Additional requests come in from HPS departments

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Three more FY21 budgets for Hopkinton Public School departments were presented to the School Committee during its Dec. 5 meeting.

The Athletic Department, Curriculum Department and Middle School preliminary budgets will add close to $400,000 to the overall operational budget for next school year. This was one of a number of discussions about the budgets, with the rapid increase in enrollment causing a strain on district resources. Although the original budget message from the town was to keep increases to 5.5 percent, the school district is looking at a 5.1 percent increases just in non-negotiable contractual obligations for next year, and that is without adding a single teacher to keep up with the explosion in enrollment said school officials.

First-year athletic director Rich Cormier told the committee that his major budget drivers include moving the Athletic Department administrative assistant from half-time to full-time, hiring an additional middle school football coach, and dealing with increases in coaching stipends and transportation.

“We have the largest athletic program in the Tri-Valley League,” said Cormier, who added that the increase in staff is needed to keep up with the growing number of athletes each season.

Assistant superintendent Jen Parson told the committee that the time has come for the district to hire an English learner (EL) director to join the administrative staff.

“It is a very important position considering the growth in the district,” she said. “We require the presence of an administrator who is an expert in this area.”

The EL director will work with teachers and specialists to support English learner students throughout the district.

The projected 92 students for next year at Hopkinton Middle School will mean an increase of three additional classroom teachers and one world language teacher, principal Allen Keller told the committee.

The other request is to bring the assistant principal position back from half-time to full-time.

“I believe strongly that it is needed with the amount of students projected for next year,” he said.

Keller’s expense increases, which he reduced by $130,000 from the initial round of budget presentations, include textbook expenses, new wall maps for civics classes and new mats for the physical education classrooms.

These budgets joined the ones that were presented last meeting from Special Education, Buildings and Grounds, and Technology.

The driving force behind the proposed Technology budget increase is a new website/data position to maintain the new website and to support the data across the district.

Three additional night custodians will be needed to keep up with the cleaning of the buildings in the district.

Other departments will be presenting their budgets at a future School Committee meeting.

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