Seymour school board approves preliminary budget
By Rich Palzewic
SEYMOUR – With changes possible, the Seymour school board approved its preliminary budget for the 2020-21 school year at its Tuesday, June 23, meeting.
“This is preliminary, because as we know with the COVID-19 virus, things are changing daily, and it’s a best-guess scenario,” said Pete Kempen, business manager. “We are a heavily-aided district, and our aid comes to us based on the money that gets spent every year. Our property value in the district plays a huge role in that.”
The preliminary budget for the 2020-21 year is estimated at $27,534,532, which is about $362,000 more than last year.
“In another month at our annual meeting, I’ll have a firm budget that voters can vote on,” Kempen said. “Certification comes from the board in October, and numbers can change up until then.”
He said property values in the district went up almost 3.8 percent in 2019, the second-highest increase in the last 10 years.
“When we get the property rates in October, I also expect them to be high,” said Kempen.
He said the preliminary budget includes steps for teachers in their salary schedules if the board chooses to go that route.
“We can usually make pretty good projections, but this year is unique,” Kempen said. “I know transportation costs will go up because of trying to keep social distancing, but I’m also hoping there are areas where we save money. We’ll also get CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security) Act money from the federal government, which is not in the budget.”
The preliminary budget was unanimously approved by the Seymour school board.
The board approved the resignation of Brianna Hansen, a first-grade teacher at Rock Ledge Primary (RLP), and the hiring of Alex Wipperfurth, Megan Krajewski and Molly Hendries.
Wipperfurth, a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, will be teaching fifth grade at Rock Ledge Intermediate (RLI) and will be replacing Tami Kaczrowski, who will be moving to Seymour Middle School to teach seventh-grade language arts.
Krajewski will be teaching first grade at RLP for the departing Hansen, who will be moving to Salt Lake City, Utah, after one year with the district.
Krajewski attended UW-Stevens Point.
Hendries, also a UW-Oshkosh graduate, will be teaching fourth grade at RLI and will be replacing Sam Goeben, who is moving to fifth grade.
“We are nearly fully staffed at this point,” said Laurie Asher, superintendent. “We currently have one third-grade position open at Black Creek.”
Daneen Hansen, administrative assistant to the superintendent/school board, presented the initial open-enrollment numbers for the 2020-21 school year to the board.
“In May 2019, we had 54 students who open-enrolled out of the district, and this year we have 63,” she said. “We had 21 who enrolled into our district last year and 18 this year.”
Asher said open enrollment is usually done at the end of May, but because of COVID-19, it was pushed to June.
“These are people who have applied,” she said. “Some families apply to multiple districts, so this might not be the actual number we end up with – we’ll share the final numbers in September.”
Asher also said other area districts may already have sent out open-enrollment letters because their board meetings were earlier in June, while Seymour’s is always the fourth Tuesday of the month.
“Ours is probably one of the last ones out,” she said. “Everyone had to wait until June to approve, but some board meetings are held at different times of the month.”