The Rochester City School District superintendent is working on her proposed budget which is expected to total nearly $800 million when she releases it next month. On Tuesday evening, she presented preliminary figures to the school board’s finance committee.

Beatriz LeBron, vice chair of the Education Council, said there are outside factors to keep in mind moving forward with budget conversations, such as energy costs.

The market price of natural gas jumped 70% at the end of January. LeBron says the cost of heating school buildings could also be affected.

“We will not be exempt from it. What impact would that have on us? ” she said. “Have we considered what the impact of this increase will be? I want us to be aware, again, of what is happening around us, but it will have a direct impact on our budget.

Chief Financial Officer Carleen Pierce said the district is considering contingency plans in the event of unforeseen costs, such as a sharp rise in energy prices. Pierce suggested possible partnerships with the county to provide training similar to course offerings at the OACES Adult Education Center to generate more revenue.

Later in the meeting, it was announced that the District’s transition to new data software is taking shape after more than a decade under the current system.

Chris Miller, head of human capital, said some of the work done by his office staff has to be done manually under the district’s current operating system, and it’s not working as it should.

“Imagine, if you had the same cell phone you had 15 years ago, what you could or could not do with it,” Miller said. “That’s what we’re dealing with. If I want to know how many people were away today, I have to ask a member of staff to spend a few hours doing it.

Miller said the transition to updated data management software is an indicator of the district’s ability to drive change and progress. The process began in November, but no date has been set for the end of the transition.

Superintendent Lesli Myers-Small will present her proposed budget for the 2022-23 fiscal year to the school board on March 15.