THORNWOOD, N.Y. - Despite its accomplishments in 2012, Mount Pleasant Central School District Superintendent Susan Guiney recognizes a tough road lies ahead with maintaining that level.
"I'm an optimistic person by nature," Guiney said. "But even I realize that its going to be very, very difficult to ensure the same quality going forward."
Guiney said given the state-mandated 2 percent tax levy cap combined with growing expenses, such as pension and teacher evaluation costs, it is more and more difficult to maintain a fiscally responsible budget. This past year, the district approved an approximately $50 million budget that reduced expenses by $390,000 and eliminated five aides from the district schools. Despite the reductions, Guiney said the district was able to implement many new programs in the schools, such as an anti-bullying campaign in the elementary schools and middle school, block-scheduling for enrichment courses and a fully wireless Internet system at Westlake High School.
The district also is set to unveil a new security system at each of the district's four buildings in January. The system will lock all doors and require an identification-card swipe system for all teachers and faculty members and will more easily be able to track visitors to the buildings.
"There is no fool-proof security system out there right now," Guiney said. "But this system will certainly continue to ensure that our students as well as faculty and staff members are safe."
In the upcoming year, Guiney said she is most excited about developing the classroom's within the district to fit the times and become more digitally oriented.
"I'm looking forward to the changing model of classroom learning," Guiney said. "Our students now are 21st century, digital learners and it's important that we engage them that way."