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Recovering From COVID - NSCSD Carefully Targets Funds in Budget Proposal

Over the course of the 2020-2021 school year, school nurses have been working to ensure the safety of all NSCSD students and staff and to prevent the spread
of illness. Nursing and health office staff have worked tirelessly to care for sick students and staff, assist with contact tracing, administer COVID testing within buildings and for student athletes, and serve as a resource for students staff and families. The NSCSD 2021-2022 budget proposal includes the addition of
a District Nurse Supervisor and plans to continue COVID testing and begin in-District vaccination.

On Wednesday, April 14, 2021, the North Syracuse Central School District Board of Education adopted a $180,258,175 million budget proposal for the 2021-2022 school year. The proposed budget will be voted on by District residents on Tuesday, May 18. There will also be a budget public hearing on Tuesday, May 4 at 6:00 p.m. The meeting will be held in-person at the Jerome F. Melvin Administrative Office Building (5355 West Taft Rd., N. Syracuse) and will be broadcast live on the District's YouTube Channel

This year’s budget proposal carefully targets funding toward the academic and social-emotional impacts of COVID. For the past year, schools have been working through the many challenges associated with the pandemic. In the April 12 presentation to the Board of Education, Superintendent of Schools Daniel Bowles discussed additions to the budget in order to address the social-emotional needs of students.

“Many of our students have struggled academically over the past year, but the impact of not being in-person full-time has also caused emotional distress,” Bowles said. “Our budget proposal prioritizes helping students and staff recover in all areas.” 
To address the social-emotional impact, the budget proposal includes the addition of two social workers at Cicero-North Syracuse High School, a school counselor at North Syracuse Junior High School, staffing enhancements throughout the District and several targeted trainings and initiatives. 
The District’s budget proposal also prioritizes support for student learning in response to COVID and the reduction of in-person learning, ongoing management of the disease through established health and safety protocols and continued support for technological best practices. 

Dr., Christopher Leahey, the District’s Associate Superintendent for Teaching and Learning, elaborated about the ongoing management of COVID and initiatives in that area. 

“Throughout this pandemic, our staff have done a tremendous job managing COVID. They have kept us going by wiping down surfaces and taking temperatures, administering COVID tests and feeding our kids,” Dr. Leahey said. “The proposal includes the addition of a District Nurse Supervisor to lead our nursing team and ensure access to a high quality in-school health care system.” 

While the budget does propose additions in some areas, it also includes a net reduction of 7 elementary teachers due to decreased enrollment, which will be offset by retirements. Other items impacting the budget include savings from a new prescription drug plan for retirees, increased maintenance and operations staffing and additional costs associated with equipment to support learning environments. 

A detailed budget presentation outlining all items is available by clicking here.
Click here to download the May 2021 Budget Newsletter.