School Board Gets Snapshot of District Finances

WAKEFIELD – Wakefield’s Board of Education held a lengthy summer school board meeting Monday night. During the meeting they got an update on the state of the district’s finances and filled a teaching position among other action.

Matt Fischer of First National Capital Markets made a presentation about the district’s finances and provided some insight into possible planning. Fischer told the board that Wakefield Community Schools was in relatively good shape financially. The district’s operating costs are lower than schools of similar size and the district has been able to keep their tax ask almost flat.

However, Fischer told the board that they would be losing some state aid this year and suggested the district consider raising their tax levy to find extra funding to off-set rising costs. Members of the school board were hesitant to add to high property tax.

“There’s going to be a way to make this work,” Fischer said. “But I do think you need to really be thinking.”

Troy Holmberg was hired on a one-year contract for the 7-12 Science position. The board also accepted his letter of resignation effective at the end of the school year. Holmberg has spent the last 13 years as an administrator but is stepping back into the classroom for one year. Superintendent Matt Farup said he believes Holmberg will be a good fit, even if it’s just for a year.

“I think he’s a great person and is going to be a really good teacher and do a good job,” Farup said.

After two years of free meals thanks to COVID-19 relief funds, the board had to set prices for the 2022-23 school year. After discussion, the board voted to raise prices by $0.25 from the 2019-20 rates. The board also approved a milk contract with Highland Dairy for the next school year.

In other action, a $6,896 bid was approved for new furniture for the superintendent’s office. The board also approved a service agreement for $14,925 with PowerSchool, as well as multiple changes and updates to the 2022-23 staff handbook and Parent-Student Handbook.

The next regularly scheduled Wakefield Board of Education meeting will be held on Monday, Aug. 8 at 5:30 p.m. at Wakefield Community Schools.