I would like to let my subscribers know that I will not be attending the upcoming joint Groton Fin Com, Groton BOS and G-D School Committee meeting on Saturday – February 27, 2016 at the town hall.

On the agenda are joint discussions on to the FY17 school budget as well as discussions on the FY17 municipal budget.

The agenda is listed at this link:  Joint Meeting Agenda

I would recommend you attend or watch the television meeting on TV.





In attendance tonight the Director of Business and Finance – Jared Stanton, Superintendent – Dr. Kristan Rodriguez.school committee members Leslie Lathrop, Jon Sjoberg, Peter Cronin, Jennifer McKenzie, Stephanie Cronin, Alison Manugian and, Jeff Kubick.

  • Friends of Prescott provided a presentation to the SC in request for a support letter – Chairman Mary Jennings presented     CLICK HERE FOR FRIENDS OF PRESCOTT WEBSITE
    • The goal of Friends of Prescott is to preserve the Prescott building as a historic building for the community. Friends of Prescott applied for a grant to make some improvements to the building to make it handicap accessible and to bring it up to code. They have sought after letters of support from various organizations for this grant and would like one from the SC.    I am pleased to report that the SC unanimously voted to provide a letter of support to the Friends of Prescott.
  • Reports from Superintendent providing an update on superintendent smart goals approved by SC. All goals were met if not surpassed. The presentation will be added to the blog tomorrow. 
  • Draft School Calendar 2016-2017 
    • Stephanie Cronin was pushing for having 1/2 day curriculum days to be on Fridays. Contractually it may be a challenge however the Association has been working with the administration.  Hopefully they can make this happen as I know it would be beneficial for many families.  
    • Discussion on drafting/design of the calendar was discussed.  I am sorry but spending more than 10 minutes on this discussion is torturous never mind the 40 minutes.  I do not know why the “calendar group” was not given the power to choose a design. I can definitely see the SC discussing what holidays to observe and the scheduling of school vacation. But do we really need a board of seven people to discuss the use color code or shading/shapes to designate curriculum days and where to list observed holiday on the side/back or bottom.    
  • FY 2017 Budget discussions took place this evening. Topics included…
    • Vote to approve school budget will be March 9, 2016.
    • SC & Superintendent are on the agenda for the upcoming Saturday Fin Com Meeting. Agenda can be found here: February 27, 2016 agenda
    • SC discussed various options available to them pertaining to the school budget.  Including but not limited to calling for a Super Town meeting.  It is DLS’ legal opinion if the recertified budget is contingent upon the passage of an override that the regional school district may call a district wide meeting without waiting for the contingency to be resolved. If the majority of the district voters present approve the district budget, it becomes effective. Chapter 71/section 16B – DOR    (page 2 first paragraph) This is an option that is being researched by the SC as well as all others available to them. I think that the SC should do their due diligence to make sure that they are well versed in all of the options available to them so they can be knowledgeable, confident and therefore more successful when advocating for our children; as this is an option that has never been considered.                                                                                                                                                                               For those in the community that have faulted the SC for not either asking for or fighting for the appropriate amount of funds for our schools in years past….  they are now.  

Meeting adjourned roughly at 9:30pm





In attendance is Stephanie Cronin, Leslie Lathrop, Peter Cronin, Jeff Kubick, Director of Business & Finance – Jared Stanton, Asst Superintendent – Dr. Katie Novak and Superintendent – Dr. Kristan Rodriguez.



Tracy Novice – January 29th – Budgets are moral documents. What we fund is what we value. 

Data was shared from the Future Search gathering that took place the end of January. This was a collection of 80 stake holders from various groups in the community that took a weekend out of their schedule to shared ideas, goals and opinions.

Future Search shares what our community is proud of:

  • District Peformance
  • Existing FacultyStaff
  • Current Administration
  • Parents/Community
  • Student

Future Search shares what the community is sorry about:

  • Cuts to Staffing And programming
  • School Finances
  • Socia,/Emotional Needs of Students
  • Meeting The needs of All students
  • Outside Factors Impeding District Focus.

She included the needs assessment findings.

You can watch the video here – {NEEDS ASSESSMENT VIDEO CLICK HERE}



Budget Drivers 

  • Staffing
  • Instructional Supplies
  • Professional Development Funds

Two items will always be a driver and they are in FY17.

  1. Collective bargaining Agreements (Salaires, Steps, Lanes)
  2. Increased to Benefits Cost (GIC)

Budget Assumptions

  • Current Salaries: Actual Contractual Increases
  • Heath Insurance Costs: The assumed 9% increase is based on General Heath Is Cost as well as last years overall increase of 9.2%
  • Dental Insurance Costs: The Assumed 2.5% increase is based on a five year mean of actuals.
  • Debt Schedule: The debt schedule represents actual amounts.
  • Utilities Costs: The Assumed 5 years of actuals and recent rate trends
  • Revenue Projections: Based on Governors’ Recommend Budget.

Budget Savings

  • New print management Contract – $15000 savings per year
  • New Website: $6000 savings per year
  • Van for the PAVE Program: 26000 savin per year
  • Installation of Hand Dryers: $5000+ savings per year
  • Smart Valves for Urinals: $600 savings per urinal or up to 40,000 gallons
  • Professional Development: up to $30,000 per year
    • Trading PD with leading expert in PBIS: $12500
    • 10 speaking engagements with other school districts: $10000
    • 2 graduate courses for free: $6000
  • Groton Electric LED Light Savings
  • Competitie Grant Funding Pilot Mandarin Program
  • Fellowship Savings on Pilot Co-Teaching Model.



Groton would be responsible for approximately 78%

Dunstable would be responsible for approximately 22%


FY2007 – approximately $865,000

FY 2016 – approximately $750,000


FY 2015 only 30% of overall cost was funded by the state



Wednesday, February 10th
7:00 – 9:30 PM – G/D High School Library

All community members are urged to attend. 

The G/D School Committee will conduct their budget hearing which will provide the monetary costs required to fund the needs assessment.
This is the public’s chance to ask questions, share your support and express any concerns.  You may also provide feedback to the school committee through emailing your school committee chair at jkubick@gdrsd.org