Slater Schools approve budget amendments, payroll and payables, bus route

Friday, October 21, 2016

The Slater School Board approved 2016-2017 budget amendments during a school board meeting Thursday evening, Oct. 20.

"The governor has put some cutbacks into our budget," Superintendent Debbie Gonzalez reported. "We funded everything again . . . but we've taken a very conservative approach."

Federal funding remains about the same as last year. Teacher and staff salaries are scheduled to increase 1.73 percent across the board, and health benefits will also increase by 1.034 percent.

During the financial report, Gonzalez listed $316,403.48 as expenses through the end of September, with that total being a little high but still looking good as compared to last year. The closing balance for the end of the month was $1,272,440.72.

The board also approved payroll and payables of approximately $320,000 and an unchanged 54-mile bus route. Bullying and hazing policy updates were tabled until the next board meeting for more time to review changes.

Gonzalez informed the board of district-wide updates, including a visit from Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning, or HVAC, who will be sending their report findings soon. Other district news included the door and intercom system project near completion, new handrails installed in front of the high school and the finalization of the elementary computer lab.

During the preschool report, Pre-K Teacher and Early Childhood Administrator Cheryl Willis reported that 18 students are enrolled with seven students on the waiting list.

For elementary through junior high, 247 students are enrolled, which is an increase from last month, with attendance well above 90 percent, according to Elementary and Junior High School Principal Becky Drummond.

Drummond also commented on "Careers for Years" success during her report.

"Our teachers put in a tremendous amount of work to help get that prepared in a very short time," Drummond said. "We were very pleased with the turnout we had."

Approximately 140 students, pre-kindergarden through high school, attended along with their families during the district-wide career event.

High School Principal Jessica Clements announced a high school enrollment of 127 with average attendance of 94.3 percent. The high school student council raised $103 through their "Duct Tape a Teacher to the Wall" project, where proceeds benefited breast cancer awareness. The Pink-Out committee also raised over $2,300 to donate to the Fitzgibbon Foundation to be used toward a 3D mammography machine.

District counselor Janell Castle said she has been busy with seniors and their college prep, and created a handbook as a sort of tool and guideline for seniors as they near graduation.

Two separate presentations were given at the meeting as well. Two students, members of the school's "Safety Patrol," shared their job duties -- helping students safely cross intersections -- and requirements of being a member of the patrol -- be in good standing, respectful, responsible, have good grades, and are expected to express good citizenship.

"They do a very nice job," Gonzalez noted. "They are out there in nice weather, as well as bad weather, and they are always smiling."

The second presentation was by high school students in a business management class. Two groups of three students presented their projects, in which they had to make and design their own candy bars, including a commercial and presentation.

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