The short answer is no. After yesterday’s cancellation, all of our schools still meet the statutory minimums for instructional minutes. We are monitoring our current status by calculating days and minutes given the weather related cancellations/adjustments to schedules. Statute requires independent school districts to schedule at least 165 instructional days; we are fortunate to have a calendar with 173 student contact days as well as more instructional minutes than required. The decision to make up lost instructional time would be made by the school board, which sets the school calendar and has the authority to make changes. We will notify families should any days be added to the school... Continue reading Will students need to make up time due to the school closures?
Eastern Carver County Schools have been – and will continue to be – growing. We are honored that so many families choose our schools and want to live in our district. We also want to be sure we have appropriate spaces, ample staff and enough resources to provide the educational experience each student needs and deserves. In fall 2018, a Facilities Task Force was formed to provide recommendations that will preserve and maintain learning spaces for years to come and serve a student population that is projected to continue growing. After several meetings, the task force recommended a $110.5M bond referendum for a new elementary school ($35.5 million), deferred maintenance ($61.5 million), and a new, expanded bus garage ($13.5 million). In addition, district leaders are looking at funding needs. The district, like most Minnesota school districts, is facing increasing pressure on our operating budget. E. Carver Co. Schools also has a Security and Technology Levy that provides a separate... Continue reading Enrollment Growth and Funding Needs
Like most Minnesota school districts, E. Carver Co. Schools is facing increasing pressure on the district’s operating budget. The district relies on state and local funding to operate its schools – to pay staff, buy classroom materials, fund academic programs, and more. For the past 15 years, state funding has not kept pace with inflation. This has resulted in a nearly $620 per student gap this year, totaling more than $6 million in lost funding this year alone and more than $60 million over the last 10 years. Expenses are outpacing revenue and the district is not fully reimbursed for the important special education services we provide. This is the time of year when the district reviews its academic program and staffing needs. It is also waiting to learn what funding the district will receive from the State of Minnesota. The legislature’s decision on public funding will help the district know how big of a budget gap we need to fill moving forward. One way to fill this funding gap is... Continue reading District reviews operating budget and funding gaps
District also needs $62 million in deferred maintenance to sustain older schools After four months of study, the district’s Facility Task Force presented recommendations to the School Board on matters related to deferred maintenance and enrollment growth at two meetings in January. The first recommendation was that the district needs an updated bus garage. The current garage can hold 50 buses and the district currently operates more than 100 buses. The garage needs additional mechanical bays, wash bays, and more land for parking and space. The second part of the recommendation focused on enrollment growth and deferred maintenance (long-term building and facility maintenance). DeeDee Kahring, director of finance and operations, who also led the task force, began by discussing an updated demographic study. That study, completed by Davis Demographics in January 2019, shows an overall enrollment increase of 1,400 students in five years, with approximately 875 of those students in the... Continue reading With enrollment growing 1,400 students in 5 years, task force recommends new school
The Howler Newsletter – February 2019 Continue reading The Howler Newsletter – February 2019