NEW BREMEN – The five year forecast for New Bremen School District may be facing income shortfalls, according to the school’s treasurer speaking at the New Bremen Board of Education at their meeting May 20.
Treasurer Jill Ahlers reported that current figures are predicting the school might be operating in a deficit by the end of fiscal year 2024. Currently, the school’s cash balance will total about $5.8 million at the end of fiscal year at the end of June 2020. By 2024, the balance is expected to hover at around $386,000, indicating the district’s need to spend into the cash balance to meet ongoing operational expenses. Cash balances can be considered a rainy day fund of money left over after all the yearly bills are paid.
Superintendent Jason Schrader said that revenues are not meeting inflation of costs. Influences on this include the open door policy that influences the number of students attending the school system. Another way to increase income would be if the tax base would increase within the village, whether business or residential.
The school district annual budget is approximately $9 million. Schrader that if spending continues at the level they are at, they will joining many other schools going into deficit situations.
The superintendent said they are always planning ahead for such contingencies, already having eliminated some positions. He said the new elementary addition at the high school campus will save money because they can eliminate duplicate services for two separate buildings. Further, the old building, built in 1928, was increasingly expensive to maintain.
Schrader also emphasized that the new elementary construction is not the cause of the impending possibly deficits because the building fund is in a separate account.
In other news, Schrader said Vondenhuevel Auction Service had set the dates of June 17 and 24 for an online auction of the remaining equipment and other accessories still in the old elementary building. On June 11, people can choose to view equipment for sale either in person or online. The proceeds will go toward the purchase of new buses. The website for Vondenhuevel is https://www.vondenhuevelauctioneers.com/
Schrader also noted that the teachers are holding a yard sale Thursday through Saturday, June 10th to June 13th at the Junior High football practice field across from the old elementary at 202-210 S. Walnut Street. Tents will be up to cover items that range from teachers personal items as well as things from their classrooms. Proceeds will go toward purchase of new elementary playground equipment.
High school principal Marcus Overman reported to the board that grades 7-12 schedules for the next school year were mailed out last week. He said they have a comprehensive schedule that works well for students and staff.
He said senior graduates had been recognized with a yard sign and senior parade, with teacher and graduation videos prepared. He added diplomas were delivered May 15. An alternate date for a senior get together on June 7 is still in question at this time.
Elementary Principal Diane Kramer said she and Overman had completed interviews and recommended hiring Joy Wells for the elementary/computer library position and Veronical Bell as the Intervention Specialist position.
She said that the county health department gave permission for face to face extended school year services and summer school for students entering grades 1-5.
In regards to the remaining 2019-20 school year, the teachers have continued to implement distance learning through a variety of formats including pencil and paper and virtual assignments. She also said the K-6 staff parade “We Miss You” video had been sent out last week.
Kramer said the entire staff should be commended for their time and hard work in packing up the old elementary building. She said teachers also assisted in the collection of assignments, textbooks, uniforms, and chromebooks on May 11.
In regards to next year’s classroom and sports schedules. the superintendent said he believed that classes should be held in the classroom with a teacher, adhering as close as they can to safety protocols. He said he believes that each school district should be allowed to decide what is best for their own communities.
In personnel action, the board agreed to the employment of Veronica Bell as Intervention Specialist, Joy Wells as Library/Computer Aide and the reassignment of Alycia Neimeyer from Title One teacher to 1st grade teacher. John Storrer was hired on as as need basis for the Summer 0f 2020 to help with maintenance items. After executive session, the board also agreed to hire Emily Mescher as Junior High Language Arts teacher.
They accepted the resignations of Melinda Clark, who leaves May 31 with 35 years of service. Other retirements include Peg Eilerman, Gary Jones, and Jane Moser. Also accepted were the resignations of Will Hoskins as junior varsity girls basketbal coach and Andrea Quellhorst as Assistant Varsity Volleyball coach.
The superintendent said the 2020 New Bremen Educational Foundation Fund Drive had recently been completed, with a total of 65 scholarships to be awarded to 2020 graduates.
He also said that the New Bremen Historical Association had taken pictures of the old elementary building on May 14, with some pictures posted online. He added that the Southwestern Auglaize County Chamber of Commerce will be release a video tour of the elementary and middle school once it had been edited. He thanked the Historical Assn and the Chamber in assisting the District in honoring the history of a building that dates back to 1928.
The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.