The 1/8/19 meeting covered Enrollment Forecasts for 2020–2035, the technology budget for FY20 and the technology strategic plan, and a new scholarship.
The presentation by Dr. Jerome McKibbens of McKibben Demographics offered a glimpse into both Needham’s future population growth and school enrollment. It predicts a rapid increase in enrollment until 2025-26, then slowly declining enrollment between 2026-34.
Needham deviates from broader trends because enrollment is projected to continue growing through 2026, while many neighboring districts are already declining. Maintaining stable school enrollment levels in the future depends on drawing younger families to town. This in turn requires housing stock to turn over. Needham, like many suburban towns, has low amounts of apartments, making it harder for life-long residents to down-size and stay in town. These residents stay in their homes resulting in less housing availability for young families.
Technology Budget and Plan
The FY20 budget request for technology is $151,880. This figure includes $59,000 to meet the technology needs of Full Day Kindergarten. While previous technology budgets have centered on providing appropriate technology, including 1:1 devices, for the district, this year’s focus is on teaching and learning. This approach is less about devices and more about how students and teachers interact with smart machines. Terri Duggan summed this up as a focus shift from “wires and pliers” to “teaching and learning."
The 5-year strategic plan is comprised of seven focal points:
1. Curriculum, Instruction, & Assessment
2. Personalized Professional Learning
3. Robust Infrastructure
4. Budget & Resources
5. Data & Privacy
6. Community Partnerships
7. Use of Time & Space
Details are available in the School Committee Packet.
The Anne Milligan Memorial Scholarship
The School Committee approved a new scholarship established in memory of long-time Needham resident, Anne Milligan. This scholarship will provide two $1,000 awards to graduating seniors who are attending accredited schools in either Nursing or Textile Arts. Criteria include academics, community service and the ability to work with others.
Tuesday, 1/15, 7:00pm – Public Hearing on FY19-20 Budget
Tuesday, 1/22, 5:00pm – SC meeting, vote on budget (note earlier time)
Tuesday, 1/22, 7:30pm – Special Town Meeting to vote on additional funding for Mitchell Modular Classrooms