When the Up-Island Regional School District holds a public hearing on its draft 2024 operating budget Thursday night, taxpayers will see a roughly 5.6 per cent increase over the current fiscal year’s bottom line of almost $14 million.

Principals Susan Stevens of the Chilmark School and Donna Lowell-Bettencourt of West Tisbury School, working with Island superintendent Dr. Richard (Richie) Smith and finance director Mark Friedman, have pared the district’s increase from nearly 7 per cent in the version presented several weeks ago.

“[They] burned the midnight oil,” school committee chair Alex Salop said Monday, as the committee met to review the changes.

No existing positions are being eliminated in the proposal, although the schools will be adding fewer staff hours than they had initially proposed.

Thursday’s public hearing takes place at 5 p.m. at the West Tisbury School, with online participation available.

Also Monday, the Up-Island committee agreed to form a working group of school and town officials to explore potential solutions for an impending classroom crunch at the Chilmark School, which shares its space with the private, nonprofit Chilmark Preschool.

Enrollment is growing at the town school, said Ms. Stevens, who told the committee she’s already identified 28 kindergartners likely to enroll next fall.

“There’s always people we don’t know about or who might move in,” she added.