Amity Board of Education News
By Paul Davis,
Amity BOE Chair
Board of Education Proposed Budget
On March 13, 2023, the Amity Board of Education adopted a proposed budget for the 2023-2024 school year that is a 2.25% increase over the current year budget and represents a smaller increase than most other school districts in Connecticut. This reduction to the Superintendent’s original 2.93% increase was proposed and recommended to the full Board by the Amity Finance Committee at their meeting on February 27, 2023 by a 5 to 1 vote (Orange Board of Finance Representative was the no vote). In addition, an expected increase in State fund reimbursements will reduce the total required allocation from the three towns to equal a 1.98% increase. For the Town of Orange the impact will result in a net 1.0% reduction in the Town’s required allocation compared to the current year. The consensus between the Amity Finance Committee and the Amity Board of Education allows the budget to move forward to the District Public Budget Hearing on April 3, 2023.
The proposed budget includes 2.92% contractual increases (salaries and benefits for staff) and addresses the increased costs of instructional supplies, utilities, and commodities due to inflation. The budget also supports an additional 0.6 Chinese language teacher for ARHS and a grant-funded district-wide In-School Suspension tutor to support student discipline and consequences. The budget proposal advances a new Middle School Math Interventionist teacher to support 7 th and 8 th grade students with academic needs in math. The budget also includes the reduction of an English teacher and a Visual Arts teacher at the high school. Additionally, because of the development of in-district programs for students with special needs, the budget includes a nearly 11% decrease in Pupil Services Department costs for the next school year. The public referendum on the Amity budget will be scheduled for May 2, 2023. All registered voters in the towns of Bethany, Orange, and Woodbridge can attend the public hearing. Detailed budget information is available on the District website www.amityregion5.org/boe/budget.
BOWA Elected Officials’ Day
Superintendent Byars personally set up an opportunity to show off some of what makes our schools a special place in the first Elected Officials Day on March 3, 2023. All BOW Boards of Selectmen and Finance, Amity Board of Education members, and area state senators and representatives were invited into our schools. Visitors were taken on a tour of each school that focused on facilities, academics, and instructional and enrichment opportunities. A Q &A session at the end of the morning was accompanied by lunch catered by the culinary students under the direction of ARHS teacher Chef Hans. Unfortunately, inclement weather cancelled the visit to AMSO, but we look forward to continuing this event in the next school year.
Conduct and Discipline Policies
With numerous concerns expressed by students, parents, and members of the educational community concerning conduct and discipline; the Board’s Policy Committee has worked with the Administration for almost a year to review, update, and revise related Board policies. After many rewrites, these policies were finally approved by the full Board at the March 13th meeting. The policies – 5131 Conduct and Discipline, 5131.7 Weapons and Dangerous Instruments, and 5131.8 Out of School Misconduct will inform all expectations and actions related to conduct and discipline. Board policies may be found on the District Website BOE Policies - Amity Regional School District #5 (amityregion5.org)
Decathlon State Champions!
The ARHS Academic Decathlon Team won the state championship on February 25, 2023. and qualified to compete in nationals on April 28, 2023 in Frisco, TX.
National Merit Finalists
Eight Amity seniors were recognized as National Merit Scholarship Finalists on March 13, 2023. To be considered for a National Merit Scholarship, Semifinalists advance to Finalist standing by meeting high academic standards and all other requirements. All eight of our semi-finalists were named as finalists for 2022-2023.