The Los Alamos School Board got its first look at budget estimates for fiscal years 2015-2019 at a Board Work Session Thursday at Los Alamos Middle School. The figures were part of the Strategic Plan Report presented by Superintendent Gene Schmidt. Projections were made for declining student enrollment of two, three and five percent. This year, enrollment declined by nine students compared to this time last year. The Board will be looking at ways to address budget shortfalls in the coming weeks.
Joan Ahlers, asset manager for Los Alamos Public Schools, presented a proposal to develop a capitol reinvestment plan to upgrade and refurbish property the District’s owns and leases to others. The Canyon Site, currently leased by Los Alamos National Laboratory, would be the first property to be upgraded under the plan. Los Alamos County has a $1 million fund ear-marked to aid in upgrading revenue generating properties owned by the schools, which might provide potential funds. The board gave Ahlers the go-ahead to flesh out a plan to upgrade the site for Board consideration.
Superintendent Gene Schmidt gave an update on progress made by the task force meeting to address concerns about teacher workload and the NM Teacher Evaluation System. Schmidt said he wanted the board to feel optimistic about the progress of the task force. Recommendations will be presented at the Nov. 12 School Board Meeting.
Los Alamos Middle School Principal Rex Kilburn gave a report on LAMS. Among other things, he noted that Bernadette Lauritzen is now serving as a Prevention Specialist two days a week at LAMS to address the issue of student bullying. Plans for a Bullying Hotline are moving forward at LAMS, Kilburn said.