Superintendent's Update

May 2015

So Much to Celebrate in RSD 13!

The Memorial Day parade was yet another example of our school and two communities intersecting to form an incredible event. And, as if it weren't enough that Durham and Middlefield have incredible students and supportive families, and RSD 13 has talented and dedicated staff all contributing in some way to a "feel good" event; the dogs at the parade were the cutest ever. From Saint Bernards to Golden Doodles and Black Labs to Poodles, we easily can say that dogs included, we really are "Best In Show"!

Did you know that our students placed in the Ocean Sciences Bowl last month? At the National Ocean Sciences Bowl competition our high school team traveled to Mississippi for the competition and placed within the top 10 teams from across the country after scoring first place in the CT/RI Regional competition in February. Last week our Envirothon Team placed first place in CT and will travel to Missouri for the national competition in July. In April our Jazz Band competed in the Festival of Music at Virginia Beach. All of our ensembles placed first or second, and our Jazz Group and Jazz Rhythm section received the top jazz score in all divisions as did Jack Riotte soloist. Yesterday our Girls' Track Team placed first and the Boys' Track Team placed second in the Shoreline Conference Championship.

Not everything we do as a district involves rankings and competition, yet regardless of where our students go and what they do, their skill and poise stand out; our core ethical values can be seen and heard in all that we do. Two weeks ago I accompanied Korn School 4th graders, their parents, and teachers on a trip to Plymouth, Mass. While our students walked around the plantation I was able to watch and overhear them interacting with each other and the docents. Their questions were insightful and their manners respectful. Our younger students also receive compliments wherever they go.

I used to think the expression about "it takes a village" was a bit overused and maybe that is because I had not yet witnessed the collaborative endeavor of child, parent, community and school. As we round the bend to home base at the end of this school year, I want to once again thank you for sending your remarkable children to us and for supporting our work.

2015-2016 Budget Reduced by $350,400. Increase of 1.21% over this year's budget

Voting will take place on June 2nd from 6 a.m. until 8 p.m. at Korn School and the Middlefield Community Center. Reductions were made to the originally proposed budget totaling $350,400. The following line items were reduced:

Salaries: $243,000.00

Benefits: $15,000.00

Capital: $89,000.00

Debt Service: $3,400.00

The proposed net district budget is $35,604,297, a 1.21% increase from this year.

The proposed gross district budget is $37,517,615, a .89% increase from this year.

Utilization Committee Update

At the May 27th Board of Education meeting, the Board reviewed the interim draft utilization report. Changes were suggested and a final copy will be presented to the Board at the June 10th BOE meeting and made available to the public immediately following. A panel discussion will be held in June so that members of the Durham and Middlefield communities can hear information regarding the findings of the Utilization Study. The panel discussion will include information that has contributed to the recommendation to close Korn School at the end of the 2015-2016 school year. The Board will vote on this recommendation after the panel discussion.

CRHS Graduation will be held on Tuesday, June 23rd.