February 28, 2013
Dear Members of the Hopewell Valley Regional School District Community:
During this time of year, we develop our budget for the 2013-2014 school year. As in the past, we have worked to develop a budget that is fiscally reasonable and instructionally sound. In a related development, the Hopewell Valley Board of Education recently voted to join the more than 90% of New Jersey school districts that have moved their board elections from April to November. Combining the school election with the general election is an effort to boost voter turnout and eliminate the cost of staging a separate election. The law allowing us to do this also eliminates a vote for those budgets that come in under the tax-increase cap. That stated, we remain committed to fiscal responsibility and accountability by sharing our budget information with you. On Monday evening, March 4, 2013, the administration will present our tentative budget to the Board of Education for their review.
As a district, we value our tradition of developing socially-conscious, well-rounded students who are academically strong and exposed to a wealth of extra- and co-curricular activities. As we set our priorities for next year, it is important to maintain this tradition. For the 2013-14 school year, we have developed a budget that maintains all current class sizes, programs and services, and is within the criteria established by the state, including the tax increase cap.
While we have developed budgets with an effort to have minimal tax impact over the past few years, we have still been able to accomplish many projects through careful planning and the tremendous support of our community. Our new turf field, for example, was funded almost entirely by private donations raised by the Recreation Foundation of Hopewell Valley. Our PTOs, Booster Clubs, and Music and Theater Parents Association have funded countless projects and programs in our schools. The Hopewell Valley Education Foundation’s Power of 100 Campaign purchased iPads and funded other projects, enabling our district to remain academically progressive. The work of these groups, and the countless volunteers in our classrooms each and every day have made a profound difference in the lives of our students and enabled us to accomplish so much in a difficult economy.
We are proud of the accomplishments of our students as we strive to compete against the highest performing districts in the state and nation. As we plan for our future, we will continue to work to ensure academic consistency across our schools and in our classrooms, and to implement programs that support our excellent teachers and staff so they can provide the best education possible to our students.
As a district, we are as strong as the community that supports us. I encourage you to become involved in the many discussions that are taking place regarding programs, e.g., the World Language Program Review, or by volunteering in our classrooms, attending Board and PTO meetings, or a meeting in your school on any number of topics. Your input is valued and appreciated.
I can be reached daily during my open office hours from 8:00 am - 9:00 am at 609-737-4000 ext. 2101 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss any school-related topic. I look forward to hearing your thoughts.
Some dates to remember:
March 4, 2013: The tentative budget will be presented to the community.
March 25, 2013: The final budget will be presented and adopted.
Thank you, again, for all you do to make Hopewell an excellent school district.