The District has a strategic plan with four areas of focus:  fiscal responsibility, community engagement, academic achievement, and technology. 

The first of four focus areas of the District’s strategic plan is fiscal responsibility.  One goal of the board is to create and implement a communication plan to inform the community on the school budget and increase understanding of school funding and the state aid formula.  Joelle Doye, Communications Director, has already featured articles about Mineral Point’s state aid and sparsity aid along with monthly news releases on the District’s website regarding the finalization of this year’s budget.

To assist the board and community to better understand school funding and the state aid formula an action plan was developed that will provide a hands on tool to provide interested members with the understanding of the variables, stakeholders, and nuances of school finance.  Watch for this tabletop exercise this winter.  Additionally the board was offered an opportunity to join area board members in attending a workshop on Getting School Finance Right: From the Budget to the Levy, a workshop held at the Wisconsin Association of District Administrators office in Madison last October.

At the next regular board meeting scheduled for Monday, November 9 at 6:30 pm the District will provide a work session with Scott Gralla from PMA Financial.  Mr. Gralla’s services were secured to assist with projecting the District’s financial forecast followed by an opportunity for board members and the community to ask questions, receive charts and graphs, and drill down on areas of interest surrounding the school budget and state aid formula.

The strategic plan also has a goal of identifying opportunities for controlling expenditures to eliminate inefficiencies.  To this end the District is working with Nexus Solutions to create a long-range facilities plan to include energy efficiency projects.  In addition, the District annually reviews staffing levels and makes appropriate recommendations for delivering services given the current student population.

A third goal of fiscal responsibility is to increase grant writing and explore an endowment fund by the end of the 2015-2016 school year.  This school year the District will apply for at least three grants that were not written for in the past.  Next, the District has before the board a plan for an operational endowment fund prior to the conclusion of the 2015-2016 school year.  

A final goal of fiscal responsibility is to explore after school programming opportunities for students.  As collective inquiry about what works and what doesn’t, the District will conduct at least two site visits of schools that deliver after school hour programming as a revenue source and provide recommendations to the board prior to the conclusion of the 2015-2016 school year.

In next month’s superintendent’s column I will write about the second focus area, community engagement, and share the goals and action plans for the upcoming school year with the final two focus areas in the months that follow.