Andover Public Schools is planning on a $108.2 million budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2023, a 3.9 percent increase over the current year’s $104.4 million budget.

The preliminary budget model was presented at Thursday’s Andover School Committee meeting. The biggest line item of the budget, which will go up for final approval from Town Meeting on May 1, is $85 million for salaries, up 2.9 percent from $82.6 million this year.

“This is a model. This is not anything written in stone,” Assistant Superintendent of Finance Keith Taverna (photo above) said, noting the numbers for FY 2024 are still subject to change as the budgeting process continues into the spring and revenue and expense projections solidify.

Projections through FY 2028 are on page 2 of the meeting packet (embedded below). “In each year, there are going to be challenging decisions,” Assistant Town Manager Patrick Lawlor said.

The current model has a deficit of $166,908. Lawlor said that will eventually go down to $0 as the budget process continues.

Security Staff Shortage At AHS

Andover Superintendent Magda Parvey said she had a meeting with Andover High School leadership to discuss contracting for increased security. The school typically has 10 monitors, but Parvey said they had been short of staff since the start of the school year.

“We have five monitors at this time,” Parvey said. “It’s just been really challenging to find people who want to be monitors, so at this time we’re looking to contract with an outside security firm to make sure we have that security available to our school.”

The contract would run through the end of the school year and would be paid for from the funds that would have been used to pay the five open positions. Andover Public Schools is conducting a district-wide security assessment this year, and input from the outside security firm would be used in that assessment, Parvey said.

Committee Addresses Substitute Teacher Shortage

The school committee unanimously approved an update of the district’s job description for substitute teacher to address a statewide shortage. The current job description calls for two years of college, but the change allows substitutes with two years of experience working with students to be considered for openings.

“We hope this change will increase the number of applicants for substitute teachers, while still ensuring we hire candidates that will assist with our goal of providing high-quality instruction to our students,” APS Assistant Director of Human Resources George Puddister said in his written request for the change to the committee (page 3 in meeting packet, embedded below).

For the current year, APS pays substitute teachers between $90 and $130 per day, depending on education and experience.

In Other Business

  • The school committee held a closed-door, executive session at the start of Thursday’s meeting to collective bargaining and litigation with Andover Education Association, the union that represents APS teachers.
  • There were no speakers for the public input portion of Thursday’s meeting.
  • Members of Andover SEPAC presented results from its annual survey to the school committee.
  • APS Social Emotional Learning Coordinator Jason Levine gave the committee an update on his work in the district.

Video of Nov. 18 school committee meeting from Andover TV

0:00:14: Call to order following executive session
0:01:13: Communications, superintendent’s report
0:12:58: Updates from school committee members
0:24:24: SEPAC presentation of annual survey results
0:55:38: Social and Emotional Learning update from Social Emotional Learning Coordinator Jason Levine
1:16:10: Long Range Financial Plan
1:38:38: Update substitute teacher job description
1:42:18: October Financials
1:44:00 Second reading of preliminary budget development assumptions
1:45:50: Second reading of school committee/superintendent protocols
1:48:11: Consent agenda, approval of minutes
1:49:50: Adjourn

Nov. 18 Andover School Committee meeting agenda: