White Plains Board of Ed to Begin Budget Planning Process

The White Plains Board of Education has announced the district’s 2017-18 budget planning process, continuing the community-wide forums held last year. Board President Rosemarie Eller said, “We hope people from all of our constituencies will come out and offer their comments to assist us in developing the budget.”

All White Plains residents are invited to attend a Budget Forum on Tuesday, Jan. 24, in the B-1 Room at White Plains High School, at 7:30 p.m., to participate in focused dialogue on spending efficiencies, areas of concern, budget priorities and creative ways to increase revenues. Preliminary discussions have been held with staff to solicit their input.

Additional meetings will take place in the community and any group or organization wishing to host such a meeting may contact the Superintendent’s Office at 422-2033.

The district will also hold two Public Hearings: the first on  March 20, on the Preliminary Budget, and the second on May 8, on the Board of Education’s Adopted Proposed Budget. Both hearings will take place at Education House, 5 Homeside Lane, at 7:30 p.m.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Howard W. Smith said, “We hope to work together with the community to develop a budget that maintains the high quality of education in White Plains and that is fiscally responsible and can be supported by the taxpayers in the May 16 vote.”

The community is encouraged to visit the district’s website, www.whiteplainspublicschools.org for information on the budget.

Eller also announced that a nationwide search for a new superintendent has begun, with applications due by the end of January 2017. The Board will use the same profile to screen applicants as that identified by the community for previous, recent searches.

Dr. Howard Smith was approved by the Board at a special meeting in September and began as Acting Superintendent on October 1, 2016, for a term to run until June 30, 2017. He replaced Tim Connors who stepped in last term for Superintendent Paul Fried who was on a medical leave. Dr. Fried resigned in December 2016.

The Board said school and community representatives from all constituencies will be involved in interviews of finalists in late March or April. It hopes to appoint a new Superintendent in April or May.

At its meeting on Jan. 9, the Board appointed Dr. Debbie J. Hand as Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum & Instruction, replacing Jessica O’Donovan who moved out of the area with her family. Dr. Hand comes to the district from a similar position in Tarrytown where she supervised all K-12 instructional programs. She has a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of Pennsylvania, two Masters degrees – from Fordham University and the College of New Rochelle, and a Bachelor of Science from Iona College.

The Board also approved four new courses at White Plains High School: AP Studio Art, Protest Movements in American History, SUPA (Syracuse University Project Advance) Public Policy, and Dual Language Medical Terminology.

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