Granby " E. Grand schools adopt $13.2 million budget for next school year |

Granby " E. Grand schools adopt $13.2 million budget for next school year

Will Bublitz
Sky-Hi Daily News

Budgets and building projects dominated the Tuesday, June 3, meeting of the East Grand Board of Education.

By a unanimous vote, the board approved the school district’s budget for the 2008-09 school year. Tuesday’s vote took care of next year’s budget in advance of the June 30 deadline for its approval.

Next school year’s budget is a balanced one by a razor-thin margin. In presenting the $13,268,013 budget, Superintendent Robb Rankin said it was in the “black” by a total of $437.

“It’s tight,” he said. “We’ve gone over it with a fine-toothed comb.”

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The budget for the 2008-09 school year is based upon a projected enrollment increase of 3.3 percent for full-time equivalent students (FTE). This school year, the district had an official head count of 1,331.5 FTE. Next fall, the district anticipates enrollment growth to reach 1,375.5 FTE.

In preparing next year’s budget, the district had to sustain the five additional teaching positions added last fall when the district experienced a large jump in its enrollment.

The five positions, which are now included in the 2008-09 budget are kindergarten, fourth-grade and special education teachers at Granby Elementary, and an English Language Learner teacher and three paraprofessionals (equivalent of one full-time teacher’s salary) at East Grand Middle School.

Included in the budget is the hiring of a fifth teacher for Grand Lake Elementary. That teacher will assist that school’s two combined class teachers in instructing students in core subjects such as reading, writing and math.

The school board also approved the supplemental budget for the current school year.

When Rankin presented the bond “premium” projects, the board approved all of his recommendations except one. He had proposed the installation of a large climbing wall in the second gym under construction at Middle Park High School. The climbing wall, which would have been used for physical education classes as well as being open to the public, had a price tag of $81,265.

However, the board members said they had received some negative public comments about the proposal. Speaking for the board, President Tom Sifers said the money could be used “somewhere else that would be more beneficial to students.”

While rejecting the climbing wall, the board did approve the spending of $93,738 for other bond premium projects. Those funds will pay for the purchase and installation of new carpeting at Grand Lake Elementary as well as in Middle Park High’s library and music room. It will also pay for acoustic panels to be installed in the band room at East Grand Middle School.

With this latest expenditure, Rankin pointed out the district still has “about a million” dollars remaining in bond premium, contingency, interest and “weather allowance” funds from its $18.25 million bond proceeds. Approved by voters in last November’s election, the bond is paying for major building expansion and remodeling projects at Fraser Valley Elementary, Granby Elementary and Middle Park High School.

Coaching positions approved

In other business at Tuesday’s meeting, the board approved the coaching staff for next school year. All the head coaching positions will remain the same except for four teams. The new head coaches are: Shawn McElroy, boys soccer; Robbie Cheesman, girls softball; Kate Walker, golf; and Cal Cherrington, wrestling.

Also Tuesday, the board members reviewed recommendations by the District Accountability Committee.

They also listened to a proposal of the restructuring of the computer paraprofessional positions for next school year.

Rankin commended Principal Tom Papathakis for his handling of traffic flow in Granby Elementary’s parking lot during the ongoing construction work.

The board also thanked Papathakis, Principal Dale Fleming of Middle Park High and Terry Sidell of Grand Lake Elementary for their service to the district and their attendance over the past few years at the board’s bi-weekly meetings. All three are leaving their principal positions at the end of this school year.

At the end of Tuesday’s meeting, the board presented Rankin with a Visa travel card as a going-away present for his 12 years of service as the district superintendent. He is retiring from that position at the end of this month. Nancy Karas, currently the principal of the middle school, has been selected as his replacement.

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