Search for principal underway; community involvement sought
School business administrator William Thornton presented the first sections of the school district budget, focused on the administrative and capital components. The projected administrative component decrease is $97,464 or approximately 5.97% from the 2011-12 approved budget (the contingent budget). The total administrative component is $1,533,808.
The projected capitol component budget decrease for the proposed 2012-13 school budget is $84,857 for a decrease of about 2.9%. “The employee retirement increase for this component alone was 30% over last year,” said Thornton. The total projected capitol component is $2,842,049. The next session will focus on the instructional component and on March 8, the full budget will be presented during the regularly scheduled meeting at 7:30 p.m.
The board also heard from school nurse Carol Franco. After learning that many children in Sullivan County rely on a free or reduced lunch program and that some children lack adequate food during weekends, Franco knew it was something she wanted to tackle. She sent a letter to every family in the district to let them know that, like other schools in the region, ECS would be piloting a program to help those in need.
The initiative launched with five backpacks and has grown to serve 20 families with 44 children. Recipients stop by on Fridays to pick up their backpack filled with non-perishable food such as soup, fruit, oatmeal, cereal, pasta, beans, crackers and tuna fish. A letter to staff has brought daily donations of food.
Churches have set up collection boxes; the local girl scouts are doing a food drive and United Way has provided $250. “Sometimes one child will come with one can of soup just to help out,” said Franco. “It’s going really well and I’m very proud to be a part of it. It gets the kids through the weekend.”
Dufour praised the effort. “Carol’s gone above and beyond with this program,” he said. But Franco dismissed the praise. “As the school nurse, I feel that if they eat healthy, they can learn better,” she said.