With virtually no discussion, the regional high school district committee voted Monday to certify an $18.6 million operating budget for the coming year. Salary increases, funding for a school resource officer and a recently completed roof replacement project are all including in the spending package.
A bell sounds for the first of five short 20-minute lunch periods at the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School. It’s 10:45 a.m., two faculty monitors stand by the doors, and here they come, approximately 114 teens from all grade levels looking carefully planned casual in baggy layers, sweatshirts, sandals, sneakers, clogs.
The Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School committee voted this week to sell a $1.8 million bond as part of a plan to finance a nearly complete roof replacement at the high school. At their Monday meeting, the committee voted unanimously to sell the 10-year bond to UBS Financial Services of Boston.
For the first year, the district will pay the bond holders only the interest rate of 2.077 per cent, but starting in fiscal year 2015, the district will begin making payments on the bond. The first payment is due Sept. 15, 2014.
Only a few weeks into the job, and already regional high school vocational director Bob Drobneck was on a mission. It was a late Wednesday afternoon when Mr. Drobneck climbed into his black sedan, one of a handful of cars still remaining on school grounds at the end of the day, and pulled out onto the Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Road.
Regional high school students start classes later than usual this year, but the fall athletes are already on the fields preparing for the upcoming season. Mornings and evenings bring a flurry of activity to the quiet school campus as football, field hockey, cross country, soccer and golf shake off the summer haze and get down to business.
It’s a time of tryouts, when varsity and junior varsity teams are created, and a time of camaraderie as teammates work through drills and circuits. It is also exhausting.
The regional high school lunch program is projecting a year-end deficit of nearly $61,000, assistant principal Matthew Malowski told the high school committee Monday evening. Losses can tracked to lower reimbursement from the up-Island school district, which stopped using the high school for its lunch programs last year, as well as a decrease in daily revenues, which are down 14 per cent from fiscal year 2012.
“We are seeing a marked decrease in participation,” in the a la carte budget, Mr. Malowski said.
The graduation rate at Martha’s Vineyard High School remains above the state average, though the 2012 drop-out rate increased over the previous year.
Just over 94 per cent of students graduated in 2012, according to data from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Out of 153 students in the class, 2.6 per cent dropped out. Just over one per cent of students received a GED.
Cord Bailey stood in the doorway of the regional high school culinary arts dining room, aviator shades on, arms crossed. Tantalizing smells of chicken and bacon floated into the hallway. Inside the dining room the annual Brazilian American Friends lunch was taking place. Only 42 lucky students were granted access.