Cumberland Farms and Sippican Elementary School will team up for four weeks this upcoming school year in order to raise money for the school. The fundraiser was approved at the Marion School Committee’s first meeting of the 2012-2013 school year on Wednesday, August 22 in the Sippican School library.
For every non-bottled beverage (coffee, Chill Zone, fountain soda) sold at Cumberland Farms over a four-week period, the store will donate 20 cents to the school with the hopes of raising at least $1,000. Sippican School Principal Evelyn Rivet said the store’s only requirement is that she, along with 8-10 students, attend the store’s Grand Opening, which is scheduled for Wednesday, September 5.
“We think that it’s very generous,” said Marion School Committee Chairman Brad Gordon.
The fundraiser passed with a vote of 3-1. The one opposed School Committee member was Vice Chair Christine Winters.
“I’m a little torn with it personally,” said Winters. “There’s a disconnect with me. I have an issue with it.”
Winters said that the fundraiser would send children mixed messages that when the students are in school, they are encouraged to eat healthy, however, when they leave school and go to Cumberland Farms, they are allowed to buy unhealthy beverages in order to raise money for the school. Gordon said that when outside of school, the responsibility is on the parents to make healthy choices.
In other news, Food Service Director Caitlin Meagher informed the School Committee that the food budget for the upcoming school year is in $108.00 surplus, a vast improvement from last year’s $21,000 deficit. Meagher said two main factors in the improvement were the 25-cent increase in lunch prices and the fact that food costs were down $10,000 from last year.
“We spent a lot of time shopping around,” said Meagher, who estimated that without the lunch price increase, the budget would be in an $8,000 deficit.
This year, Meagher is looking to save more money and build up the already existing surplus. In order to do so, the schools will be seeing limited grains and the size of the lunch meal protein will be smaller. Also, there will be fewer snacks and a la carte items and more meals. The schools are revamping their salads and sandwich choices and trying to be creative with new recipes.
Ryan Magee, the district’s new Technology Director, formally introduced himself to the School Committee. Magee comes to the Old Rochester School District from Barnstable where he served as Technology Director for the Horace Mann Charter School. With a background in IT, business and education, Magee said he is looking forward to improving all of the school’s technical support systems as well as the integration of technology into the curriculum.
“He brings a wealth of knowledge,” said Superintendent Dough White of Magee.
For the first time ever, the Sippican School will hold their Open House the night before the first day of school. The Open House will be held on Monday, August 27 from 6:00 to 7:30 pm. Rivet said the idea behind holding it before school starts as opposed to shortly after the school year begins is to alleviate the students’ anxiety and stress and take away the fears of the first day of school.
“We hope it’s going to be a real meet and greet,” said Rivet.
The Marion School Committee will not meet in September. The next meeting will be held on Wednesday, October 3 at 6:30 pm in the Marion Town House.
By Katy Fitzpatrick