Board of Education discusses budget and school climate at meeting


Nicole DeBlasi

A member from the National Executive Service Corps (NESC) answers Mark Mathias’ question.

On the night of Sept. 22, the Westport Board of Education (BOE) discussed the school budget and the results from the April 2014 school climate survey in the Staples High School cafeteria. Daisy Lopez, a representative from the National School Climate Center, presented the results from the Westport School District’s April 2014 school climate survey.

Lopez said that the goal of the National School Climate Center is to find out “what does a school look like and how does it feel” to the students and faculty members. Lopez went through a presentation on what the National School Climate Center is assessing and the response rate from the students, staff, and parents at Staples High and all the elementary and middle schools. She said that the National School Climate Center also devises plans on how to improve school climates.

Elliot Landon, Superintendent of Westport Public Schools, said that the response rate of 68.09 percent from Staples was “incredibly good,” and Lopez said that the results from this survey can give insight into some of the different problems going on at the schools.

Furthermore, the National Executive Service Corps (NESC) introduced themselves to the Board of Education, offered their services and answered questions about how to avoid cutting programs and school faculty while still staying within the budget.

According to the PowerPoint NESC presented at the meeting, NESC is “a nonprofit professional services firm whose consultants are senior business executives committed to enhancing the effectiveness of non-profit organizations.”

The BOE and NESC discussed how to most efficiently use their budget, with Paul Block, a member of the BOE, how to do more with the resources we currently have. NESC and the BOE discussed plans on when NESC should present their findings.

“If we can do something differently to reach the same objective that would be helpful,” Block told the members of NESC.