EXECUTIVE SUMMARY EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
The proposed 2008-09 budget represents the financial plan for Guilford County Schools (GCS). As we move into Fiscal Year 2008-09 (FY09), the GCS leadership and community is keenly aware of the continuing financial challenges we face, but optimistic about the potential to make another modest fiscal step forward. These have been challenging financial times and, while we must continue to be prudent with our budget in the coming fiscal year, we believe that the requested level of resources will allow us to continue to face problems for which there are no simple, painless answers – problems that require us to learn new ways. This proposed budget is a result of detailed resource allocation discussions among our leadership team and other GCS staff. Throughout this budget development process we have kept our focus squarely on the district-wide thematic goals and on our educational mission that students will graduate as responsible citizens prepared to succeed in higher education or the career of their choice. This has assisted us in making tough decisions and sustained our commitment to improving teaching and learning, while maintaining our progress in student achievement. This budget totals $650,326,439. What does the budget include? The proposed GCS FY09 budget request includes: • $8,043,548 to cover the cost of anticipated state legislated salary increases and changes in fringe benefit rates/amounts; • $2,945,848 to cover costs associated with the addition of 1,294 students; • $2,415,146 to cover the anticipated increase in energy costs; • $473,522 to cover the increase for maintenance/upkeep of 228,754 square feet of new/renovated space; • $186,491 to cover increases in property and pupil accident insurance premiums; • $71,066 to cover the increase in gas/diesel fuel costs; • $1,638,441 in redirected dollars to cover the cost of providing 32 additional art, music and physical education (PE) specialists in our elementary schools; and • $1,668,799 to cover several of the recommendations included in the School Climate Task Force Study. In this budget, we will continue to focus our resources on efforts to ensure that the gains that have been made during the past seven years in student achievement, closing the achievement gap, reducing the dropout rate and increasing the graduation rate continue.
How was the budget developed? In the development of the proposed GCS FY09 budget, we have once again attempted to emulate the following best practices in budget preparation and implementation as recommended by the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) of the United States and Canada: • integrating long-term planning with the budget process; • establishing measures for continuous performance monitoring; • obtaining citizen and other stakeholder involvement in the budget process; • communicating goals, objectives, strategies and desired outcomes; • promoting a sense of ownership and empowerment to budget managers to implement effective practices and achieve goals; and • incorporating realistic revenue and expenditure forecasts. How is the budget funded? What are the revenue sources? Budget development is both guided and constrained by estimates of revenue for the future fiscal year. While there is always some degree of risk associated with estimating revenue, this budget was developed based on the best information we have available to us today, and on a reasonable assessment of the resources which are likely to be available to support our appropriation. GCS relies on three primary sources of funds to support its operating budget: general fund including appropriations from the Guilford County Board of Commissioners (33%), state allotments (60%) and federal grants (7%). The continuing challenges emerging in all three of these areas are briefly described below. Local Funding Guilford County relies on property tax revenues to fund the district’s local current expense fund. The district’s local appropriation from the county increased for the current year by $8.5M or 5.43% to assist in meeting shortfalls associated with unfunded mandates from both the state and federal governments and student growth. For FY09, Guilford County, like the state and federal governments, will face a challenging financial environment. The total amount of revenue requested from Guilford County for local FY09 operating expenses is $180,969,941, which represents a 9.57% increase or $15,804,420. By comparison, the superintendent in CharlotteMecklenburg County requested an 8.32% increase or $28.4M and the Wake County superintendent requested a 10.94% or $32.5M increase in county appropriations for local operating expenses in their budget proposals.* See Appendix I for the FY09 local current expense fund budget recap. Other local revenues include, but are not limited to, sales tax refunds, indirect cost charges to other funds, tuition revenues, private donations, earnings on investments, and categorical/restricted funds/grants. GCS also receives very generous support from the business community and other community partners that enables the district to provide quality educational programs to students and continued professional development for faculty and staff. The total local current expense budget for FY09 is $199,058,198.
State Funding The state budget for FY09 is $356,244,627. This amount is based on the planning allotments of February 13, 2008. The planning allotments do not reflect adjustments for any legislated salary increases or changes in fringe benefit rates/costs. State allotments are funded on a formula basis with schools receiving three basic types of allotments: positions, months of employment and dollars or categorical allotments. While the budget developed to date was based on planning allotments and information provided by the NC Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI), it is important to note that state funding is subject to change based on the budget passed by the Legislature. Budget development will be impacted by any state funding reductions of public education approved by the General Assembly. Federal Funding The federal budget for FY09 is $39,862,382. This amount is based on the planning allotments of April 18, 2008. The planning allotments do not reflect adjustments for any legislated salary increases or changes in fringe benefit rates/costs. While the federal planning allotments from NCDPI reflect the most recent information received from Washington, DC, it is important to note that planning allotments are subject to change. Capital Outlay The capital outlay budget for FY09 totals $14,291,861. Our budget includes a request that the County reinstate the $3M that was cut from our capital outlay budget in 2006-07 and again in 2007-08. The total FY09 Capital Outlay request includes $10M in county appropriation dollars and $4,291,861 in Public School Building Capital Funds (PSBCF) [per the 10-year planning
projections provided by the School Planning Division of the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction]. The PSBCF program is funded using a portion of the corporate income taxes which
are assessed corporations doing business in the state. Monies in the fund are allocated based on average daily membership as determined by the State Board of Education. The county dollars appropriated for capital outlay are typically used for projects such as, but not limited to, mobile classrooms (purchase/setup/refurbish), roof repair and/or replacement, environmental/ADA compliance, system-wide renovations, safe school program (fire/smoke/security alarms, intercom/telephone systems), HVAC/boiler/chiller repair/replacements, underground storage tanks, athletic facilities, paving/resurfacing, instructional equipment and vehicles (activity bus and maintenance, transportation, courier, technology and/or warehouse/surplus property service vehicle replacements). The $14.3M figure excludes local bond proceeds and state lottery distributions. On May 6, 2008, Guilford County residents have the opportunity to vote on a total of $457,315,000 in school bonds. Of that amount, $45M is earmarked for building a replacement facility for Eastern Guilford High School (EGHS) (a GCS high school that was tragically destroyed by fire on November 1, 2006) and the remaining $412,315,000 will fund 27 projects, which include: • replacing aging HVAC (heating/ventilation/air conditioning) systems on 21 campuses; • building the improvement of athletic facilities at nine schools; • completing major renovations and additions for 13 schools; • building four new facilities for special needs students; and
building five new schools to accommodate our growing student population (Since the 2000 bond referendum, the school district has grown by 9,365 students. We continue to add approximately 1,300 students each year. GCS currently utilizes over 600 mobile classrooms.)
Of the prioritized list of projects, approximately $203M is for new schools, $220M is for renovations and additions and $34M is for special needs facilities. The referendum is on a $45M general obligation bond measure and a $412M general obligation bond measure that will allow Guilford County to raise money by issuing bonds. Similar to a home loan, general obligation bonds are repaid over time so that students have use of buildings while the bonds are being paid off. In the peak year of 2012, the two school bonds would add eight cents to the property tax rate. The owner of a $100,000 home would pay an additional $80 in taxes that year to pay off school bonds. It is likely that the tax increase will be partially offset by lottery funds. Of the $8.1M in state lottery distributions received in 2006-07 and the $8.6M in distributions projected for 2007-08, the county commissioners budgeted $3M of the FY07 distributions and $3M of the FY08 distributions to offset the cost of the 2003 bond debt service. The county commissioners also budgeted and are holding $5,630,746 of the FY08 lottery distributions in abeyance until the funding decision for EGHS is resolved (possibilities include bonds, installment financing and certificates of participation). Proprietary/Enterprise Funds Services for which the district charges a fee are generally reported in the proprietary/enterprise funds. The district has two proprietary funds - the School Food Service Fund and the After School Care Enrichment Services (ACES) Fund. The School Food Service Fund is used to account for the Board’s child nutrition or food service operation. Any reduction of federal funds for this program will require us to implement one or more of the following: reduce costs where possible, increase meal prices and/or implement more satellite meal programs. Any reduction in state funds may also require elimination of the free kindergarten breakfast programs. The After School Care Fund is used to account for the district-wide ACES initiative targeted for all elementary schools. We used current FY08 budget figures to estimate the proposed FY09 School Food Service ($33,029,678) and ACES ($7,839,693) fund budgets. What evidence do we have of our financial stewardship? Guilford County residents have been extremely supportive in our quest to provide children with the facilities needed for their education. As a district, we have done our best to be good stewards of tax-payer money. Through careful planning and a favorable construction market, we saved a total $26.1M in capital improvement dollars (local bond funds, Public School Building Capital Funds, sales tax refunds and bond refinancing proceeds). These savings enabled us to add much-needed enhancements at several sites and completely replace an elementary school in the northwest part of the county. A total of 65 bond projects were initially included in the 2000 and 2003 bond referendums. Due to the favorable bid market encountered with the 2000 bonds, we were able to complete one additional construction project at Oak Ridge ES and three additional renovation projects at Brown Summit MS, McLeansville ES and Sedalia ES. However, due to the rising cost of steel, the shortage of concrete and the rising cost of gas and petroleum-based products, we were not able to complete two of the 2003 bond projects – construction of a replacement facility at Jamestown MS and renovations at Ragsdale HS. Based on information provided by NCDPI,
state-wide school construction costs have increased over 50% since 2003; however, GCS has experienced an increase of approximately 10% for that same period. Furthermore, our financial management efforts have again received an “unqualified” audit opinion on each of our audits. For the past 14 years, we have received the Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting from both the American School Business Officials (ASBO) Association and the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) of the United States and Canada. We have also received the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award from GFOA for the past seven years. This award is the highest form of recognition in governmental budgeting. The GCS Purchasing Department was also awarded the Sustained Professional Purchasing Award for 2007 by the Carolinas Association of Governmental Purchasing. This is the highest award a purchasing department can obtain within the Carolinas Association of Governmental Purchasing, for both North and South Carolina. Purchasing departments must meet and maintain high standards in several areas including professional development, continuous improvement programs, environmental awareness, minority participation, automation and electronic commerce to be eligible for this award. Only 12 units of government received this award for the year ending 2007. GCS Purchasing is the only entity to earn eight consecutive CAGP Sustained Professional Purchasing Award recognitions. These accomplishments are the result of a dedicated and competent staff, a supportive board and a supportive community. The end result of all this has been continued improvement of programs and outcomes for our students. Conclusion This budget represents the GCS financial plan to meet the educational goals for our children. We will continue to align our resources and identify opportunities to reallocate existing resources in order to fund the educational priorities that go to the heart of our mission and are guided by our core values and measured by our goals. We would like to thank the Board of Education for its exemplary leadership in support of providing a high quality education to all of our children. Through the commitment and hard work of teachers, principals and other employees, as well as the support of parents, our community, and the Board of County Commissioners, student achievement has risen to the highest level in the history of GCS. Regardless of the requirements of federal mandates, the goal of our school district has been and continues to be the provision of opportunities for the highest levels of academic achievement for all students. Eric J. Becoats, Ed.D. Sharon S. Ozment Co-Interim Superintendents
VISION, MISSION, GOALS AND CORE VALUES
CONTEXT In order for our district to move from good to great, we must be clear about the complexity of change and about our mission. We must align our resources around common goals, strategies and values in order for all GCS employees to share a common understanding of where we are headed, what success will look like when we get there, and what needs to be done to achieve desired results. Our vision – what we will become; our mission and thematic goals- how we will get there; and our core values - what we believe - solidify the underlying foundation for all Guilford County Schools’ decisions and actions. Our vision is to become the top performing academic metropolitan school district in America. The mission of the district is that Guilford County students will graduate as responsible citizens prepared to succeed in higher education, or in the career of their choice. Patrick Lencioni, founder and president of The Table Group, Inc., a specialized managementconsulting firm focused on executive team-development and organizational health, defines a “thematic goal” as a rallying cry shared by an entire leadership team and ultimately by an entire organization that serves to align employees throughout an organization and provides an objective tool for resetting direction when things get out of sync. Lencioni advocates that while it is useful for companies to have both a long term vision and a set of short term, tactical objectives, a thematic goal is intended to bridge the two. It makes the vision more tangible and it gives the tactical objectives more context. Our thematic goals are as follows: • Beginning with the 2006-07 school year, all entering kindergarten students will read at or above grade level by the end of the third grade — end of the 2009-10 school year. • By the end of the 2008-09 school year, the math achievement gap will be eliminated for 2006-07 sixth graders; while overall math achievement scores will have increased for middle school students. • All rising ninth grade students, 2006-07 school year, will graduate from high school in four years—completing a relevant and rigorous curriculum. Core values are the essential tenets of any organization. They are the five to six values that are so fundamental and deeply held that they will seldom, if ever change. Core values are timeless and independent of the shifts in educational or societal values as well as current educational trends or fads. The following reflects the five core values of GCS, as ascribed by the more than 71,000 students/families and the 10,000 employees who make us what we are:
1. Diversity. We are committed to creating an educational organization where a variety of persons and perspectives are welcome. We are committed to providing an environment where students and staff from all cultures and backgrounds may succeed. 2. Empathy. We are committed to developing a culture where our employees identify with and understand the feelings of our students and parents and their colleagues. 3. Equality. We are committed to creating a school district where everyone is appreciated and judged based solely on their contributions and performance. Through the work of this institution we will both create awareness of and work especially to eliminate individual and institutional racism. 4. Innovativeness. We are committed to fostering a work environment where the goal is not to manage innovations, but to become innovative. Problems are identified, ownership of those problems is assumed by the adults in the district, and everyone works together as agents of the solution until the problems are solved. We will not stop until obstacles are removed, innovative solutions found, and clear and compelling goals are established. 5. Integrity. We are committed to creating a school district that acts with honesty and forthrightness, holding ourselves to high academic and ethical standards and dealing with everyone with respect. We hope that as we mature as an organization, we will begin to place more value on candor, whereby we are committed to developing a culture where our employees are free to speak in a straight forward, responsible manner, expressing their opinions without fear of consequence. We seek an open atmosphere where everyone will express their views, while cultivating positive relationships among, students, parents, community and staff. We have adopted teacher and administrative selection processes which help us screen for employees who share these values. We will use our core values when making employment decisions and to assist us in formulating our budget. It is important that all of our employees are good at their jobs AND possess the core values of GCS. STRATEGIES Our school and central office teams have worked together to develop and implement strategies to support the district’s thematic goals. This proposed budget aligns our resources to support our strategies and goals, making these efforts more transparent to our employees and community. Schools and departments will be given latitude to develop and implement improvement plans to support the attainment of those goals. We will work together to communicate our mission, values, goals and direction to all GCS stakeholders. FINANCIAL IMPACT We believe the GCS budget should support the district’s Thematic and Balanced Scorecard Goals (strategic goals). Each year, we must evaluate former improvement efforts, keep and strengthen what works, and redirect funds to support new efforts. We must consistently align our financial and human resources to address our most pressing needs, while meeting the obligations of educating all of our children to the highest level.
EQUITY PLUS AND WEIGHTED STUDENT FORMULA FUNDING
CONTEXT At a time when funding levels have decreased and student needs have increased, we are facing the stringent accountability demands required by the NCLB federal legislation. Our challenge was and continues to be meeting the needs of all students in an environment that is increasingly more diverse and poor. Next year, we project to grow by 1,294 new students. As our overall student numbers have consistently increased, so have the number of children requiring additional services. Since 2000, GCS student demographics have shifted from 39% to 48% of our students now receiving free and/or reduced meals and the number of students who speak English as a Second Language has increased tremendously (713 in June of 2000; 5,887 in January of 2008). An obvious solution is to provide schools with the funding required to meet the needs of their students. However, each year this solution is met with political challenges and charges that there simply is not enough money to meet the ever increasing needs of the county. Exacerbating this funding issue is the challenge of equitably distributing resources. How does GCS ensure that each student’s needs are met and that resources are distributed appropriately? STRATEGIES We believe that all children can learn, and we are committed to providing the resources and support to make that happen. In 2001-02, GCS began the process of implementing sitebased decision making as a school improvement strategy. A key component of this decentralization initiative was the introduction of a “student-based budgeting” system. Over a four year timeframe, what began as a process that provided increased funds and staff in our most impacted schools (Equity and Equity Plus Funding) evolved into a Weighted Student Formula method of distributing resources to schools in an equitable manner. Effective with the 2003-04 school year, allocations were more site-based than centralized and additional resources were provided to schools highly impacted by poverty (as measured by free and reduced lunch percentages). In 2003-04 and 2004-05, we designated such schools as Equity Plus Schools. In 2005-06 we took a slightly different approach to equity funding. Elementary schools with free and reduced lunch percentages of 70 percent or more were designated as Equity +3 Schools. These 22 elementary schools had a 15 to 1 student to teacher ratio in kindergarten through third grade. Equity +2 Schools (nine elementary schools with free and reduced lunch percentages of 60 to 69 percent) had a 15 to 1 student to teacher ratio in grades K through 2. Elementary schools with free and reduced lunch percentages of 40 percent or more and middle and high
schools with free and reduced lunch percentages of 50 percent or more were designated as Equity Schools. These schools had some $6.7 million additional dollars allocated to them with 90% of those additional resources allocated based on free and reduced lunch percentages and 10% of the additional resources allocated based on numbers of Level I and II students (students performing below grade level). In 2005-06, there were 43 Equity Elementary Schools, 10 Equity Middle Schools and 4 Equity High Schools. In 2006-07, we implemented a Weighted Student Formula (WSF) model for allocating resources. WSF allocates funds to each student based on whether they receive free and reduced meals or speak English as a Second Language. These funds and resources then follow the student, regardless of where they attend school. For example, in the past, 39% of an elementary school’s student body could have received free and/or reduced meals and the school would not have received any additional local or state resources. Utilizing our WSF model, that school received additional funds. We use a site-based decision making process for administering WSF funds. By allowing funds to follow students into each school, schools have more resources to meet individual student needs. We believe that our WSF allocation process increases autonomy and accountability, while improving equity in GCS. In FY07, our WSF allocation consisted of two allocations – $3M was distributed based on a ‘foundation’ allocation for schools with high levels of free and reduced meals and $8.1M was distributed based on assigning ‘weights’ to selected characteristics/factors. FY07 foundation allocations were made as follows: • Elementary Schools with a free and reduced rate of 40% + = $75 per student • Middle Schools with a free and reduced rate of 45% + = $80 per student • High Schools with a free and reduced rate of 45% + = $125 per student FY07 WSF weights were assigned as follows: • Non-free and reduced meal student • Free and or reduced meal student: o Elementary school student o Middle school student o High school student • English as a Second Language student: o Elementary school student o Secondary school student
1.00 1.45 1.60 1.90 1.50 2.00
In FY08, the foundation and WSF allocations were combined into a single WSF allocation totaling $11.3M. This WSF allocation was distributed to our schools using the following weights: • Non-free and reduced meal student 1.00 • Free and or reduced meal student: o Elementary school student 1.50 o Middle school student 1.60 o High school student 1.75 • English as a Second Language student: o Elementary school student 1.85 o Secondary school student 2.00
We also changed the teacher allotment formulas for Equity Plus schools in 2007-08. Equity +3 Schools (elementary schools with free and reduced lunch percentages of 70 percent or more) changed from a 15 to 1 to a 15.5 to 1 student to teacher ratio in kindergarten through third grade. Likewise, Equity +2 Schools (elementary schools with free and reduced lunch percentages of 60 to 69 percent) changed from a 15 to 1 to a 15.5 to 1 student to teacher ratio in grades K through 2. In FY09, the WSF allocation totals $11.7M and the WSF dollars will be distributed to schools using the same weights as were utilized in FY08. We have also revisited the free and reduced lunch percentages used to determine Equity +3 and Equity +2 status. Effective with the 2008-09 school year, elementary schools with free and reduced lunch percentages of 75% or more will be designated as Equity +3 Schools and elementary schools with free and reduced lunch percentages of 65 to 74 percent will be designated as Equity +2 Schools. In 2007-08, we had 25 Equity +3 Schools and six Equity +2 Schools. The changes in the free and reduced lunch percentage thresholds used to determine Equity +3 or Equity +2 status/eligibility will not change the number nor the makeup of the schools in these respective categories in 2008-09. The 25 Equity +3 Elementary Schools are: Allen Jay Montlieu Archer Northwood Bessemer Oak Hill Brightwood Parkview Cone Peck Fairview Rankin Falkener Sedgefield Foust Sumner Frazier Union Hill Gillespie Vandalia Hampton Washington Hunter Wiley Kirkman Park The six Equity +2 Elementary Schools are: Alderman Bluford Guilford Johnson Street Murphey Traditional Academy Oak View WSF often requires the politically tough redistribution of resources in order to remedy funding inequities. Funding inequities often arise because districts assign staff and resources to schools based on total enrollment – rather than looking at the specific needs of each student. WSF is a method that improves funding equity; however, it does not address funding adequacy. Simply put, adequacy means that there are sufficient funds in a school to create an environment where a child’s educational needs are met. This balance of equity and adequacy continues to be a matter of great concern.
OUTCOME In 2003, the National Association of State Boards of Education provided the following four benefits for implementing a WSF: 1. Adequacy and equity. By allowing the funding to follow the student, equity among schools is improved because funds for extra needs are connected to the student and not to the school. 2. Efficiency. WSF creates a system that provides a common sense approach to budgeting where decisions are made based on the particular needs of individual students. 3. Element of competition. The WSF system creates a motivation for schools within a district to retain students by offering great programs that meet their special needs. 4. Linking funding to overall school improvement efforts. WSF can be implemented, utilizing site-based decision making, to enhance the distribution of resources to a school. The greatest benefit of this method is that the funding follows the student into the school and that the funding is not determined by an arbitrary formula -- one that may or may not provide the resources to meet the student’s needs. Not all students are equal in ability and need. WSF reflects that diversity in its method of allocation. FINANCIAL IMPACT The projected 1,294 student increase in enrollment will require an additional $106,973 in local WSF dollars in 2008-09 which will be funded with growth dollars. However, it is important to note, while some schools will gain funds, others may experience a reduction in funds if the school’s demographics change (school becomes less impacted by poverty as measured by free and reduced lunch percentages) or students transfer, as dollars will now follow each student. * See Appendix II, which illustrates each school’s projected allocation of resources using WSF.
CONTEXT Since the 2000 school year, beginning teacher salaries in the GCS have increased from number 11 to number one in the state. Staff compensation is a vital component to the growth of our district and its ability to deliver the best educational and support services to our students. Competitive, equitable and structured compensation schedules allow the district to attract and retain highly qualified employees. STRATEGIES GCS staff members in attendance at the February 2008 North Carolina Association of School Business Officials (NCASBO) Conference were advised by Phillip Price, Associate Superintendent of Financial and Business Services with the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI), that Governor Easley’s budget proposal will likely include teacher salary increases of 10% as that is the percentage needed to move North Carolina teacher salaries to the national average. The teacher salary increases budgeted by CharlotteMecklenburg and Wake County are 5% and 6% respectively; however, GCS has budgeted 8% for teacher salary increases because a one percent increase in local salaries including FICA and retirement is approximately $1.1M and our undesignated fund balance as of June 30, 2007 is $555,307. Simply put, our undesignated fund balance could be depleted by our missing the mark on salary increases by as small a margin as one-half of one-percent! OUTCOMES Based on the anticipated increases in salaries and fringe benefit costs/rates, the proposed 2008-09 budget includes: • an 8% salary increase for teachers/principals/assistant principals; • a 4% salary increase for classified employees; • a 1% increase in the employer’s retirement rate; and • a 1.7% increase in employer hospitalization insurance costs. FINANCIAL IMPACT The requested increase in local funding for FY09 for staff compensation and related employee benefit costs is approximately $8M: • 8% salary increase for teachers $4,538,192 • 8% salary increase for principals and assistant principals $ 158,800 • 4% salary increase for classified employees $1,320,860 • FICA/retirement costs associated with anticipated salary increases $ 931,563 • 1% increase in the employer’s retirement rate $ 986,853 • 1.7% increase in employer’s hospitalization insurance cost $ 107,280 TOTAL $8,043,548 Source: New dollars needed $8,043,548
GROWTH IN STUDENT ENROLLMENT
CONTEXT The chart below reflects the district’s Average Daily Membership (ADM) data for fiscal years 2000-01 through 2006-07 and our 2007-08 twentieth day enrollment. ADM is the sum of the number of students in membership each day of the school year divided by the total number of school days in a school year. NCDPI publishes ADM data at the end of each fiscal year.
Source: North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI), Division of School Business, Information Analysis and Reporting, Attendance ADA:ADM Ratio Reports * 2007-08 figure based on GCS 20th day enrollment (excludes charter school students)
During the past decade, our student enrollment has increased by almost 12,000 students. As Guilford County attracts more businesses, families and infrastructure, we expect student enrollment to rise by approximately 1,300 students per year. Our projected 2008-09 student enrollment is 73,720 or an increase of 1,294 students. The 73,720 figure includes 1,250 charter school students. Several items in the proposed FY09 budget are driven by this projected increase in student enrollment.
STRATEGIES The $2.946M figure included in the proposed FY09 budget request for the enrollment growth of 1,294 students can be traced to the funding agreement that existed between the Board of Education and the County Commissioners for FY98 and FY99. For 1997-98, the county agreed to allocate to the Board a sum equal to the 1996-97 per pupil expenditure multiplied by the number of new students projected for 1997-98. Additionally, if the State Legislature increased salaries by more than 4% for fiscal year 1997-98, the county agreed to increase the Board’s allocation by a sum equal to the amount over 4% necessary to pay the same increases to the locally funded positions. Likewise, for fiscal year 1998-99, the county agreed to allocate to the Board’s local current expense fund a sum equal to the 1997-98 per pupil expenditure multiplied by the number of new students projected for 1998-99. Additionally, if the State Legislature increased salaries by more than 4% for fiscal year 1998-99, the county agreed to increase its allocation by a sum equal to the amount over 4% necessary to pay the same increases to the locally funded positions. OUTCOMES While the Board of Education and the County Commissioners have not had any funding agreements beyond those that existed in FY98 and FY99, the district has continued to include an item for the growth in student enrollment in each year’s budget request. The logic has been and continues to be that the students in the upcoming budget year should receive at least the same amount of county appropriation per pupil funding as the students in the current budget year received. Therefore, given a projected increase in enrollment of 1,294 students for 200809 and a Local Current Expense Fund (LCEF) county appropriation per student for 2007-08 of $2,276.54, the FY09 budget includes $2,945,848 for growth in student enrollment (1,294 X $2,276.54)
FINANCIAL IMPACT The chart below reflects a breakdown of how we propose the growth dollars will be spent in FY09.
Growth in student enrollment based on 2007-08 LCEF county appropriation of $2,276.54 per pupil X 2008-09 projected growth in enrollment of 1,294 students 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 Increase in Weighted Student Formula (WSF) $ due to growth in student enrollment Increase in local textbook dollars due to growth in student enrollment Provide inquiry based science kits Expand Mandarin Chinese Program @ Northwood ES, Northwest HS and Page HS Produce LEA Report Card required by Federal Government Translate Web site into French, Urdu & Serbo-Croatian; update new material/info Enhance Professional Development system Provide a Technical Support Specialist position Initiate HR document imaging Provide additional bandwidth Increase Twilight HS funding – provide full year funding in FY09 (was1/2 year in FY08) Provide Testing Coordinators @ MS Implement High School Reform @ Northeast HS Expand Talent Development @ Andrews HS, Dudley HS and Smith HS Increase rate of pay for summer paint crew by $1 per hour
$2,945,848 $106,973 $13,898 $100,500 $78,900 $11,000 $10,000 $60,876 $48,000 $209,537 $280,000 $533,067 $745,343 $248,000 $461,000 $38,754
The increases in WSF and textbook dollars are driven solely by the projected increase in student enrollment. We have budgeted $100,500 to purchase and/or replenish inquiry-based science kits in fifth and seventh grade. The fifth grade kits address the topic of motion and design and the seventh grade kits address genetics. Inquiry-based science is a method of teaching science where students learn using relevant approaches, attitudes and skills to problem solve, much like scientists do. The growth dollars include $78,900 to expand the district’s Mandarin Chinese Program. Currently, the district has three Mandarin Chinese teachers – one teacher per school at Northwood Elementary, Ferndale Middle, and High Point Central High. Through an existing agreement with The College Board, GCS will secure three additional teachers – one teacher per school at Northwood Elementary, Northwest High and Page High. Per the agreement, GCS will pay the requisite US Visa application fees, housing, transportation, supply/material and staff development costs associated with employing the Mandarin Chinese Program teachers. The school district has the responsibility to inform parents about the school district. Therefore, we must publish a Local Education Agency (LEA) annual report card that contains information about student performance, class size, school safety and teacher quality within the district. The publication results in graphic design and printing costs of approximately $11,000.
GCS has over 71,000 students who speak more than 136 languages. In an effort to keep all families informed about district events and policies, we translate our Web site into the most common languages spoken in our district. We have successfully translated the Web site into Spanish and Vietnamese. In 2008-09 we will translate the Web site into French, Urdu and Serbo-Croatian. We have included $10,000 in the 2008-09 budget to complete this task. Additionally, $60,876 has been earmarked to fund the transition to a new professional development system. The new system will consolidate all of the organization’s learning activities into a single, unified platform that helps to closely manage and control the training process electronically. The system will have built-in integration capabilities that will allow it to easily fit into existing intranets and to tie directly to the Human Resources Management System (HRMS). Attendance, certification of renewal credit, program evaluation, and the capability to easily generate reports are improvements/enhancements provided by the new professional development system. Audio-visual (AV) solutions were provided by Technology Services to more than 300 classrooms during the 2007-08 school year. This count does not include the AV solutions that the schools have purchased on their own. The AV solution includes a projector, audio enhancement system, microphone, Interwrite SchoolPad and DVD/VCR player. A dedicated technical support position is needed to support those installations and to set up additional sites. The position will be responsible for ensuring proper AV cabling for the equipment. The position will deliver, install and troubleshoot problems with the equipment. The technical support position will be responsible for demonstrating the usage of the equipment to staff members and will also work with vendors on the warranty and repair for all parts of the solution. Our 2008-09 budget includes $48,000 to fund such a position. GCS hires approximately 650 certified staff and 350 classified staff annually. As new personnel are added, we continue to increase the paper files that are maintained to support these efforts. Currently the GCS houses some 55,846 personnel files and as many as 23,000 benefit files which must be manually maintained for accuracy. The benefit files must be kept separate from the personnel files. The respective file counts are as follows: • 16,000 Active Personnel Files • 4,800 Substitute Files • 35,046 Inactive Personnel Files • 23,000 Benefit Files • 78,846 Total Files To transition from hard copy files to microfiche or electronic files, two steps need to be taken: 1. Secure the services of an outside vendor who can transition the current pool of GCS employee files to an electronic version/format. 2. Purchase the imaging equipment needed to convert files of all newly hired employees to an electronic format. This purchase cost has been estimated at $50,000 and will be included in our capital outlay budget. The growth dollars include $209,537 to continue the much needed process of imaging human resource/personnel files/documents. GCS anticipates that moving from hard copy to electronic files will improve operating efficiency and provide on-line access to files/documents. Several new schools opened during the 2007-08 school year. The telecommunications budget has been increased by $280,000 in order to cover the additional Internet access expenses that
will be incurred for these sites in 2008-09. Also, our middle and traditional high schools are using the network for more bandwidth-intensive applications (such as voice, online courses, security cameras, streaming video) and need additional dedicated-quality bandwidth called Quality of Service (QOS). In October of 2007, the Board approved a recommendation from the superintendent and his administrative team to implement a Twilight High School pilot program for high school students whose behavior, combined with lack of academic success, put them at high risk for becoming high school dropouts. The program, housed at Smith High School, operated for essentially one-half of the 2007-08 school year and resulted in an estimated increase in local operating costs of $266,533. The increase was funded with available Mission Possible performance incentive dollars. In 2008-09, the Twilight High School will operate for a full academic year and the increase in local operating costs will be $533,067. This increase will be funded with growth dollars. Staff members are currently trying to identify a site on which we can relocate the existing Twilight High School in Greensboro. In addition, staff is exploring possibilities for a second Twilight High School in the High Point area. Given that we have not yet identified either of these desired sites, our 2008-09 budget currently includes only the cost to fund the existing Twilight High School for a full versus a partial academic year; however, we are being diligent and deliberate in our search for a second site and have calculated the cost to implement a second Twilight High School for a full year in 2008-09 would increase our proposed increase in county appropriation funding from $15,804,420 or 9.57% to $16,337,487 or 9.89%. Adding Testing Coordinators at the middle school level will relieve counselors and curriculum facilitators from administering test proctoring/coordination processes related to end of grade tests, field tests and assessments. Middle school students (grades 6, 7 and 8) are tested and assessed throughout the year, thus causing the need for more assistance. In 2005-06, the district implemented the use of testing coordinators at the high school level with the intent of adding testing coordinators at the middle school level in the future. The cost to add 22 middle school testing coordinators is estimated to be $745,343. As one of the identified turnaround schools in North Carolina, Northeast High School is preparing to enter the implementation stage of school reform. In order to meet this challenge, the administrative and leadership teams are focusing their choice on a program that will increase leadership capacity among the teachers and administrators. A freshman academy, which will have a dedicated counselor and administrator working with teams of teachers, will focus on creating a smooth transition for the incoming ninth grade students. The consultants will work with the leadership team and the administration by providing 32 training and technical assistance days; 18 of which will be on site, 24 will be via distance communication. Two coaches will be hired and will be trained by the provider to assist the teachers in their effort to change the culture of the school. These coaches, along with a curriculum facilitator that will focus on science and social studies, will be supervised by the principal and an Assistant Principal of Instruction. The 2008-09 budget includes $248,000 to implement a high school reform model as outlined above at Northeast High School. The Talent Development reform model is currently in place in grade 9 at Andrews, Dudley and Smith High schools. In 2008-09, we will expand the model into grades 10-12 at each respective site. Students in grades 10-12 will choose a career academy. Career academies connect high school to the real world. Each career academy will have a specific academic focus/theme. During the 2008-09 school year, talent development course offerings will be expanded to
include Geometry Foundations and Reading and Writing in Your Career. The 2008-09 budget earmarks $461,000 in growth dollars to expand the Talent Development reform model into grades 10-12 at Andrews, Dudley and Smith High schools. For several years, the district has maintained the same hourly rate of pay for summer paint crew members. Last school year the Teamsters Union requested, on behalf of its members, that the rate of pay for summer painters be increased from $7.94 per hour to $9.67 per hour [the 2006-07
minimum hourly rate of pay for classified employees as established by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI)]. The 2007-08 budget did not contain any funds to increase the hourly
rate of pay for summer painters. The Teamsters have again, this school year, requested that the rate of pay for summer painters be increased from $7.94 per hour to $10.06 per hour [the 200708 minimum hourly rate of pay for classified employees as established by the NCDPI]. Given that GCS has not had difficulty filling the positions at the $7.94 per hour rate of pay and summer painter positions are considered to be temporary/seasonal workers by the NCDPI, GCS has not been nor is it currently required to set the hourly rate of pay for these positions at or above the NCDPI minimum hourly pay rate established for classified employees. It is noteworthy to add that while these positions are considered temporary positions, often times they are filled by regular 10month GCS employees. We are recommending that the rate of pay for summer painters be increased by $1 per hour from $7.94 per hour to $8.94 per hour effective with the 2008-09 school year. We have included $38,754 in the proposed 2008-09 budget to cover the cost of implementing such a change. Source: New local dollars needed
CONTEXT Based on FY08 fund balance projections completed to date, we will essentially be in a break even position at year-end with respect to our energy budget -- even though we experienced unusually mild weather conditions throughout the year. Soaring fuel prices have impacted energy costs in FY08 and we anticipate this trend will continue in FY09. Utility companies have projected increases for FY09 as listed below: • Duke Energy projects a 6% increase effective in September of 2008. • Piedmont Natural Gas projects a 10% increase to be in effect January of 2009. • GCS purchases fuel oil on the state contract through a local supplier – Berico Fuels. We are currently paying $3.4827 per gallon. Berico recommends a 25% increase for the FY09 heating season for new and existing facilities. • GCS is currently paying $1.8102 for propane gas. The supplier, Ferrell, recommends a 25% increase for FY09. • All of the increases were estimated based on a “normal weather season” (our current season was once again milder than expected). • GCS maintenance staff have contacted other school districts in the state and reported that most of those districts are budgeting a 10% increase in their energy budgets for FY09. STRATEGIES We intend to provide climate control in a cost efficient way. GCS hopes to realize savings in energy costs by upgrading mechanical systems (the May 2008 bond referendum includes over $7.7M for system-wide improvements to heating and air conditioning systems throughout the district) and lighting systems and by educating building occupants regarding energy consumption/management. GCS promotes energy efficiency and environmentally sound designs for new schools. The district received a Sustainable Energy Leadership Award for making an outstanding contribution in helping North Carolina achieve its energy efficiency, renewable energy and sustainability goals. GCS is the only school district in North Carolina to receive this award. GCS has developed its own set of detailed green design specifications, known as the G3Guilford Green Guide. Two of its newest schools, Northern Guilford Middle and Reedy Fork Elementary, have received the Energy Star rating from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for estimated energy performance. Last summer, Northern Middle School was featured as an EPA Energy Star Case Study in an American Institute of Architects’ Committee on the Environment publication. The awards are selected based on the combination of the entities’ sphere of influence, impact on the community and their results. Based on the design of Northern Guilford Middle, Innovation Design, a Raleigh-based architectural firm, was awarded the Beyond Green 2007 High Performance Building Award from the Sustainable Building Industry Council. The firm won the national, juried award for designing the school using energy- and water-efficient elements. Inclusive of all the sustainable features, the building was constructed for $148 per square foot. The average middle school constructed in North Carolina during the same time period without these sustainable features cost approximately $154 per square foot.
The school features a comprehensive and well-integrated set of green strategies that include: • a holistic water cycle approach that incorporates bioswales and wetlands and a highly conserving water system (rainwater flushes toilets, goes through a Living Machine™ to an underground irrigation system, and finally into the aquifer); • a new daylighting design that had never been implemented before in any facility; • energy-efficient building shell and under-floor air distribution system; • indirect lighting with photocells and occupancy sensors; • solar water heating and photovoltaic systems; • 3-D experiential learning centers linking sustainable design features to the curriculum; • recycled materials and use of local products. Guilford County Facility Planning Consultant Joe Hill describes the school design. “In addition to minimizing the impact on the earth’s natural resources, this facility is very energy efficient and will result in significant savings in terms of operating costs….This is truly an example of how school facilities can maximize the use of limited resources and protect the environment at the same time.” “It is important to build energy efficient schools in order to reduce our dependency on nonrenewable energy sources and the ever increasing costs associated with those sources,” said Hill. “Several notable goals in our design of new school facilities include reducing operating costs, protecting our environment, designing buildings that teach, improving academic performance and designing for health, safety and comfort.” OUTCOMES GCS will have an increase of 228,754 square feet in heated/air conditioned facility space next year. In our existing facilities, the district anticipates an increase of 10% in utility/energy costs. Again, this is based on discussions with industry representatives and historical information/trend data. FINANCIAL IMPACT Our budget proposal includes $423,195 for the additional 228,754 square feet of heated/air conditioned facility space coming on-line during 2008-09 as well as an increase of $1,991,951 or 10% in overall energy costs for 2008-09. Source: New dollars needed
ELEMENTARY ART, MUSIC AND PE SPECIALISTS
CONTEXT GCS believes in providing a balanced curriculum of both core and electives for elementary schools. These electives include art, music, and physical education. Additionally, over the past four years, some elementary schools have also offered foreign language on a weekly rotation. Last year, nineteen elementary schools offered twice per week foreign language as a part of their electives. In doing so, they reduced art and music instruction. Some of these schools offered bi-weekly art and music, while others offered these electives on an A semester / B semester basis. GCS believes that elective offerings provide enrichment to the core curriculum, enabling young learners to explore their artistic, creative, and physical talents while integrating key literacy and numeracy concepts from the Standard Course of Study. STRATEGIES GCS will add 32 positions to ensure that weekly art, music and physical education is offered in all elementary schools. This will be accomplished by providing an allocation sufficient to schedule four days of electives with, on average, a minimum of 40 minutes per elective class. For most schools, that will include art, music and twice weekly physical education. Additionally, schools will receive an allocation sufficient to limit travel time, per the recommendations provided by Dr. Lynn Canady, Professor Emeritus, University of Virginia. Each electives teacher who is assigned to more than one school will not travel between schools during the day. This arrangement enables additional electives to be offered at schools while limiting travel time, which maximizes the use of valuable instructional time. Further, 19 schools will also continue to pilot twice weekly (or 80 minutes) of foreign language. This pilot will use elements of the Foreign Language at the Elementary School (FLES) program, preferably integrating foreign language into the literacy block. The pilot process will provide GCS an opportunity to examine and research the optimal time needed for language acquisition. GCS will seek to add foreign language to additional elementary schools in the 2009-10 school year pending feedback from the evaluation of this pilot effort. OUTCOME As a result of these efforts, all elementary schools will receive elective instruction at least four times per week for an average of 40 minutes per elective.
FINANCIAL IMPACT Given our awareness of and sensitivity to the current fiscal challenges on national, state and local fronts, our proposed FY09 budget includes the redirection of $1.6M in existing resources to offset the costs of adding 32 art, music and physical education specialists in our elementary schools in 2008-09. The items to be redirected are reflected in the chart below.
Redirected $ EGHS Modular Village lease Mission Possible Performance Incentives Legal fees in superintendent’s budget Purchase of out-of-state service AYP recovery @ Ferndale MS Leased space for the Middle College HS @ NC A&T State University Northern HS – shuttle service for athletics (including practices) Start-up costs for schools opening in 2007-08 ($264,665) ($876,034) ($50,000) ($36,740) ($50,000) ($24,000) ($21,318) ($315,684)
On November 1, 2006, Eastern Guilford High School (EGHS) was tragically destroyed by fire. The ninth and tenth grade EGHS students were housed at the former NC School for the Deaf for the remainder of the 2006-07 school year and the eleventh and twelfth grade EGHS students were housed at the GTCC East campus for the remainder of the 2006-07 school year. On December 19, 2006, the Board of Education approved placing ninth-twelfth grade EGHS students in a modular village on the existing EGHS campus effective with the 2007-08 school year with students remaining in the modular village until such time as a replacement facility is constructed on the campus (estimated @ 18-24 months). The 2007-08 budget included $1.4M for the costs associated with leasing the modular village at EGHS. The EGHS Wildcats should be able to occupy their new high school in April of 2009. The lease and removal costs projected for fiscal year 2008-09 are $1,150,285, which is $264,665 less than the $1.4M budgeted in 2007-08. Our 2008-09 budget redirects those dollars to fund additional art, music and physical education specialists in our elementary schools. The performance component of the Mission Possible program was implemented in FY08. Eligible teachers receive a performance incentive based upon their value added scores; the higher the teachers’ value added scores, the higher their annual performance incentive. Mission Possible teachers with value added scores of +1.5 – +1.9 standard error receive an annual performance incentive of $2,500 and Mission Possible teachers with value added scores of +2.0 standard error receive an annual performance incentive of $4,000. The FY08 budget earmarked $1.2M of the growth dollars for payment of these performance incentives. The $1.2M figure was calculated based on an assumption that all eligible Mission Possible teachers would earn an annual performance incentive of $4,000. Given that our undesignated fund balance as of June 30, 2006 was ($800,161) and no other funding source was available for payment of the performance incentives, the maximum performance incentive amount was calculated and earmarked for funding from 2007-08 growth dollars. The actual amount of performance incentives paid including fringe benefits was $251,241.10. Our 2008-09 budget redirects $876,034 of the $1.2M in Mission Possible performance incentives to assist in funding 32 additional art, music and physical education specialists in our elementary schools.
The superintendent’s 2007-08 budget included $50,000 for legal fees and $36,740 in contracted service dollars for the purchase of out-of-state service. Legal fees are also included in the Board of Education’s budget. The intent in budgeting the legal fees in two locations was to be able to differentiate/track legal fees incurred on behalf of the Board/district versus those that might be incurred at the direction of the superintendent. Given that no such distinction has been made on billings for legal services received to date and we are living within the legal fees budgeted at the Board level, we are recommending that the $50,000 in legal fees be redirected to fund additional elementary specialist positions. Following the 2004-05 school year, the Board of Education amended the superintendent’s employment contract and authorized the purchase of one-half of a year of out-of-state service for each year of service the superintendent completed in GCS. We are also recommending that the $36,740 in contracted services dollars budgeted for the purchase of out-of-state service also be redirected to fund additional elementary specialist positions. In addition, we have redirected $50,000 of local money from Ferndale Middle School Adequate Yearly Progress recovery efforts as a result of the district acquiring a federal magnet assistance grant. We will utilize approximately $2M of magnet funds to implement an International Baccalaureate program. These funds will also assist the school in implementing a summer enrichment and remediation academy that will meet the needs of students. The middle college has been in partnership with North Carolina A&T State University for the last five years. During this time the University has grown and its available classroom space has become scarce. This has caused the district to lease space from a nearby church during the 2007-08 school year in order to accommodate its student population. The university has indicated that its goal is to house the entire middle college on its campus. Therefore, the district will not need to lease space from the church during the 2008-09 school year. Northern High School opened in January of 2008. Student athletes participating in fall and winter sports were transported to practices during the August 2007 through December 2007 timeframe. GCS Transportation Director Jeff Harris estimated the cost of this shuttle service to be $6,318. In addition, given that Northern High School did not have an athletic fund balance to support their athletic programs, the principal also requested funding for overall athletic transportation costs for the 2007-08 school year. Harris estimated this cost at $15,000. The 2007-08 budget included $21,318 to provide athletic transportation services to Northern High School in its first year of operation with the understanding that the school would pay for the costs in future school years from gate receipts/athletic funds. The FY08 budget included $315,684 in one-time start-up costs for the following new schools that opened in 2007-08: Guilford, Pearce, Reedy Fork, Northern, Parkview, Pleasant Garden, and Stokesdale elementary schools, as well as Northern High School. The dollars were utilized to purchase additional instructional and custodial supplies. These dollars are available for redirection in 2008-09 as they were budgeted for one-time versus recurring expenditures in 2007-08. Source: Redirected dollars
SCHOOL CLIMATE TASK FORCE RECOMMENDATIONS
CONTEXT School climate impacts student achievement, morale, teacher retention and the overall culture of the school. The climate of schools has received much attention recently as many schools across the country grapple with this issue. On April 26, 2007, the Board of Education directed the superintendent to assemble a task force made up of parents, teachers, principals, law enforcement, school officials, students and community leaders and charged the task force to: 1. review the district’s handling of student misbehavior; 2. review the Guilford County Disproportionate Minority Contact Report; 3. meet with teachers, parents, students and community stakeholders; and 4. make a report by consensus back to the Board of Education. The consensus report was to include concrete steps that the Board of Education may adapt to: 1. reduce the number of suspensions and expulsions of Guilford County School students; 2. improve the relationship between law enforcement utilized in our schools and minority communities disproportionately represented in arrest records; 3. facilitate greater communication and understanding between the community, schools, parents, School Resource Officers (SROs) and students; and 4. improve the classroom education component of the SRO program and increase the safety of our campuses with an emphasis on the growing gang concern. The task force went to the community and interviewed teachers, principals, parents, students, counselors, bus drivers and other stakeholders. The task force reviewed data included in the Student Safety Survey taken in May 2006, the Disproportionate Minority Contact Report, the latest Teacher Working Conditions survey in 2006, data on suspensions and arrests of minors, and performed their own survey of teachers. On February 25, 2008, after eight months of meetings, reviewing data and discussions with stakeholders, the School Climate Task Force presented their report to the board of education. STRATEGIES Our 2008-09 budget includes the following items based on recommendations contained in the task force report: • implement Positive Behavior Support (PBS) in 10 additional schools in 2008-09; • add seven social worker positions; (We will use the additional positions to increase existing social worker allocations from parttime to full time positions in our schools with the greatest need as determined by case load.)
add one Behavioral Modification Technician at each traditional high school; (During the principal forum held on January 10, 2008, principals unanimously requested that
the district fund non-law enforcement security personnel for the high schools to increase campus safety and allow principals to provide leadership and support to individual staff members.)
provide a reading teacher for each middle school; (Task force members strongly recommend that GCS implement a plan to identify students with limited reading ability and implement immediate interventions addressing the students’ needs.) provide a reading teacher for each high school; (High school principals want to implement quality reading programs for incoming freshmen
because of their continued experience with ninth graders who are reading two or more grades behind.)
provide additional resources (personnel and/or contracted services dollars) to the Diversity Office;
(Task force members recommended on-going training for all school staff [Custodians, Cafeteria personnel, Bus Drivers, Teachers, Teachers’ Assistants, Administrative Assistants, Assistant Principals and Principals] on diffusing hostile situations, mediation, conflict resolution, awareness of culture [Race, Ethnicity, Economics].)
encourage increased use of Teen Court;
(School Safety agrees that this is a needed alternative to the criminal justice system and has encouraged the utilization of Teen Court for the past two years. Teen Court eligibility is only for first time youth offenders who are pleading guilty to misdemeanors. School Safety will provide additional training to SROs on the utilization of Teen Court. The expansion of the Teen Court program can be addressed by the administering agency, One Step Further, Inc.)
establish a Centralized Mediation Center exclusive to GCS with both a teacher/student training component; (GCS was contacted by Leary Davis, the founding dean of the Elon University School of Law,
about interest in establishing/developing a youth mediation program. Sharon Newsome Gaskin, Assistant Dean of Admissions at Elon University School of Law communicated that Elon University School of Law has received a $250K grant for this purpose. Chief Student Services Officer John Morris has connected Gaskin with GCS Hearing Officer Chesseley Robinson and GCS Diversity Officer Monica Walker so that GCS can begin working with Elon University School of Law to get this project up and running.)
provide direct district-level on-site support and opportunities for teachers regarding best practices and reading;
(During 2007-08, elementary teachers have received training on the K-5 Literacy Framework. Additional professional development opportunities in guided reading, vocabulary development, and intervention prevention have been offered for selected teachers and schools. Middle and high school teachers had the opportunity to participate in Reading in the Content Area, Springboard and Strategic Reading. Budget proposals for 2008-09 include the following additional reading professional development sessions: Elementary – Informational texts, guided reading, universal screeners and diagnostics, and intervention strategies. Middle School – Using Diagnostics to Inform Instruction, Springboard, Reading in the Content Areas, modeled and shared instruction, and intervention strategies. High School – Using Diagnostics to Inform Instruction, Strategic Reading, Reading in the Content Areas and intervention strategies.)
(Classroom Instruction That Works is a professional development course that provides teachers with the nine most effective research-based instructional strategies to improve student achievement. Using a train-the-trainer model, 23 schools plan to implement this improvement strategy and professional development as a school-wide focus during 08-09. Additional Classroom Instruction That Works sessions will be offered ongoing throughout the year for teachers interested in implementing in their classroom.)
provide professional development for principals on instructional leadership and teacher empowerment;
(Beginning in 2007-08, all assistant principals joined the GCS Assistant Principal Academy, which consists of five modules completed over a two year period. Each module aligns with research-based leadership responsibilities and practices to improve student achievement and each module closely aligns with the new NC Standards for Principal Evaluation. Additionally, 25 principals registered for Balanced Leadership, which consists of eight days of professional development over the course of a calendar year. In a recent proposal submitted to our community foundations, Facilitative Leadership was included as a professional development opportunity for principals and other leaders to improve teacher and stakeholder involvement and empowerment.)
organize opportunities for open dialogue on what’s happening in the schools and in the community include school staff, parents and students;
(School Safety agrees that SROs should participate in community law enforcement meetings on an as needed basis. Having separate meetings to discuss school related matters does not appear to be an effective tool unless school administrators, students and community leaders take an active role in organizing the meetings. Parents should be encouraged to attend school based meetings also.)
distribute the SROs’ roles and responsibilities, and periodically review them;
(A standard operating procedure (SOP) for SROs has existed since 2001 and was revised in 2006 in cooperation with the School Safety Office and the three participating law enforcement agencies. The SOP is generic in nature due to policy variations among the three agencies. The SOP addresses the purpose and objectives of the program, as well as duties, responsibilities and qualifications of a school resource officer. This document has been distributed among the law enforcement agencies and at public meetings and is available to the public upon request. School Safety would recommend convening a work group to review this document to be more definitive and future posting of the document on the district Web site.)
develop a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) or contract in order to minimize conflict;
(Currently, SROs spend very little time in the classroom due to being involved in other safety related activities. School Safety agrees that there needs to be a structured educational component approved by the district and specific time allotted for the SRO to conduct classroom instruction on law related matters. There needs to be approved curriculum at both the middle and high school level as well as training and lesson plans for SROs.)
include law enforcement supervisor and school administrator in SRO evaluations;
(School Safety does not agree with this recommendation but does agree that input from the school administrator and the School Safety Office should be considered by the evaluating supervisor.)
encourage SROs to host weekly breakfast meetings on site with student representatives with breakfast provided free to student representatives for their volunteerism;
(School Safety is supportive of this recommendation but would like to know more about how the breakfast meeting information/message will be disseminated. Will student representatives be granted a forum to present to the student body as a whole? Are SROs to be in attendance at breakfast meetings and student body meetings? Tony Scales will pursue this recommendation further with the goal of implementing in 2008-09.)
educate all school staff personnel on the history of gangs and why children are attracted to gang membership;
(Curriculum (GREAT [Gang Resistance Education and Training] Program and DARE [Drug Abuse Resistance Education]), at the elementary and middle school levels that address gang activity would be beneficial to addressing this concern. Also the district has to continue efforts to address the gang issue by providing training to staff members and by partnering with community organizations who are currently involved in anti-gang efforts.)
establish Student Human Relations Commissions (SHRC) in each high school;
(Task force report included a recommendation to establish, in partnership with the Greensboro Human Relations Commission, Student Human Relations Commissions (SHRC) in each high school with duties that include but are not limited to, serving as a student advisory council to administrators, to study and make recommendations concerning problems in the field of human relationships, to encourage fair treatment and mutual respect and understanding, to anticipate and discover those practices and customs most likely to create animosity and unrest among the student body, to make recommendations to administrators, school board and other stakeholders that promote good will and harmony, to enlist the cooperation of the various racial, religious, ethnic groups, community organizations and other groups with programs and campaigns devoted to eliminating bigotry, prejudice and discrimination, and to cooperate with other students, teachers, parents, school administration Human Relations Commissions, Board of Education and others in developing presentations on techniques for achieving harmonious inter-group relations.)
OUTCOME This initiative will increase student achievement through improved school climate and a reduction in school suspensions. FINANCIAL IMPACT New county appropriation dollars are requested for 2008-09 in order to implement PBS in 10 additional schools ($310,660); add seven social worker positions ($486,922); provide a reading teacher for each high school ($768,019); provide additional resources to the Diversity Office ($76,948); and establish Student Human Relations Commissions in each high school ($26,250). The high school behavioral modification technicians and middle school reading teachers will be provided at no additional cost due to changes made in the district’s staffing formulas. The GCS staffing formula for grades 11 and 12 was changed from a 24 to 1 student to teacher ratio to a 26 to 1 student to teacher ratio and the formula for grades six through eight was changed from a 20.4 to 1 student to teacher ratio to a 21 to 1 student to teacher ratio. We also changed elementary staffing formulas at grades 4 and 5 from a 26 to 1 student to teacher ratio to a 25 to 1 student to teacher ratio. This was accomplished at no additional cost to the district due to the secondary staffing changes outlined above. Source: New dollars needed $1,668,799
2006-07 NC PUBLIC SCHOOL PERSONNEL SUMMARIES
GCS would like to extend a special thank you to teachers, administrators, parents and other community partners for their valuable time and contributions with many of the recommendations that have been brought forward.
GUILFORD COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION Dr. Walter Childs, III, District 1 Garth Hébert, District 2 Darlene Garrett, District 3 Alan W. Duncan, District 4, Chairman Anita Sharpe, District 5 Jeff Belton, District 6 Kris B. Cooke, District 7 Deena A. Hayes, District 8 Amos L. Quick, III, District 9, Vice-Chairman Dorothy Kearns, At Large Dr. Nancy R. Routh, At Large
In compliance with federal laws, Guilford County Schools administers all educational programs, employment activities and admissions without discrimination because of race, religion, national or ethnic origin, color, age, military service, disability or gender, except where exemption is appropriate and allowed by law. Refer to the Board of Education's Discrimination Free Environment Policy AC for a complete statement. Inquiries or complaints should be directed to the Guilford County Schools Compliance Officer, 120 Franklin Boulevard, Greensboro, NC 27401; 336-370-2323.