Mascenic

School budget stays flat, $100,000 below the default

Administrators call for more resources for math curriculum

  • The Mascenic School District held it's Deliberative Session at the high school on Saturday and the budget had a zero percent increase.
  • The Mascenic School District held it's Deliberative Session at the high school on Saturday and the budget had a zero percent increase.
  • School Board member Earl Somero of New Ipswich discusses health insurance for teachers at the Mascenic Deliberative Session on Saturday morning.
  • The Mascenic School District held it's Deliberative Session at the high school on Saturday and the budget had a zero percent increase.
  • The Mascenic School District held it's Deliberative Session at the high school on Saturday and the budget had a zero percent increase.

NEW IPSWICH — The School Board for the Mascenic School District brought forward a proposed budget of $17,863,771, with a zero percent increase over last year’s budget at Saturday’s deliberative session.

The proposed budget is $106,278 below the default budget of $17,970,049. The focus with this year’s budget was improving students’ understanding of math, since the school district is below the state average in math scores, School Board Chair Jeff Salmonson said at the deliberative session on Saturday.

“If you don’t use it, you lose it,” Salmonson said Saturday, regarding math.

The plan to improve math scores includes hiring one full-time math teacher at the high school, hiring a part-time math coach funded by grant money to work with all Mascenic schools, ensuring a year-long math course with supplemental math labs at the high school, and more access to math software for students in elementary and middle school, Salmonson said.

To compensate for these increases, Salmonson said the proposed budget eliminates two special education teachers, the director of guidance counseling and one full-time librarian reduced to part-time.

Chad Gibson of New Ipswich asked the board and administration what their plans were to improve math programs at the elementary and middle school. Supt. Ruthann Goguen responded and said that the board organized a new design team, one team for the elementary school and one for the middle school, comprised of teachers. Goguen said the teams will work with administration and gather information regarding math learning, curriculum alignment and achievement in math. The teams will work together and their gathered information will eventually help aw design team that will create a plan to improve math education in the early school years.

Among the 20 or more people in attendance at the deliberative on Saturday, some of the concerns raised at the session included health insurance coverage for teachers.

Mark Krook of New Ipswich asked if the school will continue to cover health insurance for all teachers, whether or not Obamacare is appealed. Board member Tara Sousa responded and said that all teachers will receive health insurance, regardless of Obamacare.

Krook said his concern came from his knowledge that town employees receive health insurance, with 75-percent paid by the town and 25-percent they pay themselves, Krook said in an interview Monday. He said Sousa could not say for certain on Saturday what percentage of the cost of health insurance teachers would pay versus what the district would pay.

Lindsey Arceci can be reached at 924-7172, ext. 232, or larceci@ledgertranscript.com.

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