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CNS Newsletter

While this time of year is certainly busy, all of us here at Citizens for Needham Schools would like to thank all the Needham Public Schools employees for all that they do and wish them very happy holidays!  Read below for the latest on important issues and initiatives in the Needham Public School system, including: 
  • A first look at the FY 2018 School Budget,
  • Public Hearing Save the Date - January 17th for comments on the school budget,
  • The November 8 Override passed,
  • School Enrollment Projections,
  • How to watch a school committee meeting and,
  • New in this newsletter, a Did You Know? section with interesting facts about NPS.
Lastly, we extend a warm welcome to those receiving the CNS Newsletter for the first time. Welcome and please contact us with topics you'd like to hear more about.
Happy Holidays,
The CNS board 
FY18 Prelimary Budget
Have you ever wondered how school districts set budgets?  The process begins in August with meetings between school administrators and the School Committee.  These meetings focus on district needs in the coming year and form the basis for on-going budget discussions.  The process:
  • Is tied to district goals,
  • Involves other town departments, including the Finance Committee and Town Manager,
  • Welcomes public comments through:
  • Will be approved by the School Committee on January 24th
  • Will be voted on by Town Meeting in May
For more information about the proposed budget see below. 

On December 6th, Superintendent Gutekanst presented his FY18 operating budget request to the School Committee (for the school year starting in July 2017). This request calls for an operating budget of $68.8 million, a 5.57% increase ($3.62 million) over this year's budget.  A presentation on the Superintendent's Budget Request is available   here .
Most the increase being proposed for next year, $3.11 million is necessary to provide the same level of services this year for next year. This is what the school administrators refer to the required funds to open the doors on the first day of school. This amount provides the same level of services as provided this year (e.g, similar class sizes, programs & services; contractual increases; replacement materials).  The remaining $517,000 is for program improvements. 
The budget proposal will evolve over the coming weeks. As mentioned above, you are welcome and encouraged to attend the  School Committee's Public Budget Hearing  on  January 17th to learn more and to offer comments on next year's school budget.  You may also submit written comments at any time to
School Enrollment Trends
Predicting how Needham's population will change in the future is central to good planning.  At the December 6th School Committee meeting, the SC shared the most recent enrollment projections.

Overall, Needham will see an increase in students over the next fifteen years, followed by a decline, although growth patterns vary by school and over time. For example, the High School student population is predicted to peak at 1,835 for the 24/25 school year, approximately 175 more students than currently attending.  Hillside Elementary will experience the greatest increase in students, peaking at 517 in FY22.

For a deeper look at this data, visit the School Committee Packet for 12/6, pages 26 - 38.

The Override Passed 
On November 8th, the voters of Needham voted in support of building a new school via a debt exclusion override. CNS thanks the Needham voters for their support.
Are you curious about the new design?  View the Schematic Design.  For general information about this project, visit the Hillside School Planning Information Page.
Did you know?
Did you know that each Needham school sponsors service learning projects?  Most often, projects are sponsored by a grade level, like the 3rd grade letter writing campaign at Broadmeadow that honored and thanked our veterans and active service members.

Some service learning projects continue throughout the whole year (for example, the Broadmeadow second grade collects and tallies used markers for recycling) while others are more short term (grades 4 and 5 embarked on the Loose Change project which provided educational supplies for small towns in Peru that would not have these materials otherwise).  

Learn more about community service in the NPS here! 
Watch a School Committee Meeting
Interested in following Needham school issues? School Committee meetings are held at Broadmeadow Elementary School, typically on the first and third Tuesday of the month at 7pm.  They are open to the public and accessible in three ways:

Want to stay current on School Committee topics?  Like the CNS Facebook Page and look for our School Committee agenda previews. 


Citizens for Needham Schools

In This Issue
FY 2018 Budget
Enrollment Trends
Hillside Override
Did You Know?
Watch a School Committee Meeting
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