SF schools prepare for budget

Published Jan 18, 2013 at 3:26 pm (Updated Jan 18, 2013 at 3:26 pm)

South Fayette Schools’ Director of Finance Brian Tony reviewed the district’s budget timeline with the board at its committee meeting Jan. 15. He said the board must vote on a proposed preliminary budget by the end of January. After approval, the budget will be available for inspection at the district’s administrative offices.

Department heads will begin presenting their budgets at the Jan. 22 school board meeting. The board should be ready to vote on a preliminary budget at its Feb. 19 meeting.

“Those are all the placeholders,” Tony told the board. He said the staff has received property assessment numbers from the county, but with appeals still in process, Tony said, “We have to work with the info they have given to us at this point.”

The school district is not allowed to take a windfall, so the millage rate has to be revenue neutral. Tony said that the district has no margin of error when it comes to that. He said the district “can’t experience any windfall at all.”

Visitor Management System

Also at the Jan. 15 meeting, South Fayette High School Assistant Principal Aaron Skrbin, who is also the district’s safety director, presented information on a visitor management system called Raptor that he would like to see put in place at all the district’s buildings.

Recently the schools have begun asking visitors to present a driver’s license or other state issued identification in order to enter the school buildings. Skrbin said that with the Raptor system, visitors would give their identification to the administrative assistant in the school and it would then be scanned into the system. The database would check for certain “flags,” including if the person has a criminal record.

Skrbin said the system can also be customized so that people with a history of trouble with the school will also be flagged. The system then prints out a nametag with a timestamp and the person’s photo on it.

Skrbin added that Upper St. Clair has the Raptor system and the district is pleased with it.

“I recommend all the buildings have it,” Skrbin said. He also recommended that in addition to the schools on campus, a Raptor system be in place at the pupil personnel building and the administrative offices. He said the cost of the system would be about $1,500 for each building.

Superintendent Dr. Billie Rondinelli said that implementing a system like Raptor is something the administration has been discussing for a couple of years. “It’s just a good measure,” Rondinelli said.

In other business:

South Fayette Township Commissioner Lisa Malosh addressed the board at the meeting. She said the township is in the process of reviewing the draft of its comprehensive plan. “We welcome any comments from the board,” Malosh said. The public can also make comments on the plan until the end of January.

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