Wolf Creek Public Schools trustees have decided to have the recommended financial changes implemented now, before the audited financial statements for the 2017-18 school year are presented, meaning a lower fiscal buffer in the current year. File photo

Wolf Creek Public Schools trustees have decided to have the recommended financial changes implemented now, before the audited financial statements for the 2017-18 school year are presented, meaning a lower fiscal buffer in the current year. File photo

Wolf Creek Schools sees $1 million in savings

Wolf Creek Public Schools puts money into busses and classroom staff time as priorities

Students in Wolf Creek Public Schools (WCPS) will benefit this year from about $1 million in savings.

The 2018-19 budget will see some significant changes as trustees approved additional spending following discussion at the board’s Oct. 18 meeting.

With the 2017-18 audited financial statements set to be presented in late November, trustees adjusted the spending priorities for the current school year after learning WCPS will likely realize higher savings than was anticipated from last year.

The result is about $1.75 million being brought forward into the current budget (WCPS has $750,000 in unrestricted reserves). Among the decisions will be readjusting some of the drastic cuts made earlier this year.

Read More: Over $2.6 million in cuts at WCPS

Superintendent Jayson Lovell said trustees decided it was best to move forward now, spending $750,000 from the new savings.

“(Trustees) had three approaches. They could do nothing until the audited financial statements were presented in late November, they could choose not to fund any changes and put all of the expected surplus into reserves, or choose the third one, which I feel has two pieces to it,” he said.

“One component is to go through all of the funding requests to decide on them individually or give the superintendent the authority to determine how to spend those funds.”

In the end, trustees approved a plan that would see nearly $500,000 sent to a reserve for the purchase of six new busses plus another $38,000 in school generated fund surpluses from 2017-18 going back to the schools. Any of the remaining surplus would be used to fund the partial replacement of desktop computers throughout the division.

The decision also landed Lovell permission to allocate $100,000 as he deemed best with half of that going to upgraded software and the rest spent on division-wide staff wellness day, additional staff time to assist the Grade 4 French Immersion program at Lacombe Upper Elementary and increased inclusion/intervention staff time needed to help students.

The software will give WCPS efficient handling of student documentation such as field trips plus individual student educational plans, to be implemented in the 2019-2020 school year.

“Right now, we have plans and documents on paper…staff may have to go to four or five different places to get information on a student,” Lovell told trustees.

“This new software would have everything in one spot, while including all of what our current software does. We feel it is a very important step for the division to take.”

What all of this means is WCPS will have $1 million left in unrestricted reserves, which is meant to deal with possible unexpected expenses or budget adjustments during the year.



jordie.dwyer@ponokanews.com

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