All children are entitled to lunch, even if they can’t pay for it. Overdue lunch fees for 62 students who owe a total of $760 were discussed by the Marion School Committee on Wednesday evening. Of the 389 students who purchase school lunches, 327 students have positive account balances while 62 students have negative balances. Reminders to pay overdue balances will be sent to parents who are behind in payments for school lunches.
Schools in Massachusetts have been following a set of guidelines since 2012 which spell out the nutrition standards for foods and beverages. The goal, according to Food Services Director Caitlin Meagher, is to improve the health of children by promoting the availability of snacks that are rich in whole grains or protein, in addition to low-fat dairy products, fruits, and vegetables.
Principal Evelyn Rivet provided her report and noted that over 25 large boxes of food were donated to the Damien Food Pantry. The collection was the combined effort of the Student Council and others. Rivet thanked Ms. McKeen and her third grad class for leading the charge to stock the pantry.
First trimester grades have closed and report cards will be issued to grades 1 – 6 on December 9. Current enrollment is 456 students and attendance is at 98%.
Volunteers at Sippican School (VASE) coordinated a sixth-grade field trip to the New Bedford Whaling Museum in New Bedford where students attended a solo performance of “Through the Eyes of a Friend: The World of Anne Frank”, sponsored by the Zeiterion Theater. According to Rivet, students described the performance as “different, emotional, and very sad.”
Facilities Director Gene Jones reported that the interior and exterior light upgrade at Sippican Elementary is completed. Jones also noted that he is conducting an energy envelope with NSTAR and will have the boiler room insulation redone to maximize heat efficiency. The emergency generator upgrade for code compliancy is completed and fully operational.
In other business, the committee, along with school administrators, is beginning the fiscal year 2015 budget process. A budget subcommittee will meet on a regular basis to work on the process.
By Joan Hartnett-Barry