This blog post is my personal interpretation and summary of discussions from meetings that I attend and are not official minutes.
In attendance, this evening was Interim Supt. – Bill Ryan, Director of Business & Finance – Frank Antonelli, Asst. Director of Business & Finance – Michael Knight and SC Members – Jeff Kubick, Marlena Gilbert, Stephanie Cronin, Angela Donahue, Alison Manugian and Peter Cronin & Jennifer McKenzie via remote access.
- Destination Imagination Global Field Trip – Destination Imagination allows our students to learn teamwork, creativity, and S.T.E.M learning. Our Grade 5 team will be competing in the Destination Imagination Global Tournament in Knoxville TN from May 23rd to May 28th. The SC approved this trip and wished our 5th-grade team good luck in the competition. It should be noted that all of our GD teams did very well in addition to grade 5 making it to through to the tournament.
- Special Education Transportation – The Business and Finance department requested bids for special education transportation. Van Pool Transportation is the company that came in with the lowest bid. The service references, student commute time, safety requirements and insurance coverage was equivalent to what GD received with Dee Bus however since the cost was lower the change in vendor will be made. GD is not able to entertain any vendors request to match the lowest bid in an official bidding process unless the service or response time is not equivalent, therefore Dee Bus was not able to match the lowest bid to retain the contract with GD. However Van Pool Transportation would consider hiring drivers that currently service our Special Education Students if additional drivers are needed to service the GD account. Parents are encouraged to contact administration with any concerns or questions regarding this change.
- FY18 GDRSD Budget & Assessment Revision – The SC requested that the Interim. Supt. to decrease the budget through savings found in obtaining bids for Insurance, Special Education Transportation and utilizing the money not being used to move Central Office from Prescott in FY18 as the SC has voted to renew our lease at Prescott for a period up to two years. There was a consensus amongst the SC to renew the lease at Prescott for up to two years versus a longer term because it will allow the SC the time needed to review the results of a building utilization review being conducted by The Abrahams Group. With this information, the SC will be able to better determine where the most cost effect & practical location would be for Central Office. The location of Central Office is unlikely to be at Prescott beyond the lease renewal, therefore the relocation expenses would be included in a future school budget. The SC voted to decrease the budget as follows:
FY18 Budget – $39,425,831 (This is a $1,214,926 difference from FY17 – 3.18% increase)
$20,175,864 – Assessment to Groton
$5,949,646 – Assessment to Dunstable
- Capital Plan – The SC was expecting to approval the capital plan after reviewing it at the Budget & Finance Subcommittee and SC Workshop, however, the request to change the inclusion of times $50,000 and $5000 was not complete. This work will be finalized for our next meeting on April 26th in which the SC will approve the Capital Plan at that time as the only reason why they did not approve it last night is because the changes were not complete. The SC wants to include all capital expenses that exceed $5000 in the Capital Plan, they want to give the towns a clear picture of what is an operational and what is a capital expense. The towns can choose which way to fund the capital expenses through Free Cash, Capital Funds, Debt Exclusion etc.
- Town Meeting Presentation – A brief summary report for our GDRSD will be presented at TM by SC/Asst. Supt. Dr. Katie Novak and the budget will be presented by Interim Supt. Bill Ryan & SC Chair. Sharing a report on our District is well overdue and has been requested by many in our community… it is on tap for Spring Town Meeting.