With two unanimous votes, the Board of Education hired an interim assistant principal for Newtown High School and an acting assistant principal for Sandy Hook Elementary School during its meeting on Tuesday, August 20.
As Interim Superintendent of Schools John Reed explained, the US Department of Education’s School Emergency Response to Violence (SERV) grant is funding Brian Kirmil’s position as acting assistant principal for Sandy Hook School for the 2013-14 school year. The position is in addition to a principal and assistant principal position already in place at the school.
Mr Kirmil, who was at Tuesday’s meeting, said he has been a resident of Newtown for 28 years. He recently retired after being principal at Bethel’s Rockwell School for 18 years.
“I am honored,” said Mr Kirmil after the school board unanimously voted for him to fill the position at Sandy Hook School.
Following an executive session at the start of the meeting, the school board also voted unanimously to appoint Matt Childs as interim assistant principal at NHS. Mr Childs has been a physical education teacher at NHS for nearly a decade, and he will be filling Jaime Rivera’s position at the school during his absence. According to a post on the high school’s blog, http://dumais.us/newtown/blog, a committee of teachers, administrators, a staff member, and a parent conducted interviews of candidates for the position prior to the school board’s decision.
Both votes received applause during the meeting.
Dr Reed also told the school board during his Superintendent’s Report that he plans on sending an e-mail to district parents about a number of topics, including the upcoming start of the school year. From his years of experience as superintendent, Dr Reed said buses have always been late on the first day of school. To work against this, he said he will be asking parents to refrain from taking photos of their child getting on the bus.
To help alleviate traffic backing up the bus schedule, Dr Reed said Newtown High School will be released ten minutes early the first three days of school this year.
He also said that this is the second year that All-Star Transportation has overseen the routes in town, and the company has had a low turnover of drivers. Dr Reed said he anticipates the drivers will be familiar with the routes as a result.
“I just ask everybody for their patience and understanding,” said Dr Reed, “and my expectation is we will work through the normal challenges.”
Later in the meeting Business Director Ronald Bienkowski said All-Star has reworked its bus routes to include Monroe’s Chalk Hill Middle School, where Sandy Hook School is currently housed, and the changes are expected to decrease those bus routes by ten minutes from last year.
Dr Reed also reminded all present at the townwide referendum to accept the balance of $50 million from a state funding package to complete a new Sandy Hook School building is set for Saturday, October 5.
Dr Reed also gave the school board an update on Hawley Elementary School’s heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) project. To replace a boiler in the school’s 1948 section, Dr Reed said that portion of the building had to be cleared out. Overall the project took “fairly significant work,” according to the superintendent. While the summer’s scheduled work was completed early, Dr Reed said cleaning it up took more time and Hawley’s planned student tour was postponed a few days until Monday, the day before school starts in the district.
The Board of Education also heard Mr Bienkowski’s Year End Financial Report for the 2012-13 fiscal year, and the first monthly financial report for the 2013-14 fiscal year during the meeting.
With the recommended transfers, passed by the school board during the meeting, Mr Bienkowski reported that the school district “concluded the year with a remaining positive balance in the appropriated budget of $6,035 or .01 percent.”
The balance will be returned to the town, along with $222 from the 2011-12 fiscal year and other revenues totally $51,767, according to Mr Bienkowski’s report.
While Mr Bienkowski told the school board the 2012-13 fiscal year was a difficult year — with Superstorm Sandy, the events of 12/14 at Sandy Hook School, and other events affecting the budget — he also said it ended up being a financially manageable one.
A budget freeze implemented in early May helped the school district produce $214,000 in savings, according to Mr Bienkowski. Other areas in the budget that he reported as “major areas where funds became available” were from the Federal Insurance Contributions Act and Medicare, transportation, electricity, natural gas, and fuel for vehicles.
Mr Bienkowski’s full Year End Financial Report, as presented to the school board, is available here.
With July being the first month in the 2013-14 fiscal year, Mr Bienkowski said his monthly report was slim and reflected what the school district has spent money on in the month. His Monthly Financial Report for July is also available here.