Amity Board of Education News: Unexpended Funds, Student Awards, Budget, More
Application of Unexpended Funds: The Amity Board of Education made its decision on how to apply the unexpended funds from the 2021-2022 budget. Board members debated the interpretation of C.G.S. 10-51(c), which reads, “The board shall use any budget appropriation which has not been expended by the end of the fiscal year to reduce the net expenses of the district for the following fiscal year.” The Board approved that the unexpended funds from the prior school year (2021-2022) be used to reduce the allocation payments made by the member towns for the current school year (2022-2023). The reduction to the payments will be calculated from 2021-2022 enrollment and will be based on the final audit report that the Board will approve at its February meeting. Town Finance Committees will receive a memo detailing the reduction in payment prior to finalizing their fiscal year 2024 budgets. Reductions to the allocation payments will occur prior to June 30th.
Communicating Educational Concerns with the Schools: The Board recognizes that parents may have questions or concerns about their child’s educational experiences. Students also at times have experiences and observations about their instruction, education, and school climate that they wish to share or have explained or investigated. While the Board takes seriously its responsibility to listen to constituents and while Board members are empathetic to the experiences of parents, guardians, and students, it is the position and policy of the Board that problems are best resolved at the most immediate level of responsibility. To that end, the Board encourages parents and students to open lines of communication with classroom teachers, school counselors, assistant/associate principals, and principals when there is a concern about an educational matter they are experiencing. Phone conversations and face to face meetings with those individuals frequently help to resolve those concerns. If resolution isn’t reached at the school level, the administration at the district level (athletic Director, Pupil Services Director, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum & Instruction, and Superintendent) are also available for conversation. All these channels of communication open the opportunity for conversation and dialogue between school personnel and community members.
CAPSS Student Awards Presented: The Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents (CAPSS) Superintendent Student Award Recognition Program was conducted at the January Board meeting. Students who receive this award are recognized for “community service and service to others; academic process; and leadership service to the school community”. Ten Amity students were recognized including: Anchal Bahel (ARHS), Julia Capecelatro (AMSO), Nina Carmeli (ARHS), Francis Carvallaro (ARHS), Riley D’Andrea (AMSB), Allen Liu (ARHS), Grace Mahon (ARHS), Katherine Sim (ARHS), Auh’Veon Singleton (AMSO), and Tiari Young (AMSB).
2023-2024 Amity Budget: The Superintendent’s proposed 2023-2024 budget was presented to the Amity Finance Committee on January 9, 2023. Presentations will be made to each of the town’s Boards of Finance on January 19th (Woodbridge), January 23rd (Orange), and February 14th (Bethany). The purpose of the AFC presentation and attending the Boards of Finance meetings is to receive input and feedback from citizens of each of our towns prior to the March deadline for adoption of the budget by the Board of Education. Details of the proposed budget may be found on the district website amityregion5.org/BOE/budget.
Amity’s Next Generation Accountability Results: On January 9, 2023, the Board of Education reviewed Amity’s results on the CSDE’s Next Generation Accountability System. This is a statewide metric where “schools and districts earn points on a broad set of 12 indicators that help tell the story of how well a school is preparing its students for success in college, careers, and life. The system moves beyond test scores and graduation rates to provide a more holistic, multifactor perspective of district and school performance.” District results for Amity mirrored many of the trends found across the state. Amity maintained its top performance in the 4-year graduation rate, postsecondary entrance, 9th grade students on track to graduate from high school, and student performance in state English assessments. Amity showed growth in the number of students taking college and career level courses. Consistent with patterns across the state, Amity saw a significant increase in the number of students who are chronically absent and a decline in math performance in grades 7-12. The accountability results are used to prioritize budget requests and professional development for teachers. All accountability data can be found on the CSDE’s Data Portal, EdSight.
BOWA Boutique: The Amity chapter of the National Honor Society is hosting the BOWA Boutique, the school’s first-ever community thrift store event. To support it, the NHS held a community-wide clothing drive from December 9th to December 23rd, and the BOWA Boutique opened on January 6, 2023 in the ARHS Cafeteria. The event was great success and proceeds will be going to the General Need Fund in New Haven.
Upcoming Virtual Keynote: - A Parent Primer on Fentanyl, Edibles, and Vaping - Please join this informative webinar by Lorrie McFarland, Alliance for Prevention & Wellness and Tricia Dahl, Yale School of Medicine. The webinar will be held on January 25, 2023, beginning at 6:30 pm. The webinar is appropriate for parents of children of all ages and is open to anyone in the communities of Bethany, Orange, and Woodbridge. Pre-registration is required to receive information about joining the webinar. This event is co-hosted by Amity Regional School District, Orange Youth Services, Woodbridge Youth Services, and BOWDAAC. Please visit our websites for pre-registration links.
Scholarship Resources: Now that many members of the Senior class have applied to colleges, they are now turning their attention to scholarship applications. To assist students with that task, the ARHS College and Career Center researches and posts information about local and national scholarships in their office and online and provides individualized support to seniors in identifying and applying for available scholarships.
Soap Lift Goes National: Amity Transition Academy students have been assembling Soap Lift (soaplift.com) products for the past several school years. Over the winter break, an Amity staff member saw a Soap Lift for sale at a local merchant in Nashville, Tennessee. Our staff and students are extremely proud of their work and are excited to learn that Soap Lifts that they have assembled can be found across the United States.