Up-Island school enrollment to increase

Up-Island school enrollment to increase

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Superintendent of schools James Weiss discussed future enrollment projections for the Up-Island Regional School District (UIRSD) compiled by the New England School Development Council (NESDC), at a school committee meeting Monday at Chilmark School. The projections show small growth overall in the district’s enrollment over the next five years, with a slight increase at West Tisbury School and a slight decrease at Chilmark School, Mr. Weiss told The Times in a phone conversation Tuesday.

NESDC provides enrollment projections annually as a service to its members. NESDC uses the Cohort Survival Model, which is modified with additional information provided by Mr. Weiss’s office, including the number of live births to residents, housing starts, and the October 1 school census.

In other business, Mr. Weiss said the committee reviewed a financial report from school business administrator Amy Tierney, who was absent. She provided a copy of a letter she recently received from the Massachusetts Department of Revenue certifying the district’s total excess and deficiency (E & D) fund balance for fiscal year 2013 (FY13) at $310,015.

Under Massachusetts law, regional school districts are required to maintain an E & D fund of up to five percent of their operating budget and budgeted capital costs for the next fiscal year. According to Ms. Tierney’s analysis, since the UIRSD’s E & D balance does not exceed five percent for FY14, which is $457,371, there is no excess to return to the towns.

On personnel, Mr. Weiss said the committee agreed to acknowledge the retirements of Bob Aldrin, an education support professional at West Tisbury School, and Barbara Bernstein, a part-time guidance counselor at Chilmark School. The committee also granted a career alternative leave request from West Tisbury School science teacher Karl Nelson, to take next year off from teaching to write a book.