Berkley School District to Partner With St. Frances Cabrini Schools in Allen Park

The Board of Education unanimously approved the deal that could be worth $536,000 this week.

The  unanimously approved plans to form a partnership with the St. Frances Cabrini schools in Allen Park this week, a move that could bring $536,000 into the .

The agreement was approved Monday night under the Michigan School Aid Act, which allows public districts to approach parochial schools in counties bordering Oakland County about forming partnerships.

In this case, the partnership would involve the district assuming some administrative functions related to non-core courses iat St. Frances Cabrini schools, which serve 1,100 students in kindergarten through twelfth grade. Doing so could bring as much as $536,000 into the Berkley School District over its term, which covers the 2012-13, 2013-2014 and 2014-15 school years.

"The Berkley School District has a history of shared-time partnerships for over 10 years with schools in our district and in Oakland County," BSD Communications Supervisor Jessica Stilger wrote to Berkley Patch on Wednesday. "We are willing to work with any district to execute a shared-time partnership which ultimately brings more dollars back to Berkley Schools students."

Nuts and bolts

  • The Berkley School District will continue to meet with St. Frances Cabrini representatives, begin the enrollment process and complete teacher contracts and benefits, Stilger said.
  • The Berkley School District "will provide instruction for pupils enrolled at Cabrini Schools in the non-essential elective courses of art, foreign language, music, physical education, Advanced Placement courses and any other courses deemed eligible," according to the agreement.
  • Partner teachers will not be paid to conduct choirs at Mass or during other religious services, Stilger said.
  • The SFC students will be considered part-time enrollees in the Berkley School District.
  • Nine SFC staff members, who will continue to teach in Allen Park, will join the Berkley School District, according to BSD Deputy Superintendent of Finance, Facilities and Operations Larry Gallagher.

Berkley School District impact

  • Also Monday, the Board of Education approved the creation of a new position within the district to assist with Cabrini student enrollment and accounting. "The enrollment/pupil accounting position will be paid out of the money we receive from the shared-time partnerships," according to Stilger. "We are in the process of determining the length and permanence of the position, as well as the compensation. When we have all of those items together, we will post the position."
  • The partnership will not have an impact on the Berkley School District's test scores or teacher performance expectations because it only deals with non-core courses, Stilger said.
  • The Berkley School District will pay the teachers their current salaries, as well as medical and dental benefits, but not vision, life insurance or long-term disability.
  • "The Berkley School District will realize net revenue of an estimated $536k, assuming 100% blended count and pending final student enrollment and salary/benefit costs (see attached PDFs)," Gallagher wrote in a letter to the Board of Education.

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