Shutdown Could Impact Food Service

The big news out of the Rochester School Committee Thursday is that funding for school lunches could be limited due to the recent federal government shutdown.

“Our funding may be affected,” said Food Service Coordinator Caitlyn Meagher, noting that the USDA is responsible for reimbursing the district for school lunches. “We should expect limited funding for October.”

She added that the district had already received reimbursement funding for September.

Meagher also discussed lunches charged to the school by students who either forgot their lunch or lunch money at home. She said she had recently sent out about 230 emails for reimbursement, and had received a favorable response, but there are still numerous debts to be collected.

The Committee discussed this issue, and agreed to have a memo sent home to students who are approaching five meals charged to the school, as well as to remind those students that they are approaching the five-meal limit set by the school. They noted that no student would go hungry, but that once they get to five meals charged, they need to collect for them.

In other news, the Committee honored Rochester Memorial School librarian Lucille Morris for 28 years of service at the school.

“We thank you for all of your hard work,” said Committee Chairperson Michelle Cusolito.

“It’s been a wonderful town to work for,” Morris said. “I’ll miss it so much.”

Superintendent Doug White also personally thanked Morris for her years of service.

White also noted a recent change to the anti-bullying policy at the school. The past policy did not include adults in its language, and the changes were made to include them into the policy.

White also noted that all schools in the district would be taking place in PARCC assessments in March, which are part of the Common Core Curriculum being implemented in 19 states that is aimed at creating a more nationalized curriculum for schools.

“This is strictly for them to collect data as they start to transition to into the PARCC assessments [instead of MCAS].”

White said that MCAS results for RMS for 2013 would be presented at the Committee’s next meeting.

Facilities Director Gene Jones was also on hand, and announced that new sensors had been installed at RMS that would limit electricity used for lights that were previously on 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“You can see significant savings from that,” Jones said.

The Committee also announced that progress reports would be sent home on October 14.

By Nick Walecka


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