District 26 approves registration fees, math curriculum

School board adopts new math program

CARY – Registration fees will remain flat in District 26, the school board decided on Monday.

The 2014-15 school year would be the fourth consecutive year fees will not be increased.

Based on current enrollment projections, the district expects to bring in about $365,000 after factoring in fee waivers for students on free or reduced lunch, according to a staff memo written by Jeffrey Schubert, director of finance and operations.

For this school year, District 26 budgeted to spend more than $1 million on textbooks, supplies, materials and technology students use every school day, according to district documents.

Fees cover only a portion of those expenses, Schubert wrote. 

The board also approved the adoption of a new math curriculum from McGraw Hill Glencoe. Kindergarten through fifth-graders will use the "My Math" series, and sixth- through eighth-graders will use Glencoe's "Success Your Way."

The cost of the math curriculum is $353,000, which was almost $67,000 under budget.

Glencoe has differentiated materials for special education and accelerated students, cross-curricular content for social studies and science and online components for students to use at home, among other things, according to district documents.

The textbooks were developed after Common Core standards were developed, said Valerie McCall, director of curriculum and instruction.

McCall added there are no annual recurring costs as consumables, such as textbooks and workbooks, will be shipped every year to the district at no charge for a period of six years.

The board also approved the purchase of 20 SMART Board bundles, 150 iPads, six projector bundles and four student response systems for about $260,000 as part of its technology plan implementation.

The purchase includes 10 additional SMART boards with the money that was saved on the curriculum purchase. 

Each SMART bundle includes a projector, a laptop computer, speakers, a document camera and an interactive whiteboard. 

Board member Jennifer Crick, who abstained on voting on the technology purchase, questioned using leftover textbook money for the purchase of technology. Although she said she is not against the SMART Boards, she questioned committing the leftover money right away because there could be other needs that might come up.

"I feel the turnaround time on [the money] needs to be sat on a little bit," Crick said. "If we're going to plunk all of this money back into the SMART bundles right away, what if we need that down the line?"

Superintendent Brian Coleman said the district's top remaining priority was increasing the amount of SMART Board bundles in classrooms.

"We feel the technology that's coming with our language arts and the math, [which] was just approved, will be a great enhancement for our teachers," Coleman said.

District 26 registration fees
• Half-day Early Childhood Education - $84
• Dual full-day Early Childhood Education - $126
• Half-day kindergarten - $136
• Kindergarten/Early Childhood Education Dual Full day - $167
• Full-day kindergarten - $573
• First through fifth grades - $188
• Sixth through eighth grades - $218
* Dual programs are for students with special education needs.

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