New Canaan Public Schools needs $1.5 million to $2 million beyond what’s budgeted for the current fiscal year to cover expenses related to COVID-19 virus, as well as funds for additional staffing needed to meet a rise in enrollment, district officials said Monday. The district already has spent about $600,000 in areas such as technology (primarily), supplies, signage, barriers and sanitation stations—half again as much as a $400,000 “non-lapsing” account built into the spending plan for fiscal year 2021, according to NCPS Director of Finance and Operations Dr. Jo-Ann Keating. “Moving forward, the big items that we have are staffing—and we can’t really nail that down right now, because it’s going to depend on a number of different things that we just experience annually, like turnover savings,” Keating told members of the Board of Education at their regular meeting, held via videoconference. “And we have added staff but we may have additional turnover savings based on the number of retirements that we have had.”
The district will have a better handle on staffing numbers come September, when it’s more clear just how many kids are attending public schools, Keating said. Major COVID-related technology expenses include WiFi and a classroom livestream learning system with improved audio and visual elements, she said.
“So we are thinking anywhere between $2 million [and] $1.5 million,” she said.