The school district is the heart of the Valley View community. There are no easy solutions to questions that impact facilities which should serve our young learners in the best ways possible. In the buildup to election day there have been a few letters published by the Germantown Press which would require clarification.
To begin, Valley View currently has a contract with DCTS for technological services. The total contract is for $178,000 annually. This ensures we have certified technicians in our district daily as well as network specialists at least two days a week, or more as needed, at no extra cost. This results in having necessary access to a comprehensive team of specialists for the needs of an outdated technology infrastructure. Even acknowledging our infrastructure deficits, the average school district in the Dayton area is spending $281,104 for similar services.
Representatives from DCTS provide us with support that is needed and requested but do not dictate what new equipment we should to acquire. They do offer a range of expert suggestions and then we choose new equipment that we believe meets our specific needs. Therefore, this contract does not obligate us to purchase any particular brand of hardware, etc.
Also, the district has requested a facility assessment be completed. This is in response to what many voters stated during the bond issue. Many felt the numbers the State provided were inaccurate and wanted other similarly qualified experts to weigh in about the cost of updating the current state of facilities for a comparison. In response, one independent firm has been selected to conduct this study at a cost of $12,500.
Another concern shared is that we should address the lack of handicapped accessibility for our students and family members by spending approximately $50,000 by installing mechanized chair lifts in select stairwells. We are currently assessing what the cost would be to install new ramps into our Primary Building to make it more accessible from the outside. However, there is a greater issue of accessibility for our students and families once they are inside. Unfortunately, the suggestion of chair lifts will not work as the solution needed in the buildings due to a lack of required egress in the stairwells. The only fix for our existing structures is to install elevators. We are currently working to obtain quotes for elevators as well as the cost for necessary upgrades to our electricity infrastructure to be able to effectively and reliably operate potential elevators. Again, there is not an easy solution to solving this problem that is somehow being ignored at this time. All options are being assessed but no recommendations will be made unless they truly meet the needs of accessibility in and outside of the facilities or we will create more problems for the district in the long run.
As for the cost of elections, it has been stated the district spent $30,000 for the election in May, 2017. This is false. The actual cost for the election in May of 2017 was $3,768. The actual cost of the November, 2016 election was $1,341.95. That comes to a total of $5,109.93 for both.
Ultimately, all decisions on behalf of finances in the district are carefully considered to ensure that the needs of the students are the priority and that we are not inadvertently causing a greater problem in the future. If you ever have any questions about how we are spending your dollars, please don’t hesitate to call or come in and have a conversation with us. We will be glad to discuss expenditures with you and answer your questions.