2019-2020 Proposed Budget

Dear Wainscott School District Taxpayer:

Your Board of Trustees is proposing a budget for 2019-2020 of $3,324,651, representing an $8,626 or a .26 % decrease from last year’s budget. The Board is also proposing an 18.51 % increase in our tax levy and a corresponding increase in our tax rate from $141.42 to $167.62 per thousand assessed valuation in East Hampton and $8.20 to $9.72 per thousand assessed valuation in Southampton. The proposed 18.5% ($416,374) increase in our tax levy will pierce the District’s 2.93% effective statutory Tax Cap by 15.60%. Despite these significant increases, Wainscott’s school tax rate will remain the lowest of the East End Schools by a wide margin.

The Board fully recognizes the magnitude of the proposed increase and asks that you consider the following facts and circumstances that have bought our unique District to this juncture. We also caution you a further tax levy increase is likely for the 2020-2021 budget.

You will recall that over the last seven years the District has been working toward “right sizing” our annual budget and reducing our unrestricted fund balance to a more realistic level closer to legally mandated maximums. The Board has successfully achieved both these goals. Including its proposed 2019-2020 budget, the Board has reduced the amount of its annual budget in seven of the last eight years while expanding and increasing our program and student services in response to the changing needs of our students attending our highly acclaimed K-3 educational program in our Schoolhouse. During that period, we have also reduced our unrestricted fund balance by $2,250,000 by giving it back to our taxpayers through reduced tax levies in each of the past seven years. As we stated in our last two budget messages, our reliance on our unrestricted fund balance to decrease your tax payments was not sustainable and as a result this year’s tax levy increase is inevitable.

During this same time period, Wainscott has experienced a dramatic increase in the number of students residing in our district, particularly during the last two years. The number of students who attend the schoolhouse (K-3) or who are tuitioned out to East Hampton or Sag Harbor Schools (pre-K; 4-12) has increased a staggering 236% since the 2012-2013 school year ( 46 vs. 117). This has resulted in the two significant impacts. It has increased our student population in the Schoolhouse to 28 students which represents 116% of its capacity (there are already 32 K-3 students registered for next year which would increase our overcapacity to 133%). It has also increased our tuition costs (the largest line item in our annual budget) dramatically over that period in a cumulative amount far larger than this next year’s proposed tax levy increase. For example, our tuition payments have increased $365,000.00 over the last two years alone. To put these student increases in perspective, our neighbor the Sagaponack District has a slightly larger total population but only 38 total students residing in their District.
(Wainscott has 128 -including 11 private students not funded by our District).

These increases have brought our District to a crossroads which threatens not only our District’s long held mission of individualized instruction delivered to our students in our Schoolhouse’s open classroom format, but also the very existence of our Schoolhouse. You will be receiving our separate writing on this subject which we ask you to consider and act upon.

In the meantime, the Trustees invite you to participate in the budget vote and the District Election to be held on May 21, 2019 at our Schoolhouse. Your support is particularly requested this year since a sixty percent (60%) super majority vote is needed to pass the proposed 2019- 2020 budget as it exceeds our statutory Tax Cap.
As always, your Board of Trustees thanks you for your continued support and understanding.

Sincerely yours,
David E. Eagan, President
Kelly Anderson
William A. Babinski, Jr.

Click here to download PDF with complete letter from the Board and budget details

Message from the Superintendent / Testing

April 1, 2019

 

Dear Parents/Guardians:

 

The NYS English Language Arts (ELA) Assessments will be administered April 2°d, 3rd and 4th. The NYS Mathematics Assessment will be administered May 1-3. We encourage all students to participate in the NYSED assessment program. While no one data point can ever provide a complete picture of a student, the data produced from these assessments is helpful in our evaluation of the effectiveness of our programs and practices. It also helps us to measure the growth of our students.

 

We understand and recognize that in recent years some families have chosen not to participate in the NYSED assessment program. The Wainscott Common School District acknowledges and respects your decision regarding your student’s participation in the NYSED assessment program.

 

If you have questions regarding these assessments or any other New York State Education Department programs, we encourage you to refer to Engage New York, which can be found on the NYSED website, www.nysed.gov.

 

Please also feel free to contact my office directly with any questions or concerns.

 

Sincerely,

 

Deborah A. Haab

School Superintendent

2019 Board of Trustees Candidate Folder

Dear Board Candidate:

Download the attached PDF files (English/Spanish) for a copy of the Wainscott Common School District’s Board of Trustees Candidate’s Folder.  The folder contains the following:

  1. Board Member qualifications
  2. Instructions for filing nominating petitions
  3. Education Laws of the State of New York pertaining to Candidate Expenditure & Contribution Statements
  4. Affidavits for Expenditure & Contribution Statements
  5. Release of your name, address, and telephone numbers.
  6. Publication from New York State School Boards Association:
    Have YOU considered running for the school board? see website: www.nyssba.org
  7. Petition

Please note one member of the Board of Trustees will be elected as follows:

One (1) member for the term of three (3) years commencing July 1, 2019 and expiring June 30, 2022.

Completed petitions are to be returned to the District Clerk’s office at 47 Main Street no later than Monday, April 22, 2019, at 5:00 P.M., and are required to contain the signatures of not less than 25 qualified voters of the district.

The enclosures, in connection with filing expenditure and contribution statements by candidates, indicate that the first statements must be filed on or before April 22, 2019, the second statements on or before May 16, 2017, and the third statements within 20 days following the date of election (June 10, 2019). In addition, candidates must report, within twenty-four hours, any contributions or loan in excess of $1,000.00 received after the filing of the second statement, but prior to the election. It is the candidate’s responsibility to submit the statements in a timely fashion.

CLICK HERE FOR ENGLISH

CLICK HERE FOR SPANISH

Lice Protocol

On Wednesday, November 29, 2017, the Wainscott Board of Education held a special meeting to hear your concerns about how incidents of head lice are handled in the School House.  We appreciate that many of you were able to join us for this conversation.

The concerns/questions most frequently asked:

What do we do when we learn that a student has head lice?
Parent/guardian is contacted and asked to pick up child and begin treatment immediately.

What do we do if a child cannot be picked up immediately or we are unable to reach a listed contact?
The child remains in class.  Staff discretely monitors students’ proximity to one another.  We make sure that we speak with a parent/guardian to inform them of the situation and to let them know the child needs treatment.

Is the bus company notified when we have an occurrence of head lice?
We checked with the bus company and they are not notified by other districts.

When is the child allowed to return to school?
Most treatments are effective after application and the child can return to school the day after receiving treatment.  We will request that the parent bring the child to school the day after treatment, and that they provide us with the packaging from the treatment that was used.  If they are unable to bring their child to school, we will request that the child bring the packaging to school with them.

Who checks the child before they go back to class?
The school nurse will be notified that there was a case of head lice.  She will be here (based upon her availability) to check the child before returning to class.  If it is still an active case, the parent/guardian will be asked to take the child home for additional treatment.

We will advertise for a substitute Registered Nurse for enhanced availability for any necessary inspections

What will we do if we have a case that is persistent and does not appear to respond to treatment?
We will work with the family to find the appropriate treatment and/or resources needed to address the situation

Emergency contact cards were recently sent home for verification and updating (if needed).  If you have not yet returned your card, please do so as soon as possible.  It is important that we have accurate contact names and numbers.  If you do not return your card, we will contact you directly.
Future communication regarding this issue will be on Wainscott School letterhead and will reflect our procedures.
If you have any questions regarding this communication, please do not hesitate to contact us directly.

Wishing you a wonderful holiday season,

Deborah A. Haab

School Superintendent

Water Testing

Dear Parents & Guardians,

As you may have heard, New York State recently required the testing of drinking water in the schools
to ensure that the quality of the water was satisfactory. I am pleased to report that all of the faucets in
the school from which students may obtain drinking water were tested and that the results were
outstanding. If you wish to see the report, you may click on Water Testing – Wainscott School.
Sincerely yours,

Stuart Rachlin, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools

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