York County School Board Newsletter

YCSD School Board Notes - December 2013

I am writing to share information with you regarding our most recent School Board work sessions, held on December 2 and December 9.

December 2 Work Session

Financial Matters

Dennis Jarrett, Chief Financial Officer, reviewed the budget challenges of recent years, including the elimination of 143 positions during the last five years. He then presented an outlook for next year's budget. The state's General Fund revenues are expected to rise during the next fiscal year, although it is unclear whether state aid to the York County School Division will increase or decrease. This will depend on the extent to which education is prioritized in the budget approved by the General Assembly and signed by the new Governor. A decline in federal funds is anticipated and if a second year of sequestration occurs at the federal level, the York County School Division could lose almost one million dollars.

The School Board received a report on expenses associated with two specific areas. Textbooks: because our spending on textbooks has been cut in half since 2010, our current allocation for textbook spending will not be sufficient in the long run. Services for Students with Disabilities: the state and federal governments provide financial support for services for students with disabilities. However, local dollars are needed to meet state and federal requirements.

The division will provide up-to-date information online throughout the budget cycle.

Operational Matters

After reviewing the anticipated growth in student enrollment, we discussed seeking approval in the ten year Capital Improvement Program from the Board of Supervisors for a new elementary school at a site to be determined, as well as a six-classroom addition at Queen's Lake Middle School. Construction would start during the 2016-2017 school year. We also discussed seeking funds to purchase additional security cameras for schools. We will forward the School Board-proposed ten year Capital Improvements Program to the Board of Supervisors following its approval at our meeting on December 16. The Board of Supervisors approves a ten year Capital Improvements Program each year, but money is allocated for specific projects on an annual basis, allowing plans to be adjusted based on the latest information.

Academic Matters

Recommendations for changes to the Secondary Program of Studies and Course Offerings Guide were presented at the Work Session. A few new courses are proposed for next year, including Advanced Course Experience to help introduce and prepare middle school students for Advanced level courses offered at the high school level. A proposed course called Student Technology Corps would provide students with classroom instruction and hands-on experience working with technology used within the division. The total cost of the new courses would be less than $4,300. The Board will formally approve the revisions to the Secondary Program of Studies and Course Offerings Guide at the School Board meeting this month.

Strategic Plan Status Update

The School Board received updates regarding progress towards several objectives of the Strategic Plan, including objectives regarding the percentage of advanced studies diploma graduates achieving the "College and Career Ready" standard on the SAT as well as efforts to recruit, hire, retain, and support a diverse staff that meets our highest standards.

December 9 Work Session

Operational Matters

During the Work Session on December 9, the School Board held another discussion on school start times. These discussions began based on research regarding academic benefits of later school start times for high school students. At our most recent meeting, staff presented two alternative start time options and some of the implications the alternatives might have on class schedules, athletics, and child care for not only high school students, but all students. The Board and division staff will continue to review and analyze the alternative options, which are provided below, before making any determinations regarding school start times. The division plans to seek parent, student and staff feedback later this school year through a variety of methods including online surveys. If we decide to implement one of these alternatives, the new school hours would not be implemented until the year after next (September, 2015) to allow for thorough planning. Additional information regarding school start times is available on the division website.

  Current School Hours Option C School Hours Option D School Hours
High Schools

7:20 a.m. - 2:05 p.m.

8:25 a.m. - 3:10 p.m.
8:30 a.m. - 3:15 p.m.
8:35 a.m. - 3:20 p.m.
8:25 a.m. - 3:10 p.m.
7:50 a.m. - 2:35 p.m.

8:25 a.m. - 3:10 p.m.
Middle Schools 8:00 a.m. - 2:45 p.m.
8:05 a.m. - 2:50 p.m.
9:10 a.m. - 3:55 p.m.
9:15 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
9:25 a.m. - 4:10 p.m.
Elementary Schools 8:45 a.m. - 3:21 p.m.
9:00 a.m. - 3:36 p.m.
7:50 a.m. - 2:26 p.m. 8:30 a.m. - 3:06 p.m.
8:45 a.m. - 3:21 p.m.

Upcoming Meetings

Our next School Board Work Session will be held at York Hall at 5 p.m. on Monday, December 16, followed by the Monthly Meeting at 7 p.m. All School Board meetings and work sessions are broadcast live on YCSD-TV, Channel 47 (Cox) and Channel 39 (Verizon). Meetings and work sessions are also rebroadcast on alternating nights at 7 p.m. Additional programming information is available online. I look forward to additional opportunities to share important information regarding our schools.


Thank you for your support of our students and staff!

Barbara S. Haywood
School Board Chair
On Behalf of the York County School Board

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