On June 21, 2012, the School Committee voted to approve a $420.8 million School Department budget that overcomes a $12.5 million deficit yet strengthens student access to resources intended to help improve performance and graduation rates.
The budget continues to fund a program that provides stronger support systems for students who are at that critical crossroad that is ninth grade. Ninth Grade Academies, as they are called, allow the district to assign to each ninth grader a team of teachers, counselors, and administrators who work together to ensure that the student is adjusting successfully to high school. Implemented as a pilot program in some schools this year, the program will expand to all high schools for the 2012-2013 school year.
The FY2013 budget also allots for an infusion of $2.8 million for Academic Intervention for those students who begin showing signs of struggle in core subjects, such as reading, math and science; as well as outfit principals will additional resources for the purchase of classroom supplies.
Another significant accomplishment of the newly adopted budget is that allows Springfield Public Schools to offer district students free night and summer school.
A capstone for the 2012-2013 school year is the highly anticipated opening of the new Roger L. Putnam Vocational Technical Academy building. The $114 million dollar facility will include state of the art career academies built to provide an environment conducive to student learning and 21st Century success. In addition, Forest Park Middle School renovation will also be completed in 2013.
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