SCHOOL COMMITTEE NEWS: School Budget To Increase 3.75%; Negotiations With School Nurses To Begin; Jansen Leaves District

WILMINGTON, MA — Below are FIVE highlights from the latest Wilmington School Committee meeting:

#1) Interim Superintendent Paul Ruggiero announced that his recent budget meeting with Town Manager Jeff Hull, Assistant Town Manager Dee Casey, and Town Accountant Mike Morris went extremely well.

“We came away with a number that the town could live with and that the schools could live with,” said Ruggerio. “I’m very pleased with this budget.  We really didn’t have to make any substantial changes from the initial budget proposal [after meeting with town officials].  We got where we needed to get to by simply ‘scrubbing’ the budget a bit… The Town continues to support the schools tremendously.”

The school district’s FY19 proposed budget calls for an overall 3.75% increase ($38,868,945 to $40,326,533). The salary side is up 3.34% due to salary increases ($928,543), step & lane changes ($428,177), and new positions ($376,000). The non-salary side is up 5.29%, due, in large part, to an increase in special education tuition and transportation.

Anticipated FY19 capital requests include $161,100 for middle school laptop replacements; $135,000 for elementary projector replacements; $55,000 for a new handicap minivan; and $50,000 for a new district datacenter.

The School Committee will vote on the superintendent’s recommended budget at its February 14 meeting.  During that meeting, the Committee will hold a public budget hearing at which time the Superintendent will make a full budget presentation and the public will have the opportunity to make comment and ask questions.

#2) Human Resources Director Ken Storlazzi provided the committee with a personnel report, highlighting key departures, hires and transfers over the past few months.

  • Elementary Technology Integration Specialist Traci Jansen resigned her position. She was replaced by Kim Provensal.
  • West Special Education Language-Based Teacher Kim Provensal was transferred. She was replaced by Joanna Maguire.
  • Shawsheen Educational Assistant Darleen Duggan retired. She was replaced by Stephanie Donohue.
  • Wilmington High School Educational Assistant Gina Sicuso resigned her position. She was replaced by Kevin Perdios.
  • Woburn Street School Educational Assistant Megan Kaplan resigned her position. She was replaced by Nicole McKenna.
  • Woburn Street School General Education Tutor Todd Cutrona was transferred. He was replaced by Christine Horton.

Committee member Peggy Kane was especially said to see Traci Jansen depart the district. Interim Superintendent Paul Ruggiero said she took a position with the Lexington Public Schools.

#3) Interim Superintendent Paul Ruggerio announced that collective bargaining with the Administrative Assistant union and School Nurses union is scheduled to begin shortly.

Manny Mulas and Peggy Kane volunteered to serve as the School Committee’s bargaining team for the Administrative Assistant contract negotiations.

MJ Byrnes volunteered to serve as the School Committee’s bargaining team for the Nurses contract negotiations.  Jennifer Bryson or Steve Bjork will serve alongside Byrnes, depending on their availability once the negotiation dates are finalized.

#4) The School Committee unanimously approved an out-of-state field trip, allowing the 3rd graders at the Shawsheen Elementary School to visit Odiorne Point Park and Wildlife Refuge in Rye, New Hampshire this June.  This trip has been a Shawsheen tradition since 1993.

#5) Interim Superintendent Paul Ruggerio provided the School Committee with the school district’s annual report, which will be included in the Town’s Annual Report.  If you can’t wait for the Town Annual Report to be released in April, you can read the school’s 32-page annual report HERE.

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