MEREDITH — The Inter-Lakes School Board last night approved the transfer of $226,924 from its fund balance for several projects it deems as key priorities, including $68,000 for 118 new interior door locks which will enable doors to be locked from inside without the use of a key.
Trish Temporino, school district business administrator, said the that the new locks will address a security concern as well as comply with fire codes. The doors will also be able to be unlocked from the inside without a key.
Also approved by the board was another security related item, $21,394 for new radios with a repeater system for use in extreme emergencies which will enable both the police and fire departments to monitor communications within the school during those incidents.
Temporino said the plan had originally called for installation of more security cameras at the district's schools but it was decided that the new communications system had a higher priority.
The board also approved $65,000 for unanticipated special education placements, $37,000 for an update to the science lab, $19,000 for a underground pipe for the oil tank at Inter-Lakes High School, $10,530 for additional police coverage on Rte. 25 in front of the high school and $6,000 for human services and culinary tech tuition at Huot Center in Laconia.
Temporino explained that prior to the transfers the anticipated fund balance was approximately $476,924, the result of excess revenues of $108,477 and unexpended funds of $368,447.
The transfers will reduce the fund balance to $250,000 and the district intends to place $30,000 into an existing playground expendable trust, leaving $220,000 to be used to reduce the tax assessment for 2013.
The board also learned that it will be receiving additional funds from the Local Government Center in the form of credits for future health insurance premiums, which will reduce the amount the district will need to raise in the future.
Superintendent Mary Ellen Ormond said that the district chose to take the funds as credits because it if had taken cash it would not have been able to reimburse current teachers and retirees out of those funds.
Temporino said that the district received a $111,000 credit for 2011, of which $17,000 in credits of which went to employees and retirees and $94,000 to the school district. Next month it will receive a $275,000 credit with $240,000 going to the district and credits amounting $35,000 to teachers and retirees.
The board spent nearly an hour discussing a proposal by Sandwich Central School Principal John Hansen to use an on-line Spanish teaching program from Middlebury College's Language School at Sandwich Central School.
Hansen said that over the last five years he has hired three different Spanish teachers for the one-day a week Spanish classes for grades 1-6 at the school and has not yet been able to find a Spanish teacher for this school year.
Board member Carol Baggaley said that she would like to have parents and board members see a demonstration of the program before signing on to it.
Several parents from Sandwich expressed reservations about learning Spanish through a computer, rather than from a person, and Hansen said that he hoped to have Inter-Lakes High School Spanish students visit the school to assist in instruction.
He planned to arrange a session at which the material can be previewed in the near future.