District adds SRO; 2019-20 Budget Development continues
Superintendent Scott Martzloff announced that the district will be adding a full time, district-wide School Resource Officer (SRO) thanks to a cooperative agreement with the Town of Amherst and the Amherst Police Department. "During last year's budget process, we allocated funds to enhance school safety and security," Dr. Martzloff said. He thanked Amherst Town Supervisor Brian Kulpa and members of the Town Board for supporting the agreement and making it affordable for the school district to add the new position. The SRO will provide coverage to all 13 Williamsville schools and is expected to begin in February.
Looking ahead to next year, Assistant Superintendent Thomas Maturski provided an overview of the estimated budget increase associated with maintaining current instructional programming. He also shared a list of program support items that would expand or enhance programming. The year-to-year budget increase is estimated to be 3.19 percent. According to Mr. Maturski, the levy tax cap and state aid estimates should be available in time for the February 12 meeting, following the Governor's annual budget address in late January.
The district's rapidly growing English as a New Language (ENL) program was a featured topic, presented by Instructional Specialist Karen Greco. Ms. Greco cited a 63 percent increase in English Language Learners (ELL) across the district over the past five years. According to Ms. Greco, Williamsville's ELL population is the fourth largest in Western New York, serving almost 500 students speaking 42 different languages. "Williamsville is a diverse school community and we are becoming increasingly more diverse," she said. "We must maintain our focus on developing and advancing cultural understanding. This requires continued professional development and the implementation of school-based programs for all stakeholders."
A third presentation spotlighted the recent Challenge2Change Summit hosted by Williamsville CSD at Daemen College in November. Students representing each high school spoke to the Board about how they are working to incorporate the program's mission into their school cultures. The Challenge2Change mission looks to create a community of student leaders who are able to address issues related to racial understanding, unity and tolerance. Funding for the Summit was provided by a Teaching Tolerance Grant obtained by the district last year.
Read more in the School Board Notes or watch the meeting video to view the presentations and board discussion on important matters affecting ouu schools.
The next regular school board meeting is February 12. 2019.