Board of Education Corner – March 2020

Board members in JHS Library

Seated: Susanne Fitzgerald, Evamarie Mraz, Noelle Smrtic. Standing: President Chris Tallon, Vice President Kathy Zajicek, Joe LoDestro. Missing from photo: Beverly Alves, Ron Beck and Pat Oare.


March 2020

This month marks the second edition of our newly formed GJSD BOE Corner. Updates are written after the board’s regular monthly business meeting. We hope that you are finding the information useful as we continue to strive in our goal to better communicate what is taking place within our district at the board level.

Here is what the board has been working on over the past month:

  • Our audit committee continues to work with the administration, looking at the numbers associated with the 2020-2021 budget.  At our March 5 board meeting it was announced that the preliminary tax levy increase would be in the range of 9 – 11%. This number is dependent on the grade configuration used next year. While we wish we did not have to make any increase, the 9 – 11% proposal is a significant reduction from the projected 14% increase laid out last year. Please do remember that these are preliminary numbers.
  • We are continuing to explore two options for grade configuration next year. Option I proposes a 6-8 middle school concept at Knox, while Option V proposes a 7-12 junior/senior high school configuration at Johnstown High School.  As with all of our decision making, feedback from members of the community is important. We invite everyone to join us for a public hearing on this issue at 6 p.m. on March 25 in the high school lecture hall. We hope to be able to reach a final decision at our April board meeting.
  • Board members recently concluded their first ever communication/listening tour,  held at sites throughout the community. Our final presentation took place at the JACC. Overall, this campaign was successful in providing information to different constituent groups within our district. We were able to meet with more than 80 members of the community and provide them with information, as well as listen to their questions and concerns.
  • This month, we will be working on setting our budget parameters at our upcoming meeting. This will help to guide us in the building of the 2020-21 budget. As was done last year, we will be working with the administration, in a joint effort, to present the budget to residents of the Greater Johnstown School District. It has become our goal to present budget information, at various locations throughout the community throughout the process.

That concludes this edition of the GJSD Board Corner for this month. Please join us on March 19 at 6:30 pm for our BOE workshop located in the JHS media center. Also, as a reminder, we will be conducting a public hearing on March 25 at 6pm in the high school lecture hall to discuss grade reconfiguration. Thank you for your time, and let’s continue to work together to move our district forward.

Chris Tallon
BOE President