“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”
There are many indicators of a successful school district that provides an outstanding educational program for all students. For example, at the National Honor Society’s induction ceremony held recently at Community High School, the staffs’ and parents’ impact on our former students’ academic performance was evident. Of the 56 junior and senior students inducted into this prestigious academic society, 24 were Benjamin District 25 students. Even though Benjamin students comprise 15 percent of the high school student body, 43 percent of the inductees were Benjamin students!
Monitoring The District’s Performance
The 2012-2013 District Scorecard Report includes indicators, related targets and results for us to measure our progress. We use the results to celebrate achievements and identify improvement areas according to the three district goals: improving student achievement; increasing communication; and, insuring organizational efficiency and fiscal stability. Last year’s final Scorecard Report is included in this newsletter and we are proud of the results! You will note that only three of the 27 targets were not fully met. Progress is being made to make improvements to attain these three goals.
Achieving Academic Excellence and Sustaining Fiscal Responsibility
Similar to the challenges that you face, the school board, administration, and staff must continually enhance the teaching and learning while maintaining fiscal responsibility in both the short-term and long-term. In November, the annual independent audit report was presented to the school board, which indicated that the district is in sound fiscal condition and is utilizing effective financial practices.
An outside financial firm’s financial projections for the school district, provided by PMA Financial Network, show a balanced budget for 2013-2018. In addition, I searched and found historical financial information regarding the tax rate referendum, which was passed in 2004. The information is summarized as follows:
- $1.2 million cost reductions were made prior to the referendum.
- The school board estimated that new monies would last for five to eight years and the funds would be extended into the future as far as practical.
- PMA’s financial projections indicate that the school district’s existing revenue stream will be sufficient through at least 2018 to sustain a balanced budget.
Based on the above information, the school board has surpassed the five- to eight-year time period as it has been ten years since the last referendum. Furthermore, the projections indicate a fiscally sound budget through at least 2018.
Cost savings and revenue enhancement measures continue to expand to ensure fiscal stability. A comprehensive accounting of these measures is posted on our website at www.bendist25.org. I welcome your feedback and suggestions as we provide a high quality educational program in a fiscally responsible manner.
Proposed Connector Multi-Use Path
A multi-use path along Fair Oaks and St. Charles Roads to tie into existing paths is being planned. This project is a collaborative effort between the Village of Carol Stream, DuPage County Forest Preserve District and Wayne Township Road District. Students and staff are excited about the path because it will benefit the community by connecting with the other paths. Also, it will provide a safe pedestrian route on Fair Oaks Road. In an emergency when the students and staff would have to immediately evacuate the middle school and move away from the building, we would have the option of having the students go onto the path. Also, students who live close to the school will be able to walk or ride their bikes to school. Lastly, our physical education classes will be able to use the path for running and walking. Completion of the proposed path is projected for the summer of 2015.
Bringing in the New Year
Best wishes to you as we embark on the 2014 calendar year. Thank you for your continued support as we look forward to the excitement and challenges a new year brings.
Philip M. Ehrhardt, Ed.D.