How is the School Budget determined?
The superintendent and her district leadership team begin work on the budget for May Town Meeting the preceding September, gathering information from staff, assessing student achievement to determine areas of need, looking at enrollment projections, etc. It is a "needs based" budget, meaning everything is on the table for analysis every year. The school department also consults with the town finance committee. As the new budget is being developed, it is brought to the School Committee for discussion several times, before a vote. The school budget also must be brought before the Finance Committee for approval prior to final approval via a vote at May Town Meeting. Current year budget expenditures are monitored by the School Committee, through reports at meetings.
Does the School Committee interact with students?
The Superintendent has instituted the practice of scheduling several School Committee meetings per year in schools so students and their work can be showcased. A high school student serves as a student representative at School Committee meetings. School Committee members often attend district events- sports, plays, graduations, etc.