,500
Close one elementary school (4 elementary schools remain)
Reduction = $712,000 to $770,000 (depending on which school is closed)
Close one elementary school (4 elementary schools and move central office and Four Oaks (juvenile justice program) to schools)
Reduction = $824,500 to $882,500 (depending on which school is closed)
Close one elementary school (4 elementary schools and move central office, Basics and Beyond, Four Oaks, and other district programs to schools)
Reduction = $864,500 to $922,500 (depending on which school is closed)
The District is still open to other alignment ideas
Other District Cost Reductions (district level, Newton HS, Berg MS)
Reductions or terminations of multiple positions and programs at district level, Newton Senior High School, and Berg Middle School
Reduction = $700,000 to $1,000,000 (depending on total number of cuts)
Total Possible Cost Reductions (Total of All Levels)
Elementary school realignment and reductions or terminations of multiple positions and programs at district level, Newton Senior High School, and Berg Middle School
Total Reduction Range = $1,386,500 to $1,922,500 (depending on total number of cuts)
Total Projected Cost Reduction Target
Decline in State Aid due to enrollment decline and statewide cuts
Total Reduction Range = $2,250,000 to $2,500,000
Given our current local property tax valuation, one additional cent on the school levy will generate $6,412.25. To generate $100,000, the levy would need to be increased by 16 cents.
Upcoming Public Meeting Calendar
Feb. 4th - 6 p.m. - Emerson Hough
Feb. 8th - 7:30 p.m. - Aurora Heights
Feb. 10th - 6 p.m. - Thomas Jefferson
Feb. 16th - 6 p.m. - Woodrow Wilson
Feb. 18th - 6 p.m. - Berg Elementary
In seeking the information pertaining to the Elementary School Boundary and Alignment Study, the Newton Independent asked Superintendent Steve McDermott whether the alternatives presented included any assumptions, such as the retention of the neighborhood school concept or a switch to building level class assignments so that two elementary schools might house kindergarten through third graders and two fourth through sixth graders. He said the alignment alternatives remain to be determined.
"No specific alignment alternative has yet been identified as 'the one,'" McDermott responded by e-mail. "As listed, one is to maintain all five buildings while repurposing one of the five. The others are to close one of the five buildings. Each of these options includes the assumption that somehow our local elementary students will be housed in four buildings rather than five. Beyond that, there are a few varied alternatives that could function well. We remain open to other ideas we may learn of as we discuss all this with our neighbors at the public meetings."
Individuals with thoughts or ideas on the subject may send them to email@example.com