Quick Notes from the Board Meeting
At the Board of Education meeting held on Thursday, October 22, 2015, the board:
The Board heard an update from Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum Tim Reilly. Highlights included 22 teachers and 2,500 students taking advantage of the Gizmos online simulations that allow students to manipulate data looking at complex problems like how an increase in rainfall can impact certain region’s animal population and other university-level problems; an upcoming visit and professional development sessions led by Greg Duncan who is recognized worldwide for his expertise in language instruction and teacher training. Both the Gizmos program and the training in language instruction were obtained by grants. Mr. Reilly also highlighted this month’s asset of internet safety including student lessons about the moral use of technology in a digital age.
The Board authorized district administration to submit two proposals for auditing services. The first proposal is for a financial statement audit for the three fiscal years ending June 30, 2016, 2017 and 2018. The second proposal is for an agreed upon procedures audit to examine the use of building bond proceeds verifying all transactions from both the Capital Projects Fund and the Fire Prevention and Safety Fund from fiscal year 2006 to present. This audit will include a complete and comprehensive examination and accounting of the use of the bond proceeds and investment earnings from three bond issues dated May 8, 2006, February 1, 2007 and December 1, 2009, covering fiscal year 2006 through present.
The Board approved posting on the district website the 2015 tax levy proposal of $77,475,383.56 – which is 4.24 % higher than the actual tax extension received in 2014. For individual taxpayers, any potential tax increase is capped by the CPI (Consumer Price Index) of 0.8 percent. For taxpayers, the estimated 2015 tax rate is 2.1501 per $100 of EAV (equalized assessed valuation). Since the proposed levy is less than 5 percent, a public hearing is not required. However the proposal is posted on the district website for public view and will come back to the Board in December for formal adoption.
- The Board heard an update from Director of Technology Dr. Brian Murphy regarding an assessment of the district’s current technology equipment and solutions to address future needs. Dr. Murphy’s report noted that four years ago, the district replaced 700 desktop computers which have life expectancies of 8-11 years and has refurbished as many computers as possible bringing them up to current standards to meet student need. Additionally, classroom teachers are using 460 laptops and projectors in each room as well as a large number of iPads on carts for student use. A few years ago, the district upgraded its bandwidth and wireless capabilities.