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District weighs merged classes

Nisky’s first budget forum focuses on class size, multi-grade courses

— “We are in a very difficult economic climate and I think everybody realizes that,” said Salvaggio.

In order to help clarify what the tax cap stands for, Salvaggio said she would refer to it as the “tax levy threshold legislation” since it doesn’t hold the perceived 2 percent tax levy cap.

She added reserves couldn’t be used to close the district’s gap because it would empty the account.

After looking at the gap in the budget, she said the district looked at combining classes. The subject came up during last year’s budget talks in March, she said, but some parents expressed there wasn’t enough time to review it.

Budget forums schedule

All forums will be held at 6:30 p.m. at the Van Antwerp Middle School auditorium.

Dec. 20: Administration & Previous budget reductions

Jan. 10: Special Education and support services

Jan. 24: Program and course offerings & Extracurricular activities

Feb. 7: Community use of facilities

Feb. 28: Outsourcing & Shared services

“You’ll notice this year that it is the first item up for discussion,” she said.

A breakdown of the proposed combination classrooms was included during the presentation, with Birchwood Elementary School having three combined classrooms, the most out of the five elementary schools. Birchwood would have one combined class for K-1, 2-3, and 4-5 grade students.

Glencliff and Rosendale elementary schools would have two combined classes each, with Glencliff combining one K-1 and 4-5 classroom and Rosendale combining one 2-3 and one 4-5 classroom. Craig and Hillside elementary schools would have only one combined class each, with Craig combing a 1-2 classroom and Hillside combining a K-1 classroom.

“These are snapshots for today and what we know is that enrollment will change,” said Salvaggio. “We have declining enrollment for next year of about, at the elementary level, of almost 100 students based on real numbers.”

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