Budget Public Input

Published 4:02 pm Thursday, December 8, 2011

CUMBERLAND – It's the end of the year and it's also the time when the real budget work kicks into high gear in counties across the area and that's just what is happening at Cumberland County Public Schools.

To begin, the school administration will be seeking budget input at the School Board meeting on Monday evening.

The meeting will start at 7 p.m. and there will be a public input session slated just for the 2012-2012 fiscal year school budget.

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The Superintendent, Dr. Amy Griffin, will be soliciting budget input from the community and School Board members during this meeting.

The Central Office administration team kicked off its budget work with three community outreach meetings on November 29, November 30, and December 1.

Those meetings were held in three different locations throughout Cumberland as a way for the public to offer suggestions to the school system related to the budget and to hear presentations from each school's principal.

Questions answered during those meetings were related to topics such as Cortez math labs, mentoring for gifted students, and the implementation of the senior project program, Governor's School, and field trips, according to information provided.

Fifth Grade Reconfiguration

Also during the School Board meeting on Monday, the Board members will be making their final decision on the reconfiguration of grades at the Cumberland Elementary School.

Earlier this fall, Dr. Griffin proposed to the Board the possibility of moving the fifth grade to the Middle School Complex, where there are empty classrooms, as a way to get students out of the mobile units that are housed behind the elementary school building as a safety measure.

There are over 700 students at the elementary school and this reconfiguration would also alleviate space issues at the school. “In this proposal, fifth and sixth grade would be housed downstairs on this bottom level,” noted Dr. Griffin about the Middle School. “Seventh and eighth grade would be upstairs.”

This proposal would allow the second grade to move inside the Elementary School and students would not be in mobile units.

“I think it's a more safe and secure environment for all of the students within the school division,” said Dr. Griffin to the Board when she originally made the proposal. “We would also sell the mobile units for a one-time cost and we would be saving in utilities long-term. The mobile units are also starting to deteriorate. They've been out there almost since the school was built in 1996…They have some age on them now and they are starting to deteriorate and when it rains it rains right through the middle of the mobile units…”

The reconfiguration idea has been open for public comment since the proposal was originally brought forward by the administration.

The final decision will be made next week.

The reconfiguration would go into effect in August for the upcoming school year.