Southampton School Committee Tackles Budget and School Calendar Concerns

The Southampton School Committee recently convened to address issues pertaining to the school district, including the fiscal year budget, school calendar discrepancies, and the implementation of a more robust code of conduct for facility rentals. Amidst these deliberations, the committee also touched upon the salary range for the incoming superintendent, the opening of School of Choice slots, and security enhancements.

A significant portion of the meeting was devoted to discussing the budget for the upcoming fiscal year. The committee acknowledged the necessity of adhering to bylaws and critical timelines while also considering the implications of ongoing union contract negotiations on the budget. With the resignation of the commissioner and updates in the business office, the committee was informed of staffing and budget matters that could impact financial planning. The chair relayed the district committee’s focus on reconciling outstanding items with the town accountant and underscored the need for a finalized budget. To facilitate this, two dates were established: March 20th for a special school committee meeting dedicated to the budget and March 27th for the public budget hearing.

The conversation about the budget was comprehensive, contemplating the creation of the committee’s own budget if necessary. The potential challenges of meeting budget deadlines were debated, with a commitment to ensuring compliance with bylaws and meeting essential timelines. Deliberations also covered the process of publishing the public hearing notice and making the budget document accessible for public inspection.

Another topic was the scheduling of the fiscal year 2025 academic calendar. The committee engaged in a discussion over errors and potential issues with the initial start date. Input from parents and committee members highlighted the need to consider the historical start date and its effects on families with children at different school levels. Discussions incorporated concerns about bus contracts and the financial implications of changing the start date. The bus contract was noted to allow for a 5-day variation without additional costs, which factored into the consideration of various options, including maintaining the high school’s start date while adjusting the elementary schools’ schedules.


The issue of school choice also garnered attention. The committee addressed the number of available seats, particularly in grades 1 through 6, and recommended not opening any school choice slots based on current enrollment numbers. In kindergarten there was a discussion over opening up to 10 School of Choice seats for the subsequent school year. The principal’s discretion in filling these spots was a point of discussion.

The committee also voted on the salary range for the incoming superintendent, setting it between $175,000 and $195,000 after some debate over the upper limit of the range. This decision came alongside the appointment of a member to the superintendent search committee.

Security enhancements and the school safety grant were acknowledged but are pending further advancement until a meeting with the new Town Administrator.


One incident highlighted during the meeting involved a school-approved pickleball activity. A parent, Alice Baker, brought forth concerns after her son was aggressively addressed by a man during the game. This prompted a discussion on the school committee’s role in handling individual behavior versus granting authority to outside groups. The committee agreed to refer the policy on facility rentals to the superintendent for review and the potential addition of a Code of Conduct to address such violations.

These included the principal’s report on professional development, field trips, upcoming testing, PTO activities, school council updates, and forthcoming meetings of the Capital Committee, Finance, and Select Board.

Note: This meeting summary was generated by AI, which can occasionally misspell names, misattribute actions, and state inaccuracies. This summary is intended to be a starting point and you should review the meeting record linked above before acting on anything you read. If we got something wrong, let us know. We’re working every day to improve our process in pursuit of universal local government transparency.

Diana Bonneville
School Board Officials:
Jon Lumbra, Dylan Mawdsley, Kim Schott, Margaret Larson, Julianne Tauscher

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