Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Dear North Shore Parents, Community Members, and Faculty,

As demonstrated in the academic achievements that I sent you yesterday, I am proud to say that a North Shore education is unique and provides our students with a world class education where they can thrive and excel now and through their college years. We are grateful to our community, administration, and faculty that continues to support the guidelines outlined in the 2018-23 Strategic Plan and our exceptional programs in academics, the arts, and physical education. Please see our Budget Question of the Day that highlights some of the programs that make a North Shore education unique and focuses on our pupil costs.  
Q. Dr. G., I often hear that our pupil costs are often compared to other neighboring districts. Can you tell us what goes into our pupil costs and is it as simple as only dividing our total budget by our number of students?
A. No, determining pupil costs is not as simple as taking the total operating budget and dividing it by our number of students. This question seems to come up every year on social media and, as I have said in the past, it is difficult to make comparisons among neighboring school districts because each differ by many variables including the number of school buildings, class size, academic programs, special education, electives, and the experience of our staff – just to name a few.
As you know, a North Shore education is unique and we continue to be recognized as one of the best in the nation. I am very proud to have a community that is dedicated to the education of our students and values the following core academic programs and philosophy that continue to set North Shore apart from other districts. These include:

Our class sizes are generally smaller than neighboring districts

Our World Language program begins early in Kindergarten with Mandarin. Spanish is introduced in 3rd grade

School-Wide Enrichment is offered at all three North Shore elementary schools

Our music program begins in 3rd grade, students can select the instrument that they would like to play in band or orchestra and continue with it, if desired, through their elementary and secondary school years

Our 60/40 split of courses at the middle school provides more educational time dedicated to our students and faculty each day

Our robust elective program is accessible to students at the middle school enabling them to find courses that engage them as well as challenge them   

Our customized academic program consisting of courses in both IB and AP is offered at the high school in addition to dual enrollment college courses

A core component of our Physical Education program was expanded to include health, wellness, and dance as a result of the 2018-23 Strategic Plan

Our teachers and administrators are experienced with higher educational degrees including Masters and Doctorates

North Shore has five school buildings (as compared to other districts with less)

Our Board of Education plans ahead for the maintenance of our school buildings and grounds so that there are not spikes in the annual budget. Budget spikes result in greater taxes for our residents

We are very fortunate to have a community and faculty that are committed to our schools and K-12 students As a reminder, in order for them to be counted, absentee ballots are due back to the Central Office by June 9, 2020, no later than 5 pm.

All the best,
Dr. Peter Giarrizzo
Superintendent of Schools