Green Hope High School – Cary NC – Letter from the Principal about budget restrictions

At LG Real Estate, we strive to keep our clients and neighbors advised of current events and current information about our Cary community.   Green Hope High School is a prominent school located in the heart of our Cary neighborhoods and we are pleased to be able to provide this letter from Principal Jim Hedrick.  My oldest son attends Green Hope High and I was impressed with this candid letter.

 

July 13, 2009

Dear parents and students:

I hope each of you has had an enjoyable and relaxing summer and that you have been able to get away to recharge your batteries for the 2009-2010 school year.

I know everyone is concerned about the budget and the ramifications that it will have on class sizes and course offerings at Green Hope High School. However, even with all of the turmoil of these reductions, we are excited about the upcoming school year, and we expect it to be our best ever.

There are some things you need to know about the budget reductions and their impact on Green Hope High School:

In the 2008-2009 school year, we had an enrollment of 2007 students. This number of students gave us an allocation of 853 classroom teacher months of employment (about 85 teachers) from the state and the county.  For the 2009-2010 school year, they are projecting us to have a student enrollment of about 2020 students. This will afford us an allotment of 772 classroom teacher months of employment (about 77 teachers).  That represents a reduction of 81 months of employment.  This is 8 teaching positions and the equivalent of 48 sections of classes.

 Faced with this reduction in teaching positions and sections, we attempted to spread this impact across all of the core areas.  While no one wants classes cut that they want, as we made these decisions, we looked at the overall numbers in these programs, we sought advice from Human Resources, and we talked with teachers and department chairs who would be directly impacted and sought their input.

 Using this input and their recommendations, we made preliminary decisions about our staffing and class needs. In the latter part of the spring semester, once some of these decisions were made, we published them on the website so that students who were directly impacted could come to student services and make changes in their class choices as needed.

Everyone associated with the scheduling process; assistant principals, department chairs, and the director of guidance, have worked as hard as they could to make the schedule work for the greatest number of students given the constraints.  None of the above reflects on the instructional and operational funds that we have lost. We are going to be asked to operate the school on a percentage of last years budget (about ½). This might change depending on the allocation of Federal stimulus money to the schools.

 There have been no Staff Development funds allocated to the school. This money is used to help subsidize teachers and their professional development pursuits and to pay for substitutes so that teachers can attend trainings outside of school.  Our textbook allocations have been given to us, but there is a freeze on spending this money until the state passes a budget. Based on part of the budget process it is likely the per student allocation will be reduced from $67 to $41. Based on our student enrollment projections, this will result in a loss of about $50,000.  Allocation of support staff has been reduced as well.

 I don’t share the above information with you for sympathy or to inspire a vigilante storming of the State Legislature. It is simply for your knowledge and for your edification. We are all suffering from the economic downturn in the state and nationally; but, we are Green Hope High School and we will make the best of it, but things will not be the same…they can’t be.

If you are returning to GHHS, you already know it, if you are new, you will soon come to realize that we have one of the greatest, no, the greatest high school in Wake County and in North Carolina. Some of our accolades and accomplishments include:

  • We have been an Honor School of Excellence for 5 consecutive years. This is the highest recognition that a school can receive.
  •  We have been recognized by various organizations as the Top Public High School in North Carolina and one of the top high schools nationally.
  •  Our students are recognized yearly for their prowess in the areas of academics, fine arts, athletics, and their civic commitment.
  •  Our students are accepted to the finest colleges and universities in North Carolina and nationally.
  •  We have teachers who are Nationally Board certified and who are recognized by their professional organizations as being among the finest teachers in their disciplines in the state of North Carolina.
  •  We have active parents who participate in a number of booster groups and organizations that enhance student involvement and learning.
  •  We have a student services program that was among the first in Wake County to be recognized nationally by their professional organization.
  •  This year, while unofficial at this time, over 94% of our students passed the End-of-Course tests in Math, English, Science, and Social Studies.
  •  In our Career and Technical Education classes, over 96% of our students passed their VOCAT exams.

 Based on the above, I fully expect that we will be an Honor School of Excellence for the 6th consecutive year.

We are in a tough, economic time in the state of North Carolina and nationally. We have been and will be faced with tough decisions. We, as a school community, can do one of two things: We can all bemoan our situation and react vituperatively and in a manner that neither helps nor brings a resolution; or, we can band together to ensure that the student achievement we are accustomed to will continue through this economic recession and into the future.

We are a strong, resilient community and I am sure that through our joint efforts our reputation will continue to be enhanced by the greatest parents, students, and teachers that any school could have. I hope that the remainder of your summer goes well, and I look forward to seeing you in August.

Sincerely yours,

Jim Hedrick

Principal

Green Hope High School

Cary, NC

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