Grant gives programs a boost in District 30
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“Because of the hard work of our superintendent and our assistant superintendent for curriculum, we are the only Valley Stream elementary district that was fortunate to receive a performance grant,” Rutkoske said. “A lot of this is through efforts of our faculty and staff to leverage grants that are out there.”
Stirling, not resting on his laurels, also is grateful state aid didn’t drop. “That helped us,” he said. “Some districts dropped and some went up. The last piece is we also used some reserves, so our ‘rainy day’ fund has been reduced.”
Planned additions for the 2013 school year include a teacher to support both Academic Intervention Services and enrichment programs, one co-teacher, special education aides, a part-time data support clerk, a technology assistant, a computer aide, school monitors, noon aides and a psychologist. Stirling noted that a parent survey indicated a need for the district to look at the level of supervision at lunch time in order to provide a better social environment for students.
Voters will recall a social worker was cut during last year’s budget process, prompting the Board of Education to call for the creation of a task force. “One of the recommendations was for a psychologist to be added back to the program,” Stirling said. “Funding for this will be from a grant so it’s not impacting the budget for this year,”
Rutkoske spoke to the community about how sacrifices in previous school budgets have helped the district with the proposed spending plan. “Out of the elementary school districts in Valley Stream, we made some very hard choices the last two years, very deep cuts that we are now able to realize some of the benefits for,” she said. “It is a year-to-year stage right now.”
She also spoke about the Capital Reserve Fund, which has been in place since May 2007 when the district first asked voters to approve the establishment of the fund for major repairs as needed. Voters are required to approve the initial establishment of the fund as well as the subsequent use of the money. Last May, voters approved the replacement of the ventilation units at the Shaw Avenue School.