Discover how our kids are being empowered to create their future!
The Board Budget Development Committee met on October 27, 2014. The following items were discussed:
Kelly Eastes, NCSD’s Chief Public Relations Officer, began the presentation with a background of the Discover Program. Eastes said the program was started in 2002 with the formation of the Natrona County Recreation Joint Powers Board in an effort to give teachers more collaboration time. That time was created through opportunities for students to receive presentations from outside presenters. The presenters that receive this funding through the Discover program are local museums and other entities. Eastes presented a seven-page document that listed the Discover program presenters. Among them are national presenters: Denver Zoo, NSA, Andre Lewis, Smithsonian, Inda Eaton, and Paul Taylor. The program has grown from 200 half-days in its first year, to 541 in the 2013-14 school year. One of the purposes of Discover is to show the outside world to kids who may never have an opportunity to leave this area.
At several schools the presenters have aligned their presentations to meet with the current curriculum being taught at that particular school. Most of the presenters are at the elementary level, while secondary school presentations are mostly “events”.
After a question was raised regarding the usage of that collaboration time while Discover presenters are in a building, Southridge Principal Rick Skatula said that while Discover does present those opportunities, his building doesn’t utilize them very well. In contrast, Marie Puryear (CCA/FCA Principal) said her buildings utilize Discover once a month for planned professional development and collaboration time.
Budget Development Process
Next, Superintendent Steve Hopkins spoke about the budget development process. Hopkins told the committee that three items drive the process: staffing, salary/benefits, and special budget requests. These three items used to be on separate tracks, which made it hard to balance the budget. However, the last 5-6 years the process put those three items on the same track – but that has created new issues.
As a solution, Hopkins offered small timeline changes, though we might still use the current process if the statewide economic climate suggests we do. Skatula said he appreciated the movement up (calendar-wise) of the staffing portion of the budget, because it allows NCSD to be more competitive to hire qualified applicants. The committee agreed with this approach (small changes, but keeping old timeline if needed).
The next Board Budget Development Committee meeting is scheduled for November 24.