As 2022 begins, we are excited to welcome our students back for the second half of the school year, and we have several updates to share with our community.
Board of Education update
This month we welcome two new members to the Upper Arlington Board of Education.
Nidhi Satiani and Lou Sauter were elected in November and begin their four-year terms this month, joining returning board members Nancy Drees, Jenny McKenna and Lori Trent. Our new members will be officially sworn into office during the board’s organizational meeting on January 6. During that meeting the board members will select who will serve as the group’s president and vice president for 2022 and officially set the schedule of meetings for the year.
Back in December, outgoing board members Carol Mohr and Scott McKenzie were honored for their years of service to our schools. Carol served on the board for eight years and Scott for four.
It’s hard to believe but we are already preparing to welcome the Golden Bears Class of 2035. The 2022-2023 kindergarten registration window will open on Monday, February 7.
This will be our second year providing a full-day kindergarten program, which was made possible by the completion of the first phase of the facilities master plan and the additional space now available in our new and renovated elementary schools.
The long-planned switch to a full-day program is directly aligned with our mission of challenging and supporting every student every step of the way. The full-day program provides double the time in the classroom each day, which is critically important for our youngest learners to develop their skills in the core academic areas such as literacy and math. In a typical five-day week, that’s nearly 18 hours more for the 470 students enrolled in kindergarten this year.
To learn more about the kindergarten program and the registration process, please visit www.uaschools.org/kindergarten.aspx.
Being good stewards of taxpayer dollars is always top of mind in our district. As you may recall, the Board of Education has postponed an operating levy for the past two years due to the pandemic and the related economic situation. To make this possible, we have creatively stretched our financial resources by reducing our budget reserve; seeking out approximately $4.6 million in cost reductions, primarily through a three-year hiring freeze on new positions; and utilizing additional COVID-related federal funding made available to school districts.
In November, Treasurer/CFO Andrew Geistfeld presented to the Board of Education a five-year financial forecast for the district covering three years of actual data and five years of anticipated revenues and expenditures. This is a legally required document that is presented to the board for approval and then filed with the state of Ohio.
The new five-year forecast reflects what we have been anticipating for some time — that even with the proactive steps we have taken, our expenditures are already outpacing our revenue. This is a typical levy cycle for a school district, and it’s why suburban school districts usually go back to voters every three years to request new operating funding.
In 2022, it will have been five years since the district’s last levy request, and the Board of Education will discuss how it will address the district’s future financial needs.
To review the new five year forecast, please visit our website at www.uaschools.org/treasurer.aspx.