Update from May 23rd Meeting of Lake County School Board
TAVARES — The Lake County School Board continued efforts at its regularly scheduled meeting on May 23rd to pare down its budget for the 2011-2012 school year. The School Board unanimously approved two measures to trim nearly three quarters of a million dollars from the budget.
In an effort to reduce operating costs during the summer, the School Board approved the District officially closing for the week of July 4th through July 8th. Fourth of July is a paid holiday for 12-month employees. During the balance of the week, employees will be allowed to use up to 32 hours of annual or personal leave. The closure is expected to generate an operational cost savings in utilities and gas of about $145,000.
In addition, the School Board approved closing all elementary and middle schools for the summer, except for four elementary schools operating summer school and ELC (Sawgrass Bay Elementary, Lost Lake Elementary, Rimes Early Learning & Literacy Center and Tavares Elementary).
During the shutdown, the air conditioning systems in the schools will be adjusted to provide enough air to maintain proper humidity to ensure a healthy environment. The school staff that normally works over the summer would relocate to the feeder high school. By combining staff at the high schools, the District is estimating a $600,000 savings in utility costs while still meeting all of the needs for the summer activities.
In other business:
• The School Board reviewed proposed revisions to the dress code policy. The School Board has discussed making changes to the dress code for several months. District staff had prepared some modifications to the policy for School Board review and scheduled a series of informational meetings to help educate parents, guardians and students about the proposed changes. The School Board decided not to continue with the informational meetings or proposed dress code revisions. The Board is scheduled to consider the Code of Student Conduct & Policy Guide for its second reading on June 13th.
• The School Board recognized 11 schools that reached a 90 to 100 percent participation in the Superintendent’s Reading Challenge for the 2010-2011 school year. This initiative took place from September 2010 until March 2, 2011 (Read Across America Day). During this time, Lake County students read a total of 463,570 books. This surpassed the number of books read during the 2009-2010 school year by about 125,000 books.
Ten elementary schools had 90 to 100 percent participation by their students. The schools that met this goal will receive a set of books for their libraries. These schools are: Astatula Elementary, Clermont Elementary, Eustis Elementary, Eustis Heights Elementary, Groveland Elementary, Lost Lake Elementary, Round Lake Elementary, Spring Creek Elementary, Tavares Elementary and Treadway Elementary. Umatilla High had 100 percent participation.