Warsaw Community Schools Budget For 2020 At $81.5M

(Photo supplied/Warsaw Community Schools)

Warsaw Community Schools Board held two public hearings during its meeting Monday.

The first public hearing  was for its 2020 budget. The proposed budget totals $81,548,550.

Of that total, the rainy day fund is $1.7 million; debt service fund is $9,620,550; referendum debt fund is $2,878,000; education fund is $45 million; and the operations fund is $22,350,000.

No one spoke during the public hearing, so the board concluded the hearing.

The board will have the final adoption during its October meeting, according to April Fitterling, chief financial officer.

The second hearing concerned the $8 million general obligation bonds WCS approved at the August meeting.

According to Fitterling, the school board had to adopt an additional appropriation resolution in order to use the money on the projects they got the bonds for.

Potential projects to be funded by the bonds are chillers for Harrison and Eisenhower elementary schools, outside paneling on the Warsaw Area Career Center, individual HVAC units and room renovations at Warsaw Community High School, technology and security upgrades throughout the district and a storage building.

No one spoke at that public hearing either.

Mark Fick, WCS transportation director, spoke to the board about some software the transportation is using in order to keep track of the district’s buses.

The software, called GeoTracking, pulls up a live map and shows where all the buses are.

“It will track every single one of our buses, no matter where they’re at,” Fink said, saying it ties into GPS to do so.

If a parent calls up, not knowing where their child is but knows what bus they are on, the transportation department can pull up the map and find where  the bus is at, Fink said.

An engine fault error also will come up next to a certain bus and let the transportation office know if a check engine light is on or any other diagnostic issue is going on, Fink said. The software is able to show how fast the buses are going.

“It’s paid for itself,” he said.

Fink also stated agencies, such as the Warsaw Police Department, have access to the software in case of emergencies. He said the department is looking into getting parents access to the software.

Another technology the school district is using is Securly, a web filter and safety filtering platform, said Brad Hagg, chief technology officer.

“It’s complete Cloud based,” Hagg said, which cuts back on such things as the amount of network resources the previous internet filter used.

Hagg said parents will receive an e-mail today in regards to this. In the e-mail, parents will be able see all the analytics of when their child has been using their school devices. The e-mail will be sent on a weekly basis.

For example, when Hagg brought up his own son, he was able to see the real-time internet searches his son did, as well as the historical record of what he’s searched.

“It will also show the parents the messages the student is sending,” Hagg said, adding that if a student is crying out for help, the parent will be able to see it. The school district also will be able to use this and be able to act on it to keep students safe.

The school district is using the email address it has on file for parents and linking all of the students with that, Hagg said.

There also is an application parents can use and apply it to their students’ devices at home, Hagg said. Parents can pause the internet so students can’t get on using their device, or block certain websites from their child.

However, Hagg did say once the student goes back to school, school policy will take over.