Prior to the coronavirus epidemic, the Board of Education had approved a $102-million budget (3.96% increase from 2019-20) that created several new positions and increased education spending by nearly $4 million for the 2020-21 school year. Ridgefield’s Karashik scores first goal for UConn since 2018 CT's women's hockey team will play a 'bubble' season in 2021 WestConn becomes third Connecticut university to cancel winter To meet the reduction, Superintendent of Schools Susie Da Silva had presented several recommendations at the board of education’s previous meeting May 26. “As a reminder, 80% of our budget is people,” she said. We’ve looked at every option we can, and we’re starting to create those scenarios,” Da Silva said. The State has designated priority groups (or tiers) for each group to be vaccinated. The motion passed by a vote of 7-2. Based on discussion at last week’s tri-board meeting, school officials seemed to regard a reduction in the 2020-21 school budget as very likely to be handed down by the selectmen and finance board. 2020-21 BOE Budget Meetings; Ridgefield Public School calendar; Project Resilience calendar; Community Partners; Resources. Ms. Gillette comes to Ridgefield from the Darien Public Schools, where she has worked since 2013, first as a Literacy . “We are at the brink of economic devastation,” she said. I’ve never seen something like this.”. The State has designated priority groups (or tiers) for each group to be vaccinated. Ridgefield school board declines to reduce its budget request April 30, 2020 Updated: April 30, 2020 3 p.m. Dr. DeSantis will be a familiar name to many RPS families as he is the current K-12 STEM Supervisor and before that a beloved Ridgefield High School physics teacher, coach of the electric car race team, and founding director of the annual cardboard boat race. By Macklin Reid. Ridgefield is a beautiful, colonial town of approximately 24,300 people in the foothills of the Berkshire Mountains in central Fairfield County, Connecticut. “We’re almost an elementary school less than that. “School is shut down till September. Ridgefield Honors Veterans, Police Officer Seibert Speaks, Evelyn Carr Sings, Thanks To American Legion Post 78! Board member Sean McEvoy — who eventually seconded Floegel’s motion to rescind the previous budget vote — argued that the board should be more aggressive about reworking the budget during the coronavirus crisis. Jan 15: BOE … He mentioned things like possibly combining information technology operations with the town’s IT department. “...if we’re forced to have a 0% increase, we can wish we have all the science and math support we want, but we’re not going to have that... “If we have to make those deep cuts, then those deep cuts have to be made,” he said. “Buying textbooks,” she said. We welcome your suggestions for information you would like to see on our website and encourage your involvement in our schools. That’s not our job.”. Those included removing requests for three math coaches and a director of security and eliminating or reducing several positions — including a transition coordinator, the equivalent of two teaching positions at Ridgefield High School, and three elementary school art teachers. We’re going to have to work together with the administration and faculty,” said board member Kathleen Holz. “If you want to win this budget battle you’ve got to do it as a team,” he said. (Executive orders from Governor Ned Lamont gave finance boards the final say on 2020-21 school budgets). But they were reluctant to preemptively reduce their $102 million budget request. Ridgefield was first settled by English colonists from Norwalk and Milford in 1708, when a group of settlers purchased land from Chief Catoonah of the Ramapo tribe. The vaccination program for the State of Connecticut is currently underway. New Milford also proposed eliminating a teacher at Sarah Noble Intermediate School and a high school math teacher, though it’s adding several more at the elementary schools. “All of our budgets flat-funded. We are living in unprecedented times!”. “We need to do bigger bets, we need to be bolder.”. Ridgefield, CT. Town of Ridgefield COVID-19 Vaccination Information . “This is the time to lean into education to find the money to pay for our children.”. CT towns’ coffers take a hit with tax relief programs. #Ridgefield BOE Public Hearing on Saturday: Superintendent’s FY 2020-21 Proposed Operating Budget @Ridgefieldps Board of Education Corner; Ridgefield Public Schools ; Ridgefield Council of PTAs . Superintendent of Schools Dr. Susie Da Silva announced that Dr. Wes DeSantis will be the new Director of Education Technology. Budget Referendum to take place at Yanity Gym, 60 Prospect Street, Ridgefield CT from 6 am to 8 pm. RIDGEFIELD, CT — Voters approved a $47,793,923 town operating budget and another $98,193,760 for the schools as the 2019-20 fiscal plans went to referendum on Tuesday. We need to do what we think is best, but we need to be flexible. “We have people in our community that cannot pay for their groceries,” said school board member Liz Floegel, who made a motion to rescind the board’s previous vote on the 2020-21 budget. “It’s not an unlimited pot of money.”. RIDGEFIELD, CT — Ridgefield Schools Superintendent Karen Baldwin proposed a 4.83 percent operating budget increase for the next school year. Talk of soaring unemployment and a need for collaboration and flexibility in difficult times did not translate into a Board of Education majority willing to rescind it’s request for a 3.96 percent budget increase next year. The vaccination program for the State of Connecticut is currently underway. Absentee Ballots cannot be mailed for this type of Referendum and must be obtained in person in the Town Clerk's office. Town of Ridgefield Information on State-Local COVID-19 Vaccination Program. “Maybe we can use what we used last year.”. “These discussions have not only involved art education, but all essentials (specials). Board member Rachel Ruggeri said she had coronavirus-related health concerns about art teachers needing to travel between different elementary schools. Jan 13: BOE Conference Room in Town Annex: Elementary and Middle School Budgets. Town of Ridgefield Information on State-Local COVID-19 Vaccination Program. But primarily due to raises and other contracted salary obligations, the new budget required cost cutting — a 2.96% increase would have been needed to prevent the schools from adding new positions while allowing them to maintain current operations. Ridgefield Board of Ed Begins Budget Review - Ridgefield, CT - The 2013-2014 Ridgefield school budget, which was unveiled by Superintendent of School… Board of Education Corner; Ridgefield Public Schools; ALL 2020-21 BOE Budget related meetings . Meeting virtually on Monday evening, the Ridgefield Board of Education approved a motion to adopt the revised 2020-21 Ridgefield Public Schools Operating Budget of $99,912,151. Meeting virtually on Monday evening, the Ridgefield Board of Education approved a motion to adopt the revised 2020-21 Ridgefield Public Schools Operating Budget … At this point, they’re not open to that discussion.”, She added, “I look to the board to give us ideas of things we haven’t considered.”. We do expect that to be changed by the Board of Finance,” he said. The Ridgefield Public Schools Board of Education is proud of its educational program and the high standards set for our students, faculty, and support staff and is committed to improving communication between the school system and the residents of Ridgefield. Ridgefield is a beautiful, colonial town of approximately 24,300 people in the foothills of the Berkshire Mountains in central Fairfield County, Connecticut. “This is not time for deep diving cuts on already lean budgets,” said board member Rachel Ruggeri. The administration will be constructing “scenarios” for how various levels of budget reductions could be absorbed, and how their implications would play out. “Those of us who are or were educators definitely understand the impact on the kids,” she said. “It is important to note that our elementary principals and Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction were involved in the discussions far before this budget year,” Da Silva wrote in a memo sent to the board that was discussed Monday night. Meaning, once the team determined what is best for children across all programs and academics, then recommendations for budget cuts were made. RIDGEFIELD, CT — The Board of Finance approved both the 2019-20 school and town budgets on Tuesday night, opening the door for a 1.24% tax increase, … “We are truly going line by line. “But none of them look great.”. Other board members questioned the idea of rescinding their budget request in advance of action by the selectmen and Board of Finance. “The teachers union, they’re not open for that conversation, at least at this point,” Da Silva said. See the top reviewed local home builders in Ridgefield, CT on Houzz. “That conversation is over. “...We are fiscally accountable for the school system. Together, the nine schools that comprise our district provide a safe, empowering learning environment for just under 5,000 pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade students in Ridgefield, Connecticut. “While we may not have 40 percent unemployment, it’s over 20 percent,” she said. The budget axe did not fall on Ridgefield's $102 million school spending request for 2020-21 at Monday night's Board of Education meeting. “I don’t believe it’s time for us to jump ahead of them, and assume a 40% unemployment rate and bankrupt state. We need to look at the things we’ve been putting off for a decade,” McEvoy said. Additional savings will come from reduced operating budgets. “We haven’t been 5,000 students for many many years,” McEvoy said. RIDGEFIELD PUBLIC SCHOOLS 8 RIDGEFIELD PUBLIC SCHOOLS BUDGET FY 2016-17 The district’s operating budget for FY 2016-17 is $90,374,229, or an increase in spending of $4,295,864 or 4.99%. “The recommended cut in art education was made after this work, not before. Ridgefield Academy/Landmark Preschool admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. The school board is looking to trim the proposed $47.1 million budget for the 2020-2021 school year, which is about $3 million, or 6.8 percent more than the current budget. “Our kids are going to be hurting too,” said Rachel Ruggeri. “After that we’re looking at everything,” Da Silva said. The Ridgefield Council of PTAs, with 9 local-unit PTAs, is the umbrella organization for the PTAs in Ridgefield. “The tough choices need to be made.”, Ridgefield school board declines to reduce its budget request, Ridgefield starts vaccinations, but a ways to go, Ridgefield Food Pantry receiver of $1,750 donation, Freemasons celebrate 50-year members in Ridgefield, Ms President US receiver of $4,200 grant from foundation, Ms President US program initiative kicks off its fourth year, Yoga Nidra (Yogic Sleep): On Ridgefield Continuing Education schedule, Ridgefield boy learns piano, pens possible holiday classic, ESL, GED, Adult Basic Education classes starting, Bridge: Ridgefield Continuing Education classes set to start, Police: Woman robbed liquor store, tried to sell stolen booze on Snapchat, ‘Tremendously important to get the vaccine distributed’: Ridgefield starts vaccinations, Police: Fitness trainer charged with sexually assaulting teen in Bridgeport, Ridgefield High School reports 6 new COVID cases, Police: Darien man, 20, tried to use BB gun for target practice in Woodland Park, Police: 2 CT residents charged in Capitol protest. The vote came during a Board of Eucation meeting open to the public on Zoom. The proposed $98.3 million budget is an increase of 3.43 percent over the $95 million voters approved for the 2018-19 school year last May. Without those three additions, just carrying forward the current operations with contracted salary and other non-discretionary cost increases, would mean a budget with about a 2.96 percent increase — one percent less — she said. Sjoberg, Drake, Steckler, Holz and chairwoman Stamatis opposed the motion. We’re approximately 4,500, for everybody watching at home.”. The final total is an increase of $1,718,391 (1.75%) from the 2019-20 school budget. The cuts to the elementary school art programs prompted the only prolonged discussion Monday night. Board member Nora Gaydos spoke “on behalf of the 5,000 children who can’t speak for themselves.” She was wary of reducing the budget request. I know as a teacher, just when a student is out for a week, what the impact is,” Gaydos said. “Our primary responsibility here is the students in our care,” said Jonathan Steckler. Da Silva also recommended keeping five items that were listed as either new budget requests to be removed or positions to be eliminated or reduced, including a new social worker at Ridgefield High and five part-time EL (English Learner) tutors. “Each elementary school should have its own art teacher.”. “There will be cuts at all levels. Floegel said the state of Connecticut could potentially experience 400,000 unemployment claims. “I’m a little disappointed in board leadership,” he said. At the end of the board’s discussion of the 2020-21 budget, McEvoy made a point about his colleagues referring to the school system’s enrollment as 5,000 students, despite a continuing decline. 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