Woodbridge School Board sends off high school representative, discusses budget

By Scott Bleile

The Woodbridge School Board said goodbye to their Woodbridge High School representative Chase Marvil at their meeting on June 16.

Marvil, who represented WHS students at the board meetings, would give the board a report about the happenings at the school. Marvil's inspiration wall has gained attention throughout Delaware and the country by letting people add their thoughts and feelings to his wall.

Woodbridge School Board President Mike Breeding said, "It has been a pleasure to have Chase represent the high school. He has done a great job and he will be missed. His wall project has lifted the spirits of many people. Thanks for all you have done."

As a token of appreciation, Breeding gave Marvil his name plate to keep. Danielle Burhop will take Marvil's place as the representative next school year.

Woodbridge Superintendent Heath Chasanov presented the budget for the 2016-17 school year. "We can increase our budget by 1.7 percent because of our higher student count and preliminary revenue increase," Chasanov told the board. "We are taking a conservative approach to the budget. We have a balance from last year, so that is a good place to start. We are still projecting a good fiscal year for the 2016-17 school year. This past year we had 100 percent tax collections and expect no major changes in that aspect. The bottom line is, we will use the exact same numbers as last year plus with our revenue increase it will help fuel the increase this year. The only item that was changed in the budget was the utilities line. Last year was the first full year with four buildings on line and we found there was a need to increase this line. We watched the utilities all year and realized that we did not budget enough to cover those costs. This is why that line has increased. There are no cuts, but some areas will be tight because of cuts over the last few years, but they should be okay."

The board was also told that there would be a two percent increase in salaries to other groups in the district. Paraprofessionals, custodians, and others, except teachers, will receive the raise. Teachers received their raise when the new contract was signed several years ago.

Chasanov also reported to the board about the tax rate proposal for fiscal year 2017. "

We will be raising a rate and lowering other rates which will result in no change in taxes for this year," Chasanov said. "We will be raising the tuition rate, which is the rate which provides revenue to pay tuition costs of students who attend special school within and outside the state. This rate is set annually based on anticipated needs of the student body. We have more students using these services that is why the increase has to happen. To offset that increase, we are lowering the debt service rate and match rates. This is because the interest has decreased on the monies we are using to pay for the new school. As you pay the principal on a loan the interest decreases. This is why we can lower those two rates. The capitation rate will remain at $8.82 for Sussex and Kent counties."

In other reports, Woodbridge Middle School welcomed the fifth graders that will be coming to the middle school next year. "The fifth graders did a great job visiting the school and were very well behaved," said Principal Tina Morroni. "The Senior walk went very well and we hope that the high school does it again next year."

Kent Chase, Woodbridge High School principal, told the board that graduation went very well and that 111 out of 115 graduating students attended the ceremony, the first outside graduation at the new stadium. James Weiler from the high school was named Teacher of the Year for the district.

Christopher Lehman from the Early Child Education Center told the board that the first grade held their Author Day so that parents could attend. The first grade works on writing a book all year and presents it to the parents during the day. It was well attended.

Phillis Wheatley Elementary School's Principal Lynn Brown told the board that they had a very successful year and that they are farther ahead of where they were last year and hope that the growth of the students will continue.

The board presented the dates for the meetings for the next school year. "The dates for the meeting can be found on our website," Breeding told the board and audience.

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