Pre-K, additional teacher, and windows add to the budget


SOUTHWEST PORT – – With the additional articles of and for-K Program, window replacement for every stairwell and a new fifth– –The proposed budget for Fiscal Year 22 for the Pemetic Elementary School is expected to increase by 3.64 percent.

If the increase stays at the total amount currently proposed, it equates to a 1.16 percent increase in city funds, a difference of $ 7.50 per $ 100,000 of property value. Although the school committee has reviewed the budget twice, it has yet to approve and it has to be before Board of Selectmen and W.arrant C.Committee.

Last year, the school budget for Fiscal Year 21 neared its final approval when the novel coronavirus shut down the school and area. and School officials decided not to initiate a pre-K Program. This year, Pre-K is Back on budget of $ 80,000, which is $ 4,500 more than what was originally earmarked for the program. These additional funds are included in the budget to offset an increase in employee salary and performance for the two employees required for the program.

As originally proposed before-K will serve 4-year– –Old people from Southwest Harbor and Tremont spent half a day in the Pemetic Elementary School building. Tremont students are taken to Southwest Harbor by bus.

Replacing the windows in every stairwell in the Pemetic building has been on the school’s to-do list for several years. This was a recommendation that came from a report by Sealander Architects about the school building a few years ago, according to headmistress Rhonda Fortin. This year, $ 65,000 is expected to be withdrawn from the maintenance reserve to perform this upgrade.

Another additional item in the budget is $ 10,000 to investigate what would require renovation work on the entrance to the school building to make it ADA compliant. that was also a recommendation in the study.

In an attempt to support fifth– –Fortin asked to hire a specific teacher for this class. These students are currently in a middle school learning model and have several teachers for different subjects.

“You don’t have dedicated adults for the dedicated group of children;; They kind of go everywhere, ”Julie Meltzer, district curriculum and assessment director, told the Southwest Harbor School Committee during it is January meeting. “It’s not a model that goes well with fifth grade because it takes a lot of executive roles when you go to all of these teachers. “

While members of the school board expressed concern that the new hiring might solve a temporary problem as the fifth grade is one of the largest in the school next year, Meltzer and Fortin stated that the model will continue after that class would and for the age group.

“Fifth graders are socially unwilling to be part of middle school,” Fortin said in an email to the islander. “They need additional time to mature and develop leadership skills.”

Every school in the district has expanded its technology since the pandemic began. Fortin originally proposed adding a part-time technology coordinator to the FY22 budget to support the full-time technology integrator at Pemetic Elementary School. Instead of funding a part-time job at a school, the district developed a collaborative solution.

“The position of coordinator is new and is paid for with ESSER grants,” Fortin stated in an email. ESSER stands for Elementary and Secondary Emergency Relief Funds. “The coordinator will be with Pemetic two days a week, the CES (Conners Emerson School) two days a week and one day for other schools.”

Once the ESSER funding for this position becomes unavailable, the technology coordinator will be a position funded through the district headquarters at a shared cost from each school.

“After all, we wanted the technical support to come from headquarters, which would benefit all buildings, and to have a full-time technology integrator in every building,” Meltzer said. “So, We’re going to hire a person in the district office. Everyone in two years will have a full-time technology integrator and the equivalent of half-time support. It’s a much more effective use of the money and it brings some things out of local budgets and it shows how we can work together. “

Sarah Hinckley covers the cities of Southwest Harbor, Tremont and the neighboring islands. Submit ideas and information about stories to [email protected]

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