A Letter from Phil DeZutter – School Committee Candidate

Over the last 5 years I have had the privilege of serving on the school lettercommittee and working with the other committee members, Superintendent, school and town administrators to improve our schools.

For those of you who remember, I joined the committee during challenging times:

·      We had just laid off over 30% of the teaching staff

·      Class sizes were at an all-time high

·      Many programs were cut across the district

·      Sports and extra-curricular activities were almost fully funded by parents resulting in thousands in extra fees out of their pockets

·      And most challenging was that the state was requiring our two towns to pay more and more of the total school bill rather than relying on state funds

 Now here we stand 5 years later, with strong community support behind all of the improvements and gains our schools have made.  Nipmuc has been recognized as a MA commendation school and one of Newsweek’s top 500 schools in America.  Students across the district are performing better than ever. 

Now, the school committee and representatives from town boards meet on a regular basis to discuss common goals in financial planning that are in the overall best interest of the schools and towns.   The sense of responsible and transparent fiscal management is paramount.  Through these efforts, we have created numerous efficiencies in our budgets including:

·      Reducing energy costs

·      Renegotiating healthcare costs

·      Implementing joint purchasing with the towns

·      Refinancing debt interest costs

 In addition, our administrative costs continue to be some of the lowest in the state (267th out of 325 districts in the state), maximizing the funding dollars directly spent on student programming and performance. 

But we must not be complacent with the gains that have been made-   there is more to be done, which is why I ask for your vote.  We still need to:

·      Develop and implement the next phase of our district’s strategic plan that includes a greater focus on capital and financial needs of the future

·      Continue to evolve our education programming to stress 21st century learning skills such as social emotional learning, STEM, foreign language learning

·      Expand the special education programs we have in district to better meet student needs and increase inclusion within our classrooms

·      Implement long term capital planning and goal setting including improvements to Miscoe and repairing the playgrounds at Memorial School

·      Continue to work with the towns towards a balanced budgeting approach focused on transparent management of the school budget

As always, I am happy to answer any and all questions as you consider this important decision.  You can contact me at 508-634-2633.

I ask for your vote so that we may continue our progress.

Thank you

Phil DeZutter

Upton

About Jennifer Doyle

Comments

  1. Dan Lazarz says:

    Thank you for your service Phil. As a parent who choiced two children out of the District for a few years but have since reenrolled them when the current school committee and District leadership demonstrated to my wife and I that real changes and accountability were implemented. Joe Maruszczak, the administration & staff and most importantly teachers restored faith and trust for my wife and I that the District will provide a forward looking, innovative and quality education to my kids and our communities kids with the resources the community has been able to provide. You have my vote and keep up the great work.

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