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September 14, 2015

6:00 p.m.


Committee Members Present: Chair, Nicole Desjardins; Jennifer Day 

Committee Member Absent:  Edward Hastings 

Board Members Present:  Laura Hamilton, Kimberly Martin, Deborah Towle 

Administrators Present:  James Anastasio, Donna Madore, Kathy Casparius, Teresa

                                           Beaudoin, Sue Dionne, John Pucciarelli, Maureen Sanborn,

                                           Kim Silsby          

1.  Nutrition Update – Accounts in Default     

Maureen Sanborn, School Nutrition Director, gave an update on unpaid student debt.  District wide the debt is currently at $13,638.  The debt is not only for paid students but for free and reduced students as well.  This is a dilemma all schools nationwide face.    Numerous letters are sent home to parents, calls are made and logged.  Some of the debt is due to free and reduced eligible students whose parents do not fill out the paperwork so we can get reimbursement.  It also affects our Title 1 funding.  Parents can apply online, there are paper forms if they prefer and Ms. Sanborn has offered to sit down with parents and help them fill the forms out. Our goal is to not have it grow anymore.  Jennifer Day suggested this information should be brought up to the Augusta Childhood Hunger and Homeless Working Group that Councilor Derek Grant is heading. 

Ideas for solutions to this problem are: 

     1.  Additional car registration fees for those who have outstanding bills

     2.  Curtail extracurricular activities for students who are not in good standing

     3.  Provide an incentive for parents to fill out paperwork, for example, forgive the debt if 

          they complete paperwork and they qualify for free and reduced

     4.  A threshold established by the board

     5.  Use of a collection agency

     6.  Make it mandatory for form to be filled out

     7.  On open house night and Title I night, have teachers sit down with parent and help

          complete the form

     8.  Once per month letters that go home to parents, would be an opportunity to target 

          individuals as another reminder to complete form

     9.  Board members attend Parent/Teacher night, as administrative support to help educate   

          parents as to why completing the forms is important

   10.  Monthly newsletters as a reminder that forms need to be turned in 

The committee recommended the information about the outstanding debt be added to the board agenda as an informational item, posted on our website and Augusta School’s Facebook page and brought up at the Augusta Childhood Hunger and Homeless Working Group which is meeting October 13 at 6 p.m.


2.  LED Lights Update

John Pucciarelli, Director of Buildings and Grounds, said around budget time last year there was discussion about doing additional energy projects.  He has moved ahead with putting together a $400,000 project with Brent Dudley of New England Energy Solutions for updating lights to LED.  Efficiency Maine would pay for half in addition our electricity bill will drop considerably.   

3.  Building Security Discussion 

Mr. Anastasio explained that this item was put on the finance committee agenda because of possible financial implications.  A short discussion followed regarding the use of metal detectors at our schools.  

There was also a discussion about warm temperatures in some classrooms and accommodations being made to help with the issue. 

Meeting adjourned at 7:02 p.m.