HOLCOMB — The Holcomb USD 363 Board of Education approved its 2019-20 calendar and new budget measures Monday, both of which will impact the upcoming school year.
The board unanimously approved the third of three calendars developed by the district’s calendar committee, which received the most votes in a teacher survey. The approved calendar increases teachers’ daily contact time with students by 15 minutes and cuts out five days from the school calendar.
School will begin on Aug. 21 and let out on May 14, 2020, factoring in about one less school week than the other two calendars. All three calendars had identical winter and spring breaks, which are Dec. 21 to Jan. 5 and March 14 to 22, respectively.
Over the 2019-20 school year, district staff will make concerted efforts to see how the slightly longer days and shorter school year impacts student success, according to meeting materials.
The board also agreed to make adjustments to the district’s local option budget, which has the potential to impact Holcomb residents’ mill levy. However, ideally that will not be necessary, Superintendent Scott Myers told the board.
Myers suggested increasing the local option budget from 30 percent to 33 percent in order to be able to direct funds to support the district’s faculty and staff, including professional learning opportunities, educational resources for the classroom or added personnel in areas of need, like early childhood instructors or technology support. The money could also be used for other operating expenses, like utilities, Myers said.
The tax impact could be side-stepped by decreasing the district’s capital outlay fund, used largely for facilities, by an amount equal to the local option budget increase, thus neutralizing any tax shift, Myers said. Moving the money over to the local option budget would give staff more freedom to use the funds for educational means, he said.
“We’d move money from a more restrictive fund to a more flexible fund,” Myers said.
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