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Hudson renews obligation to educating all children


HUDSON—Next year’s budget, retirements and policy updates received attention at the Hudson City School District (HCSD) Board of Education meeting March 2 and the budget workshop that preceded it.

It was the first in-person board meeting in several weeks.

The HCSD could receive about $25.3 million in school aid from the state for the upcoming 2021-22 school year, Business Administrator Jesse Boehme estimated.

For the current (2020-21) school year, the district received $24 million in state aid. And the total property tax levy collected from local property owners has been very close to the amount of state aid for the past 10 years. For 2020-21, the maximum percent that the tax levy could increase will be 1.56%. That would bring state aid to about $24.5 million.

In addition to state aid and tax revenue, Mr. Boehme estimated the district would get about $1.8 million for 2021-22 from miscellaneous sources. This is about $200,000 less than the miscellaneous funds for 2020-21 school year. Almost half of this drop is in Medicaid reimbursement. With more students learning remotely, “we’re seeing a reduction of billable Medicaid services,” Mr. Boehme said. Other revenue sources expected to take hits include rental income—“We expect fewer people renting our facilities”—and tuition, partly because of uncertainty as to whether the district will have an in-person summer school this year.

Whether the state will combine several of the now-separate categories of education aid into one category called service aid, should be known around April 1, Mr. Boehme said.

On another matter, the board announced the retirement, at the close of business June 30, of 11 long-term HCSD employees:

• Kerri Appelbaum, school psychologist, after 25.5 years

• Jack Beyer, technology teacher, after 37 years

• Nicole DeDominicis, bus dispatcher, after 25 years

• Karen Engel, special education, after 35 years

• Diana Kipp, elementary education teacher, after 23 years

• Dawn McDonald, secretary to the superintendent, after 28 years

• Joseph Nero, physical education, after anticipated-to-be 23 years

• Charles Peters, art teacher, after 39 years

• Judith Roehr, library media specialist, after 21 years

• Adele Schertel, teacher aide, after 23 years

• Ruby Tillman, teacher aide, after 25 years.

The Board’s Policy Committee has been reviewing and updating policies. Two points considered at the March 2 meeting were the HCSD’s Mission Statement / Vision and its policy regarding students who currently have no permanent home.

‘Students will become creative, intellectually curious life-long learners.’

Vision statement

Hudson City School District

Currently, the Mission Statement says: “The HCSD, in partnership with our community, advances the intellectual, social, and emotional development of all students to prepare them for college, career, and citizenship.”

The Vision reads: “In collaboration with students, their families and the community, Hudson schools will develop and implement a rigorous, coherent, inquiry-based curriculum delivered in a safe, inclusive and supportive environment. Students will become creative, intellectually curious life-long learners.”

HCSD policy affirms that children with no permanent home, as per federal and state laws, are entitled to attend a designated school tuition free and provided transportation to get to and from school. If the school designated for a student fitting those criteria is in the HCSD, the district will provide transportation for the student, even if the student is currently staying outside of its district. School placements are based on the child’s “best interest.” Often the school the child last attended when “permanently housed” remains the designated school. The policy requires that children “will not be placed in separate schools or programs based on their status as homelessness.” In addition, the superintendent will designate a liaison to make sure the student’s significant adults know of services available to them.

The next meeting of the Hudson City School District will take place Tuesday, March 16, in the high school auditorium. It will begin with a budget workshop at 6 p.m. followed by the regular meeting.

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