Dear Parents, Community Members, Staff, & Students,
Last month’s Northview News column referenced our core value “We believe people working together toward
common goals can accomplish anything” as it related to budget planning and
development. My time with you this month
includes two examples of this core value in practice.
Example 1: Our
staff members (teachers, support staff, administrators, central office staff)
came together to help address a $2.2 million budget reduction issue this past
Part of their contribution included negotiated contracts that called
for a freeze on their base pay plus an agreement to pay a portion of their
health care benefit cost. The result was
a savings of over $562,000. Working
together we assured that the programs and practices important to student
success would stay in place for the 2010/11 school year.
Example 2: Our
community has historically supported what is needed to help our student be
successful. You have provided thousands
of volunteer hours and have supported the needed facility and technology
improvements necessary for continued academic growth and social development of
our students. Now we need to work
together toward the common goal of determining if there is a need for
technology and facility improvements. We
are in the very early stages of this discussion and no decisions have been made
regarding the scope or the nature of a potential bond proposal.
Listed below is the process we are following to prepare our
Board of Education to make a decision on placing or not placing a bond issue on
the November 2011 ballot. Once again, we are in the very early stages of
discussion and the following points of consideration are a calendar of the
"things" that have happened or will be happening before our Board can
make a decision.
- In 2009 an architect firm and a construction management firm
prepared a report outlining the facility needs of the school
district. A change in leadership in Northview caused the plans to be
placed on hold; however, since that time, two years of building and site
millage funds have been used to complete some of the facility projects
that were identified by the two firms.
- May 20, 2010: Childs Consulting Associates submitted the
results of the "technology audit" conducted over the three
previous months. This audit clearly outlines Northview’s gaps in
technology and establishes a cost of the upgrades.
- Fall 2010: The same architect and construction management
firms (who worked with the district in 2009) conducted a review of the
facilities and updated their 2009 reports.
- October 2010: Informal discussions were held about the
possible need for a technology and facility bond.
- November 2 and 4, 2010:
The Superintendent conducted two Building Bond Discussion groups
with members of the community. Approximately 30 people participated
and answered the following questions:
- What is the perceived
need for a bond proposal for technology and facilities?
- What is the perceived
willingness of the voters to support a tax increase or a bond proposal?
The comments during the meetings ranged from "our
buildings and technology are just fine" to" we need to build new
schools and update all technology."
The common theme in both meetings was "demonstrate the need and our
community will be supportive." The
two groups of community members were asked to begin speaking to their
"circles of influence" to help collect information for the Board of
- December 13, 2010: The Board of Education had a formal
discussion about a potential bond for November 2011. The Board
discussed the following questions:
- Under what conditions
would you approve the placement of a bond proposal on the November 2011
- What evidence do you
need to be assured there is a "need for technology and facility/site
- Is there anything that
would cause you to refuse approving the placement of a bond proposal on
- January 2011: We will finalize the selection of an architect
firm and a construction management firm to complete a proposal that is
specific to projects at specific schools and to identify cost.
- January 26 and 27, 2011: We will meet with staff to gather
information regarding “needs” in the area of technology and facilities
from the staff point of view.
- February, March, and April 2011: We will conduct three community meetings
to collect information regarding the "needs" in the area of
technology and facilities from the parent/community member
perspective. The first meeting for the community is scheduled for Wednesday, February 9, 2011 in the High School Media
Center at 7:00
p.m. Additional meetings are
scheduled for March 16 and April 19. Since the process builds upon the
information gathered at each meeting, you should try and attend all three
meetings. Minutes of the meetings
will also be posted on our web site www.nvps.net Feel free to send comments and
questions directly to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
if you are unable to attend the meetings.
- May 2011: Our goal is
to have a formal bond proposal for our Board of Education to review.
I anticipate that the Board would make a final decision regarding a
technology and facilities bond proposal no later than the end of August
I look forward to meeting with you, our parents and our
community members, to gather your perspective as we collect information to
determine if there is a need to bond for improvements to our technology and
facilities/sites. Your help in this
important decision is needed and valued.
As always feel free to contact me directly at email@example.com or 363-6861, if you have additional comments
Sincerely and With Great Respect,