Posted September 24, 2018
The Plymouth Joint School District held its 2018-19 Annual Meeting and Budget Hearing at 7 p.m. Sept. 18, 2018 in the Plymouth High School Amphitheatre.
Tim St. Clair, Board of Education president, was elected chairperson for the meeting. Thirteen electors signed in and were eligible to vote.
Dr. Carrie Dassow gave her annual report to the board and the community, highlighting work under each of the district’s four Pillars of Excellence:
- The district has fully implemented new assessments, new K-8 math resources, new balanced literacy curriculum, and in-house leadership positions to advance key areas.
- The district has benefited from business partnerships that include the donation of a robot by Kohler Co., many Youth Apprenticeship opportunities, and industry help in developing relevant curriculum.
- The district also has significant partnerships with higher education, making 77 college credits available to PHS students.
- Recognizing the value of investing in its staff, the district has a strong professional development program.
- The new Riverview Intramurals program benefitted 142 students last school year.
- New extracurricular options at the elementary level include Art Club, Fishing Club, and Ski Club.
- The district is grateful for the community’s support of the referendum to update Plymouth High School and Fairview and Parkview elementary schools.
- The district will continue to pursue partnerships and mentorships that benefit students and the community.
- The Board of Education led an effort at the state level to begin to address funding inequities for historically low-spending districts such as Plymouth
- Despite that assistance, Plymouth remains in the lowest 25 percent of per-student spending, so there is more work to be done.
“Thank you, Plymouth Community, for your support of this outstanding school district,” Dr. Dassow concluded.
School Board President’s Address
Mr. St. Clair also thanked the community for its support. The Plymouth School District continues to remain fiscally responsible while maintaining outstanding educational programming, he said.
Along with literacy, math and STEAM, community engagement will be a priority for the district this year, Mr. St. Clair noted. When our students are connected positively to our community, they will be more successful, he said.
Budget Hearing and Tax Levy
Electors approved a levy of $12,404,539 at the annual meeting, to be distributed as follows:
- General Fund (the district’s main operating account): $9,697,861
- Community Service (for Community Education & Recreation): $185,000
- Debt Service (for payments on loans for past projects): $2,359,049
- WRS Refinancing Levy (regarding past changes in pensions): $162,629
The final amount of the levy may change before the Board of Education certifies it in October. The mill rate is expected to be around $8.92 per $1,000 of valuation. That is up 78 cents because of the referendum passed by voters in April, but still almost $1 below the state average.
- Voted to keep the salaries of Board of Education members at $1,000. Board members also will continue to be paid $25 per meeting beyond the 12 monthly meetings, and a $50 stipend when conducting district business outside the district.
- Authorized the Board of Education to engage legal counsel during the 2018-19 school year.
- Set the time of the next Annual Meeting for 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019.
Summary prepared by Jamie Piontkowski, district coordinator of community communications