N.S. School Committee moves forward on plans to hire part time athletics director

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NORTH SMITHFIELD – A final budget approved by members of the North Smithfield School Committee includes funding to hire a new, part time athletics director, along with other hoped-for staffing changes for the upcoming fiscal year.

Members voted unanimously to accept the Town Council-approved budget of $29,623,751, which includes a .5 percent increase – or $108,000 – municipal increase to schools over last year’s appropriation. The school department had requested a 1 percent increase of $215,335 from the town, and the reduction in the final figure had left some questions regarding how the district would use the limited funds.

Business Manager Lisa Marcotte said a now finalized fiscal plan retains needed staffing changes, including the addition of a math interventionist for the high school and a part time athletics director.

“We actually put in all the staffing changes,” Marcotte told the committee.

The part-time athletics hire falls short of what some in the community had have hoped for. Middle school health and physical education teacher Matthew Tek resigned from the role in May, a position he’d held for some 17 years for an added stipend of $14,000.

At a budget hearing last month, parents made the case for his replacement to be a full-time hire, pointing to the demands of the job. And a petition in favor of the more costly full-time hire had garnered more than 200 signatures.

The need to quickly fill the vacancy was cited amid budget deliberations by the Town Council, and a decision to ultimately fund half of the department’s modest request was based, in part, on the fact that this year, the North Smithfield School District is set to receive $1 million more in funding from the state.

The district is now expected to advertise the part time athletics role, a non-union job with benefits.

“It would be an administrative position,” Marcotte said.

Approval of the larger fiscal plan took place at a brief, five minute meeting on Thursday, June 29. The committee was also scheduled to discuss extending the contract of Supt. Michael St. Jean, but tabled the item for a future meeting. St. Jean has led the school department since he came to North Smithfield from a prior role as assistant superintendent in Central Falls in 2016.

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6 COMMENTS

  1. Lol…shows how valuable one’s education is and how we need each other…. It’s higher……mmbcc is correct.

  2. The school budget has a great deal of fat and inefficiencies already built into the projection. Also the theory of spending more money will get you better educational results is wrong. In New England, Rhode Island has the 2nd highest in per capita spending but is 5 out of 5 in test scores. RI has a union problem.

  3. “… includes a .5 percent increase – or $108,000.” You realize that this increase is basically a joke, right??? Just consider what inflation was for this past year (even with inflation now decreasing). NS Council and School Committee do not really value their young people, that is the message I get from these budget decisions. I cannot believe that the School Committee accepted this amount; even the School Committee higher request was a joke..

    • Go back and do your homework the schools got a 4% overall increase much hire than any other department in town.

        • Joey may have used the wrong word, but I also believe that you are wrong. If my memory serves me correctly, the proper use is It’s, not its…as in, It is higher, not hire or It’s higher.

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