Follow along at tonight's Board of Finance hearing
Here is the presentation Board of Education Chairman Bruce Likly will be giving at Middlebrook School this evening at 7:30. The district intends to live broadcast the meeting on the school’s YouTube channel. The Board of Finance is holding a public hearing on the Board of Education budget.
"It is our sincere hope that people will attend the meeting so they can participate rather than watch from afar," he said in an email to the Bulletin.
"That said, we are hopeful that anyone who can’t attend will consider sending their feedback on the proposed budget to both the Board of Finance (boardoffinance@WILTONCT.ORG) and the Board of Education (BOE@wiltonps.org)."
The entire Board of Education budget can be found in detail online at http://www.wilton.k12.ct.us/pages/Wilton_School_District.
Likly added When people are looking at the details it is critical to consider five important details:
1) The BOE’s contractual obligations are going up by approximately 3% (this represents over 75% of our budget)
2) The BOE’s budget request is zero, meaning we are cutting headcount and other areas to keep the budget flat
3) The line items in the budgets might be confusing in areas because we’ve re-categorized several items to provide greater transparency and improved accounting.
- One example is moving computer leases from the replacement equipment budget to the professional services budget.
- Another example is reclassifying Extended School Year expenditures so we can more accurately track them.
4) Even though our budget is lean we are investing in the areas we believe will have the greatest impact on ensuring Wilton students get the best possible education
- Instructional coaching for staff to adapt to the Universal Design for Learning (see attached) and to improve our professional development efforts
- Improving the fidelity of our curriculum
- Investing in new classes for students
- Implementing a BYOD (bring your own device) and One-to-one computing model to students in the most cost effective way possible
5) Let us not lose sight of how our neighboring towns are spending their tax dollars
- Look at their proposed BOE budget increases for the coming year.
- Look at what they spend per pupil already (Wilton taxpayers are getting great value for their investment).
Likly also added the following information:
UNIVERSAL DESIGN FOR LEARNING
Universal design for learning (UDL) is a set of principles for designing curriculum that provides all individuals with equal opportunities to learn. UDL is designed to serve all learners, regardless of ability, disability, age, gender, or cultural and linguistic background. UDL provides a blueprint for designing goals, methods, materials, and assessments to reach all students including those with diverse needs. Grounded in research of learner differences and effective instructional settings, UDL principles call for varied and flexible ways to:
Present or access information, concepts, and ideas (the “what” of learning).
Plan and execute learning tasks (the “how” of learning).
Get engaged—and stay engaged—in learning (the “why” of learning).
UDL is different from other approaches to curriculum design in that educators begin the design process expecting the curriculum to be used by a diverse set of students with varying skills and abilities.
UDL is an approach to learning that addresses and redresses the primary barrier to learning: inflexible, one-size-fits-all curricula that raise unintentional barriers. Learners with disabilities are the most vulnerable to such barriers, but many students without disabilities also find that curricula are poorly designed to meet their learning needs. UDL helps meet the challenges of diversity by recommending the use of flexible instructional materials, techniques, and strategies that empower educators to meet students’ diverse needs. A universally designed curriculum is shaped from the outset to meet the needs of the greatest number of users, making costly, time-consuming, and after-the-fact changes to the curriculum unnecessary.
The UDL framework is grounded in three principles:
Multiple means of representation – using a variety of methods to present information, provide a range of means to support
Multiple means of action and expression – providing learners with alternative ways to act skillfully and demonstrate what they know
Multiple means of engagement – tapping into learners’ interests by offering choices of content and tools; motivating learners by offering adjustable levels of challenge