Superintendent's District Update

The Falls City Public Schools held its regular monthly board meeting on Monday, September 11, 2023. Here are the highlights of the meeting.

            School District 56 Budget and Property Tax Request Hearings for fiscal year 2023-2024 were held on September 11th at the Central Office in Falls City Middle School. The General Fund budget decreased over the 2022-2023 budget approximately (1%). The Special Building Fund Budget increased over the 2022-2023 budget by 17% and reflects the financial growth of the fund. The change in the 2023-2024 overall operating budget compared to the 2022-2023 is an increase of 5%. The school district budget set for 2023-2024 includes the General Fund, $18,177,842; Depreciation Fund, $402,733; Employee Benefit Fund, $120,000; Activities Fund, $650,000; School Nutrition Fund, $742,630; Special Building Fund, $2,187,262; Student Fee Fund, $14,200; for a total of $22,294,667.  The Necessary Cash Reserve in the General Fund is budgeted at $3,639,630.

            Property values in District 56 increased by nearly 15% over last year. ($958,046,107 to

$1,101,046,530). The Property Tax Request for 2023-2024 is $8,844,427. The property tax request is ($910,144) less than in 2022 due to increased funding from the State in Foundation Aid & Special Education Funding. District 56 proposes to adopt a property tax request that will cause its tax rate to be 0.805604 per $100 of assessed value. The proposed property tax request is a (9.33%) decrease from 2022 (1.018173).

The General Fund, combined with the Special Building Fund have the statutory requirement of the $1.05 levy limit, while bond funds fall outside the levy limit. The Property Tax Request is within the allowable growth percentage. The School District is not required to complete postcard notification requirements, or participate in the joint public hearing.

            Student Enrollment - Enrollment figures as of September 11, 2023 show an increase from the 2022-2023 school year. Current enrollment numbers show 830 students in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade, which is up eight students from a year ago. The largest class is the 4th grade class with 69 students, and the smallest class is the first grade class with 51 students.

      Strategic Plan Update - The annual board planning workshop was held Monday, August 21 at the Falls City Middle School. The Board of Education and administration collaborated and reflected on the future direction of the school district and the factors which may/will support and challenge the school district in moving to the next level of effectiveness.  This process allowed the Board of Education and administrative team to effectively identify specific goals and initiatives to address them. The categories included in this process are each connected and included curriculum & instruction, demographics, hiring & retention, school finance, governance & leadership, district programs, and facilities. The current draft is under review by the Board and administrative team with a target date of October 9, 2023 for adoption.

            Exterior Entrance Security Upgrades - Access control improvements are nearly wrapped up at both elementary buildings. The Middle School will be started in the coming weeks. The Kidwell team is shooting to have the Middle School up and running by the end of September-early October. The High School is all cabled, but the contractor is awaiting on the installation of conduit to the doors at the HS. If we don’t have any major issues, Kidwell should be able to wrap up by the end of November.


The District 56 Board of Education acted on several items before concluding the regular meeting.

1.     Approved the Final Reading on Policy Reviews and Revisions: 1) 5110 Audit; 2) 6320 Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA); 3) 7146 Initiations and Hazing; 4) 7147 Self-Management of Diabetes or Asthma / Anaphylaxis.

2.     Approved the Budget of Disbursements, Receipts’, and Transfers for 2023-2024

3.     Approved the Property Tax Request Resolution for 2023-2024

4.     No action taken on the Determination of Early Separation applications for 2023-2024 due to no applications being submitted.

5.     Approved the Option-Enrollment Capacity Resolution 2023-2023

6.     Authorized the Superintendent to invest up to $500,000 from the Special Building Fund in a 7-month certificate of deposit at a rate of 5.15%


            The next regular monthly Board of Education meeting is scheduled for October 9, 2023 at 7:00 P.M. in the Central Office in Falls City Middle School. Regular and special meeting agendas are kept in the Office of the Superintendent, Tim Heckenlively.

Falls City Public School District does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, disability, age, genetic information, citizenship status or economic status in its programs, activities and employment.