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Principals Diary

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July 2018
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  1. Making School Budget



    Budgeting is a process and plan for determining how money is to be raised and spent, as well as a document – the budget – developed and approved during the budgeting process.

    In more technical terms, a budget is a statement of the total educational program for a given unit, as well as an estimate of resources necessary to carry out the program and the revenues needed to cover those expenditures. A vertical budget includes the various income and expenditure estimates in a given fiscal year, while a horizontal budget will include current estimates for a given fiscal year, compared to prior audited income and expenditures, and a projection of costs into the future. Hence, the budget is a statement of purpose and a review of income and expenditures by function – with a timeline to explain past, current, and future

    School Budget

    A school budget is a fiscal managerial document used to plan for the projection of expenditures that will be incurred during a designated period of time. The time period is referred to as the fiscal year.

    Philosophy regarding the school budget

    The philosophy in establishing the annual school budget should be to create a budget that supports appropriate funding for all educational programs so that the students may benefit and learn from quality learning experiences based on educationally sound and fiscally prudent planning.

    Sources of Revenues that support the School Budget

    A. Federal Funds

    Federal funds support a minimal portion of the budget for expenditures that are directed

    to specific categories of students with special needs for programming.

    B. State Funds

    State government provides funds to support schools in districts.

    C. Local Funds

    Local funds are generated primarily from property taxes and some miscellaneous sources. Local funds support the largest portion of the school budget.

    Basic Process for the Development of School Budget

    To begin the budget development process, the administration analyzes expenditures from the

    previous year’s budget. This analysis includes informal and formal audits, review of instructional versus non-instructional costs, study of budgeted versus actual expenditures, and various projections of increases in student enrolment, impact on facilities, and so on. The budget development process encompasses both school-based budgeting and district-based

    budgeting. Budgeting by school sites decentralizes decision-making, thus promoting school staff input and providing for expenditure choices to meet student needs in the various schools. The school-based level also provides opportunity for parental input. The school-based budgets are reviewed to ensure that they correspond with the requirements of statutes,

    educational goals, district policies, and collective bargaining agreements. With school-based

    budgets, one can expect to see variances in how monies and resources are allocated at the school level. Differences in allocations reflect differences

    in student needs and in the overall size of the student population. School staff is responsible


    (1) determining program requirements and assessing what students will require for learning

    and teachers will need for teaching; (2) initiating and supervising an assessment of program needs relative to staffing and scheduling; (3) obtaining community perspectives and opinions concerning school needs; (4) recommending a school based budget that allocates funds in a manner best-suited to achieving the school improvement plan; and (5) supporting school-based budget statistics with the plan for school improvement.

    Annual School Budget Timeline

    Month Budget Activity Person(s) Responsible

    July Planning / Data Review Superintendent / Administrators

    August Data Review/ Projections Director of Fiscal Services

    September Budget Priorities Input Administrators / Staff / Parents

    October School-Based Planning Administrators / Staff / Parents

    November District-Based Planning Superintendent / Directors / Public

    December Budget Proposal to Board Superintendent / Director of Fiscal Services

    January Budget Workshops Board / Administrators / Public

    February Budget Workshops Board / Administrators / Public

    March Budget Hearing Public / Board of Finance

    April Budget Workshops Board of Selectmen / Board of Finance / Public

    May Budget Referendum Parents / General Public Voters

    June Current Budget Close-Out Superintendent / Director of Fiscal Services

    Categories of Expenditures that comprise the School Budget

    Instruction Accounts

    Includes expenditures for salaries, contracted services, travel expenses, equipment rental, supplies, books, classroom furniture, and maintenance costs directly attributable to equipment.

    Benefits Accounts

    Includes benefits for staff such as health insurance, life insurance, disability insurance, social security, Medicare, retirement and pensions programs, unemployment, and workers’ compensation.

    Student Support Services Accounts

    Includes guidance and counselling, health, social work services, appraisal services, nursing services, psychological services and speech pathology and audiology services.

    Instruction and Curriculum Development Services Accounts

    Includes aids for teachers in developing the curriculum, preparing and utilizing special curriculum materials, and understanding and appreciating the various techniques that stimulate and motivate students.

    Educational Media Services Accounts

    Includes content materials, methods, or experiences used for teaching and learning purposes, printed and non-printed sensory materials such as textbooks, instructional supplies, software and computer leases/ purchases.

    Board of Education Accounts

    Includes activities of the elected body which has been created according to state law and vested with responsibilities for education activities in a given administrative unit.

    Office of the Superintendent Accounts

    Includes activities of the superintendent and assistant superintendent in generally directing and managing all affairs of the district, including all personnel and materials in the office of the chief executive.

    Office of Principal Services Accounts

    Includes activities performed by the principal, assistant principals and other staff while they supervise all operations of the school, including the work of clerical staff in support of the teaching and administrative duties.

    Fiscal Services Accounts

    Includes budgeting, receiving and disbursing, financial and property accounting, payroll, inventory control, internal auditing and managing funds.

    Operation and Maintenance of Plant Services Accounts

    Includes activities concerned with keeping the physical plant open, comfortable and safe for use, and keeping the grounds, buildings and equipment in effective working condition and state of repair.

    Student Transportation Services Accounts

    Includes activities concerned with conveying students to and from school, as provided by state and federal law, such as trips between home and school and trips to school activities.

    Central Support Services Accounts

    Includes activities which support each of the other instructional and supporting service programs, including planning, research, information, staff and data processing services for storage, reproduction of information for management and reporting.

    Food Service Operations Accounts

    Includes preparing and serving regular and incidental meals, lunches or snacks in connection with school activities and food delivery.

    Community Services Accounts

    Includes activities concerned with providing community services to students, staff or other community participants, including adult education.

    Facilities Acquisition and Construction Services


    Includes activities concerned with acquiring land and buildings, remodeling buildings, construction of buildings and additions to buildings, initially installing or extending service systems and other built-in equipment and site improvements.

    Debt Service Accounts

    Serving the debt of the district, including payments of both principal and interest.

    Steps in Planning the School Budget

    No matter how you look at it, a school needs money to run properly. They simply cannot function without money to pay expenses. In fact, to get the necessary money, someone on the staff must know how much money is needed, in order to keep the school running. A budget can be difficult to write, especially with the number of things that must be factored in and considered. The following article is related with how a school budget can be planned.
    Step 1

    Start with personnel salaries. Include all administrative positions, as well as all support staff, from the janitors to the dietary workers. Do not forget ancillary positions, such as a school nurse or counsellor. Add the salaries of every teacher and aid worker. Next, add insurance costs, sick and vacation pay, payroll taxes and other benefits.

    Step 2

    Add contract labour costs. Most schools have security forces on campus, traffic directors, even football field grounds workers and grass cutters. Add the costs of all contract labour.

    Step 3

    Factor in the cost of running the physical facility. Add the yearly utility costs and other normal day-to-day maintenance costs. This could include plumbing and electrical repair, painting, floor or ceiling repair.

    Step 4

    Include the costs of supplies. Add up the cost of toilet paper, paper towels, cleaning supplies, light bulbs, pails, buckets, and mops. Do not forget paper for copy machines, printer paper and all required forms that are needed to run a school.

    Step 5

    Add the cost of machinery and equipment. Computers need to be replaced, overhead projectors and other teaching aids must be repaired or replaced yearly. Average this cost and include in your yearly budget. Even the school bells may need repair or replacement.

    Step 6

    Sports equipment must be replaced or repaired. Add in the costs of basketballs, goals, footballs, soccer or any other sports equipment to be used within the school year. Do not forget band and other extracurricular clubs and activities.

    Step 7

    School grounds and parking lots need to be taken care of yearly. Include a line item for outside repairs and upkeep.

    Step 8

    Do not forget capital costs. Does the school need a new roof? Add in the associated costs, over a period of several years. This will create an insurance for the repair (i.e. The money is budgeted in the event that the work must be done in the future.)


    See what expenses have been incurred in years past. Include these as well as any anticipated increases in costs. Consider staff raises or rising insurance premiums.

    Writing a budget is difficult, but good record keeping makes the task a lot easier to do.


  2. Volume 3 Month 2 Day 9- Communicating Effectively with Parents/Guardians

    Teacher’s communication and interaction with the parents of students is an inevitable responsibility and undoubtedly, one of the most important elements for strengthening school and its performance. Therefore, teacher’s communication with parents should be so effective that they get influenced and feel satisfied that their child is learning under a smart teacher.... Comment
  3. Volume 2 Month 9 Day 13 – Job Description – Librarian

    MASSACHUSETTS REGIONAL LIBRARY SYSTEMS JOB DESCRIPTION COLLECTION   Adult Services and Reference Staff:     Berkshire Athenaeum (Pittsfield pop. 48,622)                  Senior Assistant         Senior Supervisor – Reference Services Supervisor         Supervisor / Specialist I         Supervisor / Specialist II     Groton (pop. 7,511)                     Reference Librarian... Comment
  4. Volume 2 Month 6 Day 25 – TEACHER DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES (GTDRI Assessment Instrument)

    TEACHER DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES (GTDRI Assessment Instrument) The purpose of the Teacher Duties and Responsibilities Instrument (TDRI) is to describe the expectations for teachers in addition to the teaching tasks outlined in the GTOL. A.     Follows professional practices consistent with school and system policies in working with students, students’ records,... Comment
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