February 14, 2017
By ADAM SWIFT
LYNNFIELD — There were few surprises in the proposed Fiscal Year 2018 school budget presented last week by Superintendent Jane Tremblay.
The $23,780,038 appropriation request is a 4 percent increase over the current year’s budget. Tremblay said the majority of that increase is due to a 2.5 percent increase in contractual increases coupled with special education costs.
There are no new positions in the budget, but Tremblay is looking to make two part-time positions into full-time positions. One would transform a .6 school psychologist position to full-time, and the second would see a part-time foreign language position at the middle school become full time.
“The budget always comes back to the basics of our mission and vision,” said Tremblay. “All you are hearing tonight is in support of this.”
Tremblay said the goal of the school system is to produce well-rounded students. She noted that Lynnfield’s elementary schools continue to be among the top in the state and that the high school was recently recognized as a College Board AP Honor Roll school.
While there are proposals to increase the two positions, Tremblay said that one classroom will be eliminated at the Summer Street Elementary School.
“The school will remain well within the appropriate class size of the low 20s, and I am confident that we will maintain the integrity of everything that we have in place.”
School committee member Dorothy Presser asked if, in an ideal world, Tremblay would like to see more materials and supplies in the proposed budget.
“Absolutely, but we have to walk a fine line with the budget,” Tremblay said. “The whole process of building a budget has to be reflective of all the resources we have.”
In other school committee business last week, the board heard from Gregory Hurray, the interim principal at the Summer Street School. Hurray was hired as the interim principal at the school for the remainder of the year following an incident on a METCO school bus in November that led to Jennifer DiBiase’s resignation.
Hurray has had a long career in education, including administrative positions in Newton.
“I’ve had a wonderful career, and working in Lynnfield has been a great way to keep learning,” he said. “I love the school, I love the kids, I love the parents’ support, and the administration has been fantastic.”
While Hurray leads the Summer Street School for the rest of the school year, Tremblay said the search for a permanent principal for the next school is well underway. A committee of administrators, teachers and parents will be interviewing some of the 30 applicants for the position, followed by further interviews and site visits for a select group of semi-finalists.
“We hope that by mid-March, we will be able to name someone to the position,” Tremblay said.