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Springs School Audit Was Clean

Tue, 11/22/2022 - 16:53

When the federal government doles out dollars to schools, those that receive grants of at least $750,000 find themselves facing an audit at the close of the fiscal year. The Springs School District, one of many across the country in that position during the Covid-19 pandemic, has passed its first such “single audit” with flying colors, according to the district’s auditing firm, EFPR Group.

“It’s pretty rare for me when I come in and it’s the first time a district has one of these single audits that I don’t have issues, which means that they were following all the controls to the letter and everything was being done in compliance,” Jeffrey Jones, a manager with the auditing firm, told the school board during its Nov. 15 meeting.

Having received at least $1.45 million from the federal government’s Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief and American Rescue Plan programs, according to New York State records, Springs will continue to face these audits in subsequent years until all of the money is spent.

Springs received good grades across all of its financial statements, receiving an “unmodified opinion” — the best it can earn — from the EFPR Group.

“Accounting estimates were reasonable and supported,” Mr. Jones said. “The financial statement disclosures are neutral, consistent, and clear.”

Barbara Dayton, the school board’s president, thanked the district’s business office team for its diligent work. “I know that a lot of care was taken. . . . We have a good team working on it,” she said.

Those who are interested in reviewing the district’s full financial statements can find them online at springsschool.org.

In other notable district news, Joan Branche, a longtime third-grade teacher at Springs who organizes the school’s annual Veterans Day ceremony, is the recipient of a Challenge Coin from the Coast Guard, one of the highest civilian honors that the service can award.

“It was given to Joan for her years of honoring veterans and always reminding our students of the sacrifices of the military,” said Debra Winter, the district superintendent.

There was more recognition in store: The New York State Parent Teacher Association has lauded the Springs PTA for posting stellar membership numbers so far this year. Last year, 50 people were active in the PTA’s fund-raising activities and events, but this year the group is up to 89 so far, said Meghan Payne, the PTA president.

“Our goal is to get to 112, our pre-pandemic number,” she told the school board during the Nov. 15 meeting.

Also during the meeting, officials announced that the Springs and East Hampton School Districts have reached an agreement to evenly share the cost of a bus for four students — two from each district — to Sequoya High School in Holtsville, a branch of the Eastern Suffolk Board of Cooperative Educational Services.

Springs and East Hampton will each pay $50,197 on what’s known as an intermunicipal agreement, which also makes them both eligible for state reimbursement.

A similar busing agreement in the 2021-22 school year had Springs paying more than $62,000. “This is going to be a nice savings for the district over what we had last year,” said Robert Doyle, the school’s business administrator.

 


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