Surry County Schools finalized budget for 2015-16 school year


By Eva Queen - equeen@civitasmedia.com



DOBSON — County schools will get a new “student success coach,” three full-time data managers and a school-use minivan as part of the new budget.

A budget resolution, approved by Surry County Schools Board of Education during a special meeting on Wednesday, detailed some of the changes and additions for local schools and the central office.

In creating this budget, the school board and office leadership met with principals and directors to discuss and prioritize the needs at each school and department, according to Dr. Travis L. Reeves, superintendent. State, federal and local budgets were reviewed in line item detail to determine if there were areas where funds might be better utilized to meet the needs of students.

“We appreciate the county commissioners’ efforts in maintaining the current funding for students while increasing the funds to add additional security measures at our schools,” Reeves said Wednesday. The three traditional high schools will go through a process to receive Aiphone security systems for the front doors, the same system will be installed on all exterior doors. Students will be issued a keyless swipe card for access through these doors.

“We look forward to working with the county commissioners in the near future to address capital needs of our school system as identified in the long-range facility study completed by Mr. Bill Powell.”

Therefore, the SCS Board of Education has approved the following:

Restoration of the data manager positions at Cedar Ridge Elementary, Copeland Elementary, and Pilot Mountain Elementary to full­time positions. Over the past few years, as data managers have retired or resigned, these positions have been staffed with part-time employees. Due to savings in other areas and programs, these positions will be restored to full­-time, ten-month positions.

“Doing so will increase students safety, ensure front office coverage, promote positive public relations, and allow cross­training between data management and finance which will allow continuous work­flow in the event of an extended absence of one of these personnel,” said Reeves, during the meeting.

The new student success coach will work with all schools. Twenty-five percent of funding will be taken from Disadvantaged Student Supplemental Funding (DSSF) including at-risk and low wealth students, allotted to the school to pay salary and benefits of this position.

Additional funding for this position will be realized by reallocation of a portion of funding previously distributed to the school level, according to the school system.

“A position such as this was a recurring request from principals across the district,” said Reeves. The loss of two social worker positions since 2010 has resulted in principals making many trips and spending many hours in court on behalf of students with truancy and other issues which will now be handled by this position.

This person will:

– Assess and address the needs, characteristics, and interactions of students, families, personnel, and community;

– Intervene for student success via various practices;

– Advocate for appropriate services for students and their families;

– Consult and collaborate with stakeholders;

– Facilitate and contribute to accountability for outcomes.

The school will also make the purchase of a minivan to be used for travel to and from professional development opportunities outside of Surry County.

The current fleet of vehicles is minimal and is comprised primarily of older, high-mileage vehicles that can be scheduled for use by employees or groups of employees across the district as needed, according to the school system. This vehicle will be purchased from existing local transportation funds, according to Sonia Dickerson, director of communications.

After the final state budget was approved by the legislature and signed into law by Gov. Pat McCrory, putting the local budget process behind at SCS central office, all departments and individual schools the Department of Public Instruction had 10 days to give each school system in the state their allotment.

Surry County Schools received a total state allotment of $49,209,650 to fund their school system. Reeves, superintendent said in a recent interview that the allotment including various grant money and other money that would have been there regardless of the state budget.

The school system has estimated it will generate $2,381,951, available to the other restricted fund, the restricted fund balance category includes amounts that can be spent only for specific purposes stipulated by the providers or enabling legislation.

Another $974,470 has been appropriated for the everyday operations of SCS, including renovations to building, roofing projects, electrical, plumbing, graving and paving and others projects.

According to the Surry County Finance office, $23,527,032 will be used for education, throughout all three school systems in the county.

By Eva Queen

equeen@civitasmedia.com

Reach Eva Queen at (336) 415-4739 or on Twitter @MtAiryNewsEva

Reach Eva Queen at (336) 415-4739 or on Twitter @MtAiryNewsEva

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