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The Green Gazette
The Raymond School District Community Newsletter
Special Edition February 2018

FROM THE SUPERINTENDENT

Schools should reflect the values of the community in which they are located. Therefore, it is essential that the citizens of Raymond be activity involved in the process of making School District decisions through civic engagement, deliberation and voting. Your suggestions, feedback and votes are key to making sure that our school system moves forward in accord with the wishes of the citizens of Raymond. Please don't miss the opportunities that are available to you to be a part of this important political process. Every perspective is valuable, and every vote matters. I hope to see you at our Deliberative Session (2/10/18) and on our Voting Day (3/13/18)! Read on for more information relevant to upcoming community decisions.  You can also find more detailed information on our website at www.sau33.com --> Voter Information.
Raymond School District

First Deliberative Session

Saturday, February 10th, 10:00 AM, Raymond High School Cafeteria

Childcare will be available courtesy of the RHS Interact Club!
 
All citizens are invited to attend the School District Deliberative Session on Saturday, the 10th of February at 10:00 AM. This first session will consist of explanations, discussions and deliberations of the warrant articles numbered 2 through 6. At this session, the wording of some warrant articles may be amended (as permitted by law).  All citizens are urged to attend this important meeting to debate these articles. Please come and participate in this important process on February 10th at the Raymond High School Cafetorium.

The articles as amended (or not) at the Deliberative Session will be placed on the official ballot and voted on at the Second (Voting) Session. Be sure to mark your calendar and come to vote in our Town Election on March 13th from 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM at Iber Holmes Gove Middle School gymnasium.
 

Below you will find the current wording of each article and some brief comments or explanations in italics. I hope all citizens will find this newsletter to be helpful as they deliberate and vote regarding these important issues. 

Article 1 - Election of Officers

Article 1, Election of Officers

To choose the following School District Officers:

a.) To choose two School Board Members for the ensuing three years.
b.) To choose one School District Moderator for the ensuing three years.
c.) To choose one School District Clerk for the ensuing three years.
d.) To choose one School District Treasurer for the ensuing three years.

Please come out to vote regarding these important positions. 

Article 2 - Operating Budget

Shall the School District raise and appropriate as an operating budget, not including appropriations by special warrant articles and other appropriations voted separately, the amounts set forth on the budget posted with the warrant, or as amended by vote of the first session, for the purposes set forth therein, totaling $24,283,331 (Twenty Four Million, Two Hundred Eighty Three Thousand, Three Hundred Thirty One Dollars)?  Should this article be defeated, the default budget shall be $24,425,410 (Twenty Four Million, Four Hundred Twenty Five Thousand, Four Hundred Ten Dollars) which is the same as last year, with certain adjustments required by previous action of the Raymond School District or by law; or the governing body may hold one special meeting, in accordance with RSA 40:13, X and XVI, to take up the issue of a revised operating budget only.  (This article does not include appropriations proposed under any other warrant article.)
 
(Recommended by the School Board: Yes – 4; No - 0 )
(Recommended by the Budget Committee: Yes - 5; No - 1)
 

The Raymond School District Operating Budget includes the money raised annually to pay for our school system to operate: employee salaries, benefits, supplies, equipment and everything from books to snow plowing, and band instruments to heating oil.
 
The operating budget for fiscal year 2019 (the 2018-2019 school year) as approved by the Raymond School Board and the Budget Committee is $24,283,331. This is a net increase of $303,969  or  1.27% as compared to the current fiscal year. Some highlights of the proposed budget are:
  • At LRES a first and a second grade teacher were eliminated
  • At IHGMS  an eighth grade teacher and a guidance counselor were removed from the budget
  • At RHS one high school English teacher was reduced
  • District-wide one special education administrator position was eliminated 
  • Two licensed nurse assistant positions in the District were reduced while a licensed practicing nurse was added
  • Salaries and benefits accounts were adjusted downward to align with estimated (anticipated) turnover and corresponding lower wages for less experienced new hires
  • One math interventionist position was added to teach students at LRES and IHGMS
  • Course materials for expanded earth science offerings were included
  • Salary adjustments for Assistant Principals were incorporated
  • Special education expenditures for tuition and contracted services went up
  • Some increases in equipment, software and other instructional materials were also deemed necessary 
This proposed budget is the product of substantial collaboration and compromise. It was carefully constructed to be fiscally conservative while providing adequate funding for quality education and the continuous improvement of teaching and learning within our school system. It was vetted and refined repeatedly by District administrators, the School Board and the Budget Committee before being presented to the voters of Raymond. If the proposed budget is not passed by the voters, the default budget will be $24,425,410.

The estimated tax effect of article #2, if passed, is $0.33 per thousand or $0.63 per thousand when taking lower state revenues into consideration.

Article 3 - Collective Bargaining Agreement

Shall the School District vote to approve the cost items included in the collective bargaining agreement reached between the Raymond School Board and the Raymond Education Association, which calls for the following changes in salaries and benefits at the current staffing levels from those paid in the prior fiscal year:

                        Year                            Estimated Increase
                        2018-2019                   $408,424
                        2019-2020                   $390,650
                        2020-2021                   $403,531
 
and further to raise and appropriate the sum of $408,424 (Four Hundred Eight Thousand, Four Hundred Twenty Four Dollars) for the upcoming fiscal year, such sum representing the additional costs attributable to the increase in salaries and benefits required by the new agreement over those that would be paid at current staffing levels?
 
(Recommended by the School Board: Yes-3; No-0)
(Recommended by the Budget Committee: Yes 5; No 1)
 

This article pertains to the proposed collective bargaining agreement recently reached between the Raymond School Board and the Raymond Education Association (REA), our teachers’ union. Some highlights of the updated agreement are:
  • Teachers may elect to serve as substitutes during their preparation periods at a rate of $18.75
  • The District contribution percentage for insurance premiums for the SchoolCare Yellow without Choice Health Plan (a high deductible plan) will go down over three years (93% to 92% to 91%)
  • A second high deductible Health Plan, (SchoolCare Orange) is available to REA members; this plan has lower premiums for the District and the members, but deductibles are higher. Although the District will pay 100% of the premium, this plan is the less expensive (for the District) of the two health plan options 
  • The agreement requires REA members to pay for half of any potential excise tax that may be incurred under the Affordable Care Act in 2020 (if applicable)
  • The contract language regarding the maximum amount of unpaid Child Rearing Leave for members is clarified
  • Each member advances one step at the beginning of the school year
  • The number of steps in the REA pay scale is decreased from 17 to 15 by the third year of the contract
  • The proposed new agreement has a duration of three years
The proposed agreement was deemed both fair and appropriate by the Raymond School Board and the Raymond Education Association. One important overarching aim of the agreement is to stabilize our teaching staff and encourage experienced and effective educators to remain in our District.  

The estimated tax effect of article 3, if it passes, is $0.44 (per thousand) in year one, $0.42 in year two and $0.44 in year three.

Article 4 - Special Meeting

Shall the School District, if article 3 is defeated, authorize the governing body to call one special meeting, at its option, to address article 3 cost items only?   
This article refers directly back to article 3, the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the Raymond School Board and the Raymond Education Association. 
 

Article 5 - Capital Reserve Funds

Shall the School District vote to raise and appropriate the sum of $235,400 (in total) so that the following amounts can be added to the following previously established Capital Reserve Funds in order to implement the School District’s 2018-2019 Capital Improvement Program?

Raymond School District Equipment, Facilities Maintenance
And Replacement Capital Reserve Fund (established in 2006)                     $202,544

Technology Capital Reserve Fund (established in 2001)                               $  13,142

Food Service Equipment Capital Reserve Fund (established in 2006)          $  19,714

                                                                                                 Total                $235,400
 
(Recommended by the School Board: Yes – 5; No - 0 )
(Recommended by the Budget Committee: Yes - 6; No - 0)
 
The District's Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) is an important, collaborative tool that helps the District engage in long term planning related to capital improvements. It allows the District to strategically schedule important projects in a manner that will avoid or reduce spikes in the tax rate. Because the Raymond School District's major capital improvement needs are assessed annually, we are in a stronger position to establish fiscal priorities for and between projects. Some proposed projects for fiscal year 2019 are: 
  • Facilities Maintenance Capital Reserve Fund - Lamprey River Elementary School upgrade to one set of student bathrooms and Raymond High School connection to newly established Town water supply
  • Technology Capital Reserve Fund - District firewall
  • Food Service Capital Reserve Fund - Savings for future projects
The projects proposed for fiscal year 2019 do not represent all of the capital needs identified in the CIP; they are the major priorities as identified by the Raymond School Board, the Capital Improvement Plan Committee, and the Budget Committee. 

The estimated tax effect of article 5, if passed, is $0.02 per thousand. 

Article 6 - Undesignated Fund Balance

Shall the School District vote to raise and appropriate up to $50,000 (Fifty Thousand Dollars) to be placed in the existing Equipment, Facilities Maintenance, and Replacement Capital Reserve Fund (established in 2006), with such amount to be funded from the year-end undesignated fund balance available on July 1?

(Recommended by the School Board: Yes – 5; No - 0)
(Recommended by the Budget Committee: Yes-5; No-1)
 

If an undesignated fund balance exists at the end of the fiscal year, this article - if passed - will allow the Raymond School Board the opportunity to vote to transfer up to $50,000 into the Equipment, Facilities, Maintenance and Replacement Capital Reserve Fund. If this occurs, the amount of the transfer would increase District savings for future Capital Improvement Plan Projects. 
LOOKING FORWARD
Great things are happening in the Raymond School District. Through collaboration and coordination at all levels, we are striving to continually improve the quality of education we can provide to every student in our community. Some of our key strategies are curriculum alignment, an increased focus on rigor and engagement, and a shift to competency based learning and reporting.  As a district we continue to provide and create authentic learning opportunities for our students, so they may engage with the curriculum in meaningful ways. In the Raymond School District every student should be able to reach their full potential.  Students will be able to demonstrate their mastery of content through knowledge and skill and apply their learning directly to solve real world problems.  This is an exciting time for all those who have a stake in the Raymond School District. It is a joy and a pleasure for us to serve the children and youth of Raymond, along with their families.
 
"A hero is someone who understands the responsibility that comes with his freedom". (Bob Dylan)
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The Raymond School District does not exclude from participation, deny the benefits of, or otherwise discriminate in the administration of its admissions or in its educational programs, activities, or employment practices on the basis of race, color, national origin, ancestry, religion, age, sex, handicap/disability, sexual orientation or marital status.  This statement is a reflection of the mission of the Raymond School District and refers to, but is not limited to, the provision of the following laws: Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; The Age Discrimination Act of 1975; Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972; Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990; NH Law Against Discrimination (RSA 354-A)'; State Rule: Ed. 303.01 (i) (j) (k)
Copyright © 2017 Raymond School District. All rights reserved.

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Raymond School District
43 Harriman Hill Road
Raymond, NH 03077

www.sau33.com

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Raymond School District · 43 Harriman Hill Road · Raymond, NH 03077 · USA

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