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Brewster Superintendent: Please Vote

'Every employee' helped create a 'unique and winning team,' she said.

The Brewster Central School District providing the following from Superintendent Dr. Jane Sandbank, via email:

TEAM SPIRIT

Iconic UCLA Coach, John Wooden, in his book Wooden: A Lifetime of Observations and Reflections On and Off the Court says the following about team spirit:

“Team spirit means you are willing to sacrifice personal consideration for the welfare of all. That defines a team player.”

In Brewster, as we worked to settle our teachers’ contract, simultaneously present a budget that would be affordable to the taxpayer, maintain our excellent educational programs (academic, athletic and in the arts), as well as in conversations with our administrators and board of education, we see the best example of team spirit, team players in action and what that can accomplish.

Because our teachers were willing to take a pay freeze, a step freeze and additional concessions as did our administrators who agreed to a pay freeze, we are not only able to restore many of the reductions in personnel, programs and services, but also implement full-day Kindergarten in the 2013 – 2014 school year, fully restore our outstanding NJROTC program, reduce class size at the C.V. Starr school and restore a full-time art teacher as well as restoration of some other programs and services. We are also able to stabilize our budget over the next three years and build in the dollars to sustain these programs and services in the era of decreasing state aid and increasing costs.

In an environment where teachers, unions, administrators, and boards of education are being accused of being insensitive to the economic environment and needs of the students they serve, it is critically important to note that these concessions and the support of our parents and community, our foundations, our PTA, and indeed every employee in Brewster create a unique and winning team.

The real winners are our students, providing our budget passes, who will continue to receive a high quality educational program with excellent and caring teachers, skilled and highly responsible leadership, and a supportive internal and external community.

The budget that our board of education approved and that you will vote on May 21st, sets an estimated tax levy of 1.94 percent. Please vote.

May we offer a sincere thank you to all the players.

Best,


Dr. Jane Sandbank 
Superintendent of Schools

Randy Maurer May 04, 2013 at 04:05 PM
As soon as the school board got extra money from consessions and Albany, instead of saving it to REDUSE TAX'S, they spent it right away to restore programs and start a full day kindergarten class. Hats of to you.
Southeast Resident May 04, 2013 at 06:33 PM
Where can I read the details of the budget and a comparison to the current year's budget? I'm not going to blindly consent to a 2% tax increase. I want to see real details, not that silly preliminary presentation posted on the Patch a few weeks ago. Please provide a link to some real information.
Aidan Samuels May 05, 2013 at 01:47 AM
One of the main reasons I moved to Southeast was the schools. I want my 2 boys to go to good schools and get a good education. That is far more important to me than the size of my house or the kind of car I drive. So far, I am impressed and I will be voting for the school budget. And no I do not work for the school district.
lillian philbin May 05, 2013 at 12:01 PM
All day kindergarten should be a given. Every child deserves a leg up. Half a day is a joke.
Ashley Tarr (Editor) May 06, 2013 at 12:11 PM
Here you go, Southeast resident: http://patch.com/bvfoX. You can find more budget information on the district's site: http://www.brewsterschools.org/district_office/budget_13_14/index.html
Susan Riley May 06, 2013 at 05:35 PM
Full day kindergarten is important for children to learn how to focus.
Southeast Resident May 06, 2013 at 08:46 PM
Folks - whether you have full day kindergarten or not is not really the issue. It's how the money is spent and whether or not you want to give 2% more. What exactly are we getting for that 2%? Unless I'm told how the money is going to be allocated, my vote is NO.
Rich Parker May 08, 2013 at 09:29 PM
According to their own budget: Administration is set for a 4.2% increase with "other" doubling from $35k to $75k. What is "Other?" Teaching gets a 1.01% increase, and "Miscellaneous" gets a 0.99% increase. Unfortunately, "Miscellaneous" includes employee benefits which go from $21 million to $23 million, which is the largest increase in the district by category. Oh, and while we're at it, let's take $1/2 million out of Special Education. How can I get a job here? I would forgo a salary increase for those kind of benefits too. Farewell Mrs. Sandbank. Voting no this year. Oh, and no new buses either. One maybe, but not four.
Southeast Resident May 08, 2013 at 09:52 PM
I think you will find another article on the patch that states that another administration position is being added. They needed 5 people because 4 wasn't enough. I guess that's "doing the same with more". Regarding the flyer I got in the mail yesterday: what are "student services"? I think this line item is almost $5 million .
Concerned resident May 09, 2013 at 01:57 AM
I was disappointed to hear that the two reading positions which they planned to cut will still be cut. That's five reading positions cut in the last 3 years. I'm not sure why the district is weakening an already weak program. Our 3rd grade state reading scores were the second lowest in Putnam County this year. (We had the second highest scores before they started cutting the reading program 3 years ago.). With scores spiraling downward, I would think that the administration should be strengthening the reading program not weakening it. If our kids can't read....what will they be able to do?? While I understand it's hard to decide where to make cuts - reading of all things should never be skimped on. I worry that without a strong reading program our students will suffer in years to come. Sadly, the administrators making these short sighted decisions will have moved on by the time these kids get to high school and realize they don't have the skills they need to be successful.

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