Proposed Fiscal Year 2019 School Budget

Dear Residents of Hatfield,

     The following information was presented at the March 14, 2018 School Budget Hearing:

     The overall proposed school budget for fiscal year 2019 is $5,661,605.74. This budget uses a total of $1,208,706.58 in offsets. The offsets include $952,664.47 from school-choice monies, $124,847.54 from federal grants, $84,694.57 from preschool grants and tuition, $24,000 from athletic fees. and $22,500 from circuit breaker reimbursement. After all the offsets are applied, the local appropriation for  Fiscal Year 2019 is $4,452,800. This is the amount that is voted on at Town meeting. This represents a 1.85% increase in local appropriations from fiscal year 2018.  The Town will also receive $832,156 in Chapter 70 state aid next year which is used towards the local appropriations reducing the amount that comes from tax revenue to $3,620,644.16.

     There are currently 435 students enrolled in the Hatfield Public Schools. One hundred and twenty-six (126) or 29% of the students are school-choice. last year's enrollment was 442 students with 126, or 28%, school-choice. While the overall number of students in the school has decreased slightly, the total number of school-choice students remained constant. 

     The Hatfield Public Schools continued to perform better than the State average. The following statistics were presented:

  • 93% of the Class of 2017 enrolled in either a 2 or 4 year college
  • 2017 graduation rate 100%
  • On the ELA 10th grade MCAS Assessment, 96% of the students performed in the proficient or advanced category and 895 of the students performed in the proficient or advanced category.
  • Smith Academy is a level 1 school and the elementary school is a level 2. 
  • Smith Academy's SAT scores in reading were 40 points above the state average and 10 points in math. 
  • Smith Academy was awarded with the 2016 College Board AP District Honor Roll. Only school in Western Massachusetts honored
  • Smith Academy Student Council was awarded Silver Status
  • Smith Academy Band and Jazz Band won Superior Rating in 2016

     The proposed budget meets all the requirements as set forth by federal, state, and local mandates. It provides the necessary professional development, classroom materials, and building maintenance. It reflects the increases in collective bargaining agreements and individual contracts. Most lines are level-funded with only a few modest increases for inflation. 

     Some of the additions in the proposed budget include:

  • Middle School Chorus  $4,653.20
  • A .2FTE keyboarding teacher at the Elementary School  $13,103
  • Replacement of the current Title 1 math paraprofessional position with a .4FTE teacher and a .6 paraprofessional. 

     The savings in the proposed budget include:

  • Projected savings due to retirements  $38,125.75
  • Elimination of a first grade position  $49,365.80

       There are currently 20 students enrolled in Kindergarten with one teacher and one paraprofessional. Next year, there the budget supports having one first grade teacher next year. a fulltime paraprofessional will be assigned to the class next year. The budget will continue to support many of the existing programs in the District next year. Some of these include: The Forest Learning Program, Falcon's Nest, ASL classes, and Virtual High School. The budget also fully funds the current art, music, drama, and sports programs. 

     On March 6th, the proposed budget was presented to the Selectboard and Finance Committees. The School Committee will vote on the budget at it's April 10 meeting. The final budget is approved at the Town meeting on May 8, 2018. Copies of the proposed budget are available in the Superintendent's Office. 

 

Sincerely, 

 

John F. Robert