PATRICIA GIBBONS, SUPERINTENDENT
May 1st, 2023
Dear Residents and Stakeholders of the Lyme Central School District:
As we anticipate the culmination of the current school year, and eagerly plan for the year ahead, we do so with much pride and optimism for the future of our district. Our mission, “Preparing Today’s Students to be Tomorrow’s Citizen’s” is at the forefront of our planning, conversations, and decision making to ensure we are offering the very best educational, extracurricular, and athletic experiences for all of our students. We are proud of the work that we do but, we acknowledge that we cannot do this work alone. Our parents, community members, and stakeholders remain vital components of, and are key to our district’s success.
On behalf of the Board of Education, Administrative Team, and the entire LCS staff, I am pleased to share the proposed 2023-2024 Lyme Central School Spending Plan. The district once again approached the budget season with some very specific goals in mind:
- Expand and/or maintain as many of the academic and extracurricular opportunities for students as financially possible
- Consider necessary facility updates and staffing needs as part of our obligation to provide our District’s stakeholders with a safe, well-maintained student-centered learning environment
- Respond to our financial requirements and responsibilities in ways which create the least amount of impact on our taxpayers.
We are optimistic that our community will appreciate and fully support the direction we are taking in order to meet these important goals and with only a minimal increase of
0.14% (totaling a $12,561 increase) in the overall spending plan.
Beyond the district’s success in meeting high academic and athletic standards of performance, I am pleased to share that we have continued with our priority of identifying and applying efficiency strategies, and implementing cost-saving measures such as participating in shared services with neighboring districts, BOCES, and local municipalities. We have successfully utilized all available resources and the Board of Education’s long range strategic planning and conservative budgeting practices have been beneficial in supporting our academic and extracurricular offerings for students, in addition to updating and improving many areas throughout our facilities. The Board of Education continues to evaluate all areas of the budget regularly as the long-term sustainability of the Lyme Central School District, for our students and their families, remains a steadfast priority.
- Public Schools operate primarily on money (revenue) they receive from two sources, state aid and tax dollars
- The 2023-2024 spending plan consists of a minimal overall spending increase of 0.14% (totaling a $12,561 increase)
- The Board of Education is projecting a 1.67% increase in the tax levy. This modest increase ($100, 000 home=approx. $20.35 increase for the year), is primarily due to increases in required students services, general operating costs, and contractual obligations.
Continuing Cost-Saving Measures: During the 2022-2023 school year, the Board of Education, Administration, and Staff have continued their intentional focus of ensuring that LCS operates in an efficient and fiscally responsible manner. The following measures have been implemented and/or continued:
- Cafeteria Manager Share: BOCES Shared Service
- Shared Fuel Facility with Town of Lyme, Village of Chaumont, Three Mile Bay Fire Department, Chaumont Volunteer Fire Department
- Identification and utilization of grant funds to pay for staff development opportunities, materials and staffing as possible
- Staffing adjusted for enrollment
- Monitoring of day to day operating expenses
- Utilization of district vehicle for transportation eliminating mileage reimbursements
We remain grateful for the many community partnerships we have formed over the years and are excited to once again be able to open our facility for community use in collaboration with local agencies, businesses, instructors, and so on. We look forward to building upon and enhancing those opportunities as we head into the 2023-2024 school year.
Community Partnerships: Ways in which our community utilize our School:
- North Country Family Health School-based Dental Services for Students
- Fully Equipped fitness/exercise room with morning, evening, and weekend hours
- Lyme Youth Commission- Athletic Practices & Events
- Summer Theater Camp
- Sports Clinics- Throughout the Year
- Author Visits
- Soccer Camp
- Veteran’s Day Celebration
- Fort Drum Holiday Concert
- Drama Club
- Tri-Board Meetings (Village, Town, and School District)
The 2023-2024 Budget Notice will be mailed to residents following the Annual Budget Hearing which will be held on May 4th, 2023 at 6:00pm. The Budget Newsletter, available after April 27th, provides a detailed look at the specifics of the proposed spending plan and the funding priorities of the Board of Education. This document is available at the following locations:
- District Website under the Board of Education Tab/Budget Information
- District’s Welcome Center
- Chaumont Post Office; Gouveneur Savings & Loan Bank; Watertown Savings Bank; Town of Lyme Library
New Sign-In Process When Voting In-Person:
We will be implementing a new process for registering and/or checking in our voters for in-person voting. We now have the availability to electronically register our voters. This new electronic system will make your experience more efficient and enjoyable. This system will speed up the voter check-in process and decrease voter wait time.
Here is how the new process will work: You will simply state your name to the election inspectors. The inspectors will pull up your information on an electronic device. You will confirm your address to ensure the correct voter is chosen. You will electronically sign your name on the device to verify your attendance as a registered voter. The voting process itself remains the same as in years past. Voters will be given a paper ballot to cast their vote discretely in the voter booth. Ballots will be deposited in the locked voter box and will be counted by election officials when the polls close.
We are optimistic that Lyme’s tradition of strong community support for our district’s academic excellence and a safe, student-centered environment will continue into the year ahead. With your continued support, we will work diligently to ensure the longstanding tradition for providing strong educational programs and extracurricular activities for our students and community to participate in and enjoy. I wish to take this opportunity to acknowledge and thank the entire LCS Community for your unwavering support.
Please feel free to contact me at your earliest convenience should you have any questions prior to our Budget Vote on May 16th, 2023. Best wishes for a positive and productive end to the school year. I look forward to seeing you soon.