Through my ten years as the Principal of Bellaire, I have worked hard to earn the trust of the entire school community. One way I have done this is by consistently informing you about issues or concerns that could potentially impact our ability to offer the high school experience that so many of you seek.
There have been many media and online discussions regarding the Superintendent’s Strategic Plan and the specific means by which schools will be staffed for the coming school year. Please know that a major tenet of this philosophical shift is the desire to ensure that every student at every campus across the district has access to counseling, health, and library services. Additionally, the baseline experience calls for allocated teachers to support both physical education and fine arts programs. Bellaire has remained aligned to those very beliefs for many years, and I have always been #CardinalProud of our ability to fund these essential positions on campus despite any decrease in our budget from year to year. No doubt that is an aspect of what enables us to continue to be successful with our kids - and it’s likely a reason many of you chose to share your child with us.
I have received a number of questions since the campus-specific allocation sheets were published online by the HISD. The data I share below is derived from the most recent allocation sheets and should not be viewed as a definitive plan of our next steps. Rather I am sharing so as to inform. Finally, please note that below is the more accurate version of our allocation sheet as there are two errors (noted in yellow) that I have attempted to have corrected on the version posted to the HISD website.
Based on the most recent information shared with me, required cuts would impact the classroom, campus leadership, school safety, student supports, and support staff. In all, the HISD is allocating approximately thirty (30) fewer adults to Bellaire High School. In terms of dollars, this amounts to an overall cut of just under $1.4Million.
You will also find on the allocation sheet a chart detailing the discretionary dollars available to campuses. In some instances, a principal may use funds to add personnel positions. The chart below details which funds have that ability as well as the overall percentage available to do this.
Based on current costs and available funds, if we used each dollar toward personnel, then a rough estimate of the positions still not funded would include the following: 6.0 teachers, 5.0 hourly lecturers/teachers, 4.0 clerks, 2.49 teacher specialists, 2 student caseworkers, 2 assistant principals, 1 magnet coordinator, and 1 college access coordinator. And Bellaire would have approximately $350K left for operating expenses.
There is no way to avoid having these types of cuts impact every corner of our campus. And while we will absorb many of the cuts through attrition, many of our current team members will be impacted. Please know that every effort will be made to treat our team members with respect and dignity as we move forward.
Finally, as we make our way further into the spring semester, I am reminded of what makes Bellaire special, and remain committed to providing a strong academic program with clear channels of communication that allow individual student interests to flourish. My confidence in every member of the Bellaire team to remain committed to our students throughout the spring semester has not wavered.
As questions or concerns arise, please feel free to reach out to me directly.