3-5 Year Plan

3-5 Year Plan

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Public Notice:

The Elgin/New Leipzig School Board invites the public to participate in a school demographic planning meeting to fulfill requirements under NDCC Section 15.1-07-26. This open public meeting will be held on 07/18/2018 at 7 PM in the high school ITV room. At this forum, the school board will discuss and receive public input on how three and five-year demographics may impact academic and extracurricular programs, instructional and administrative staffing, facility needs and utilization, district tax levies, and the district’s strategic plan.

THREE AND FIVE YEAR PLANNING REQUIREMENTS

As part of century code 15.1-07-26 school districts are required to develop long range plans in order to look at current and developing trends that may affect the school district in the next three to five years. This occurs every even-numbered year. To accomplish this, data is collected on academics and extracurricular programs, instructional and administrative staffing, facility needs and utilization, and district tax levies.

The Elgin/New Leipzig Public School is committed to promoting a positive and safe learning environment that fosters lifelong learning in all individuals. Through this commitment all individuals can acquire knowledge, attitudes, and skills that will maximize their individual potential in an ever-changing world.

To achieve this, we create an environment that is physically, emotionally, and mentally safe and promotes development of the individual strengths of our students. We foster respect for others, the community, the world around us, and the learning process. We expect communication that is timely, two-way, open and honest, and reaches all stakeholders. We strive to empower students and staff to embrace creativity on the journey to achieving excellence. We foster passion, utilize creativity, and keep learning at the forefront to achieve this goal.

To achieve these ends we must analyze our current needs and anticipate our future needs. This way we can be responsible stewards of public funds. We can allocate our resources where they are needed the most and align our spending with our mission, vision, and goals. This will allow us to provide a world class education to all of the students we serve.

Charts and data available in the plan are attached to the top of this page. If this is inaccessible, please contact the district office at 701-584-2374 to obtain a copy or otherwise grant you access.

Enrollment and Student Services

Presently it is anticipated that over the next four years, enrollment will show a steady decline. For the 2017-2018 school year we reported 172 for our average daily attendance. This number is anticipated to fall to 163 in the next school year. State funding is primarily based on student numbers and as a result, state revenue will fall along with declining enrollment.

Assessment Data

Our scores in English Language Arts and Science have steadily been climbing. In many of the grades we perform better than the state average. Our mathematics scores in MAP show steady increases while on the state assessment they are more mixed. Our performance is more sporadic with regards to the scores of individual classes. On the ACT we performed better than the state average and performance has generally been around the 19-20 range

Student Services

In Athletics our girls’ programs are particularly strong with our girls’ basketball winning the state title in 2018. Our FFA program is also particularly strong with one of our students being selected as Star Farmer in North Dakota and our Ag. Mechanics team taking first in the state. We also have a strong Honors Society. Boys’ athletics is weaker and has suffered from inconsistency in coaching. Most programs are maintaining numbers. Golf may be a program that could be cut due to lack of participation. Boys’ basketball may be in need of co-oping, but presently that is estimated to be in excess of five years out.

We are currently implementing Multi-Tiered Systems of Support. It is already implemented in the elementary and the high school will begin implementation in the 2018-2019 school year. The expectation is that this will initially see high levels of student intervention with a possibility of more IEP referrals, but to see those levels then drop off below levels prior to implementing MTS, in a one to three year period.

We currently offer school-wide Title and Opportunity to Succeed (OTS). Both of these programs provide a high level of one-on-one interventions for students in the elementary and high school.

Our free and reduced numbers are rising. Some of these numbers may be reflective of more families reporting free and reduced status, but the drought of 2017 also had a substantial effect on many families.

Graduation rates are high and college enrollment has been sitting at roughly 75% of our students. Those students not seeking post-secondary education are seeking work and military options. It will be important to continue to provide curricular opportunities for this student demographic.

District Financial Trends

Revenue and expenses have both been climbing the last five years. Expenses have been climbing faster than revenue and the board recently had to invest in a new boiler or shut down the school. The payment for this boiler annually is roughly $206,000. This is putting a huge strain on the general fund. We presently have a miscellaneous levy that is entirely devoted to paying for the boiler, but only covers a little better than half of the total payment.

Recently taxable valuations made a jump as these figures were updated by the county. I do not foresee this sort of jump occurring again in the next five years and I am not aware of any major building projects in the county that would affect valuations. The state is also currently in a budget short fall and maintaining current funding levels is likely the best case scenario in regards to state funding. Federal funding is unreliable and subject to the whims of politics and only accounts for a small percentage of the budget.

We are projected to spend roughly $32,984 in tuition payments. This is one expenditure area the school can levy for. This roughly equates to 3.3 mills. I anticipate attrition reducing staff in the next five years. This reduction will likely be filled with the general rising costs of goods and services.

Staffing

I do not anticipate large changes in staffing in the next five years. Some attrition will occur and not all positions will be filled as this occurs. These reductions will be minor and not likely produce an overall reduction in expenditures. Presently, administrative staff serve multiple titles. The high school principal also serves as athletic director and the superintendent also serves as elementary principal. This arrangement is currently working, but it’s difficult to anticipate how change in education may affect this five years from now.

Facility and Transportation

We have a large aging building, parts of it being 94 years old. With this comes maintenance to preserve the integrity of said buildings. Presently the school is working with CTS to evaluate the building and potential needs that should be addressed in the next five years. Some of those needs are demolishing the old boiler room, updating univents, tuck pointing, updating lighting, repairing windows, fixing ventilation and

heating in the pool area, fixing foundation issues in the elementary, roof repairs, and updating the entrance to the weight room to meet fire code. These issues can be addressed but revenue is needed in order to do so in a timely manner. Deferring these issues for too long will result in larger expenses and possibly damage caused by deferring maintenance issues.

The school also owns a teacherage which is in relatively good shape but in need of updating and repair. Otherwise these issues and those at the school can grow to beyond the school’s ability to address them.

Our transportation fleet is a split between newer vehicles and older vehicles. Currently four vehicles are over 15 years old and two of which are in excess of 20 years old. Due to dropping enrollment it would be possible to somewhat downsize the fleet as vehicles are retired. This could be done by replacing one of the larger buses with a smaller bus. Otherwise our quantity of vehicles is appropriate for our needs.

Summary

The district has several needs that need to be addressed in order to continue to provide a quality education. We have an aging facility, out of date supplies, an outdated server, several older vehicles in our fleet, and rising expenses. We do not have many areas in which cuts can be made without affecting student services or programming. We have some room for attrition in our staff, but those reductions will likely be eaten up by cost of living increases. On top of these factors are the boiler payments which are nearly $206,000 a year. If we continue to defer these things we may reach a point where the fiscal burden of “catching up” is too great for our resources.

Our pool facility received a lot of work this past year. We now have 6 life guards and 3 WSI (swim) instructors. Much of our equipment has been updated and brought up to code. We developed policies governing the pool and have held several swim lessons this summer. These classes have been packed and have received many positive comments. We plan to continue to explore ways to utilize the pool more fully. The school did raise hourly rates for lifeguards and has been paying for certification. This, however, will very likely be made up in the increased use and utilization of the pool. Previously operating the pool was costing the school more money to just staff than it was bringing in.

Presently the district has two levies. A general fund levy and a miscellaneous levy. Currently all 12 mills of the miscellaneous levy goes to making payments for the boiler. This only covers a little more than half of the total payment. We are currently maxed out at 70 for mills we can levy for the general fund. The board has two categories that it can initiate via board action. One would be to levy for tuition payments. The levy would be approximately 3.3 at max and would go towards the nearly $33,000 dollars in which we make tuition payments for. Second, a special reserve fund can be levied for up to 3 mills. Only half of the special reserve can be spent in a single fiscal year. The school is currently pursuing a vote on establishing a building fund. The maximum authority the board can levy is 20 mills. This is a levy that can go

towards a building fund (not a building project). These dollars can only be spent on the maintenance, upkeep, and development of school buildings. If the district is unsuccessful in passing a building fund levy, drastic cuts may need to be made due to declining enrollment. These would be things like combining classes, eliminating programs, or shutting down facilities.

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