There were no community comments to start the meeting last night. Amy Rex gave her superintendent’s report. For the last two years they have been conducting research on new math curriculums and this year new curriculums have been implemented. Open Up Resources by Illustrative Math for K-8 and Math Medic for HS are now being used. Structure has been put in place to support teachers and students through the process of learning the new curriculum. Professional development for teachers is now mostly happening on site in real time and during early release days. This is in keeping with VT Education Quality Standards. The VT AOE, the VT School Safety Center and the VSBA all met to address issues with the state guidance and the model policy for safety preparedness. A new model policy is being drafted and MTSD is up to date on all of its school safety policies. The MTSD Wellness Committee met and is working on a triennial assessment. The results of this will be shared at a future meeting. Amy and Karen Stout attended the VSBA fall conference the theme of which was Supporting Student Success Through School District Governance.
Matt Grasso gave the operations report. They are looking for a school safety app for teachers and community members to have on their phones to inform everyone of an event in real time. The FY25 budget collection process is going smoothly. Chris Taylor facilitated a meeting of the state school construction task force at Herrick Ave last Monday. They will be presenting a presentation to the legislature regarding reinstating the school construction aid program. MTSD is ahead of schedule in finding a new cloud storage company.
The HS principals gave their report last night. Current 10th graders have scored 5 points above the state level in math and 10 points above the state level in ESL. This is much improved from last year’s scores. Construction of the Milton Innovation Center has been put on hold temporarily, but should start up again soon. There have been and are planning to be several mental health trainings for teachers and students. The SEL curriculum has been written for the HS. There are several programs coming up for family engagement and fall sports are in finals competition.
All of the board committees are meeting soon.
Amy and Matt gave a presentation on the new ACT 127 that will change budget factors going forward for the next five years. This is a reboot of the ACT 60 equalization of funding that the state passed several years ago. There will no longer be an equalized pupil number ratio that the state uses to estimate per pupil spending. They will instead use long term average daily membership (ADM) for the number of students attending a given school and then weigh each student based on age, poverty and English language learner status. In addition, each school will be weighted based on size and population density (neither of which apply to MTSD). Based on these new numbers there will be an additional $0.0466 added to the tax rate in Milton without the school budget changing based on FY24 numbers. This new law also outlines a tax cap. If the school budget causes a tax rate hike between 5% and 9.9% then the rate increase is capped at 5%. If the tax rate increase is below 5% then it cannot be capped in future years. If the tax rate increase is above 10% then the state does a review of excess spending and determines if it is legitimate or not. If deemed illegitimate the tax rate is capped at 5% increase. If deemed legitimate it will be allowed to stand. This forces schools to shoot for a tax rate increase of between 5% and 9.9% or be penalized. This also could all change in the next legislative session. Amy is concerned about how this will be perceived by the public.
In discussion items the board discussed and had questions for the teacher organizing the scuba trip to Costa Rica. He explained that they wanted a longer trip this year to get more SCUBA time in as well as other sight seeing and cultural immersion. They decided on the timing because they would get back in plenty of time for the students to study for finals. A lot of thought was put into when and how the trip was organized. They are also willing to do more fundraising for it. The board discussed paying a stipend to members for warned meetings as well as requested events and trainings. There was also discussion on the questions for the upcoming Herrick Ave survey.
There were no public comments at the end of the meeting. The 8th grade Boston trip was approved as well as the Costa Rica SCUBA club trip. Policies approved last night were B40 employee conduct, D4 title I comparability, F20 fiscal management and general fiscal accounting, F23 capitalization of assets, A30 role and adoption of policies.