I was just remarking to my administrative team earlier in the week that we have made a lot of progress on a variety of issues so far this year. It certainly helps when you are not making the budget cuts and reductions that we had to make a year ago! We have a clear plan out in front of us and are working hard to make this vision a reality. Thanks to our Board of Directors for carefully vetting all the issues that come before them, and asking the critical questions that are necessary to ensure a good decision!
At this time we are moving forward with several facilities improvements that are long overdue. The plans for the high school parking lot and phase two of the elementary electrical upgrade were approved and released for bidding on Tuesday. We are so excited to finally be at the bidding stage. The elementary electrical upgrade will position us nicely for the future as we make plans to install a wireless network within the next year, and shortly thereafter launch a one to one computer initiative. This is very exciting!
I spent some time with the board evaluating the proposed budget for the 2012-2013 school year, (our hearing by the way is scheduled for March 19th at 6:00 in the board room). It appears our tax rate will decrease slightly, and we should be able to balance the total tax bill on Hudson residents, in spite of an increased taxable valuation based on the rollback formula. I will be sharing more information on the budgeting process in the weeks ahead, but as always if you have questions please call me!
For many years (decades in fact), the special education program has been a contracted service through our local AEA. After this year, the AEA will no longer be providing these services. This means that Hudson will now have our very own special education program, with our own employees, and have a greater role to play in the delivery of these services. While we expect to experience growing pains during this transition, we are very excited about the opportunity to bring a very high quality program under the umbrella of the Hudson Community School District. To help with this transition, we have set a board work session for Wednesday, February 29th at 4:30 p.m. in the Board Room.
We have also signed a contract with Impact Marketing in Waterloo to rebuild our website with a vision of a site that attracts a high volume of traffic, is easy to navigate, and provides our patrons with the information they need with the minimum number of clicks. The goal is to be in a position to launch this site by July 1st. An ambitious goal indeed, but well within our possibilities!
Finally, a little teaser for next time. Tomorrow I am scheduled to appear in front of the Senate Oversight Committee on the subject of virtual academies, with another superintendent colleague and friend of mine Ben Petty from BCLUW. I have numerous concerns about the proliferation of this type of learning environment in the state. We intend to testify to the committee about our concerns. Stay tuned, I will fill you in on my experience in a few days!