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Pelham - Windham News May 27, 2011 - 7

Penny Pincher Shop Helps Those in Need

by Doug Robinson When I looked at the price list hanging on the wall, I had to ask,

“Are these prices for real?” The price list in question at the Penny Pincher shop, located in the Pelham Senior Center, lists leather coats for $10, jackets for $5, and jeans, shirts, shoes, skirts, and slacks for $1. “All of the items here at Penny Pincher are donated. Our seniors

and many others are on fixed incomes, so we price the clothing so people can afford them,” commented Penny Pincher volunteer Shirley Janocha. Penny


occupies three rooms full of clothing. “Upstairs, we have our prom room. We have many prom dresses for only $5,” said Janocha. Paperback books for 10 cents and hardcover books for only 50 cents line one wall, while boxes of shoes for $1 line another wall. Cards for any occasion are offered to the public for just 10 cents each. Penny Pincher is open to the public and all monies

Price list Many racks of clothing are offered at Penny Pincher

received at Penny Pincher are used to fund the Senior Center.

School Board Proposes School Field Trip Policy

by Barbara O’Brien It was the proposed trip to Puerto Rico involving a group of music students attending Windham High School that brought the school district’s field trip policy into question. This past March, Dean of Students Karen Sayward told School Board members that she is hoping to provide “a wonderful cultural experience” for music students at Windham High School. The excursion to Puerto Rico, slated for April 2012, would include students in both the choir and band programs. Close to 100 students, plus teachers, chaperones, and nurses

would be participating in the trip, Sayward told School Board members. “The trip will be well planned and well-thought out, resulting in an exceptional experience,” she had said. Sayward did admit, however, that such a “field trip” is a big undertaking, but says she has done similar trips in the past and is confident in the New York-based tour company with which she is planning the five-day/four-night journey. “Safety and security are of paramount importance,” she said. Despite Sayward’s assurances, however, School Board members seemed concerned about the safety of students traveling out of the country, particularly at this point in time. School Board member Michelle Farrell made it very clear that “safety” was of the utmost concern.

A few weeks later, a number of parents attending a subsequent

School Board meeting expressed similar concerns for the safety and well being of their children, asking that School Board members review and revise certain portions of the existing school district policy on both international and long-distance domestic travel. School Board members brought the subject up for discussion, once again, during their May 16 meeting. Assistant Superintendent Amanda Lecaroz informed board members that school district legal counsel had been consulted and had, subsequently, made numerous recommendations for changes to the existing policy, particularly regarding liability issues and accommodations for students with disabilities.

Stipulations that are to be included in the revised policy include one adult chaperone per every 10 students. Chaperones must be at least 21 years of age. Non-employee chaperones must be fingerprinted and undergo a criminal background check before being allowed to participate on any field trip. Chaperones are also to become familiar with school disciplinary policies. A lead chaperone will be designated by the school principal and all other chaperones will adhere to the lead chaperone’s guidance. Chaperones cannot engage in any drinking of alcoholic beverages or use any drugs, other than their own prescription medications. The new policy also proposes that no actual planning or

fundraising for field trips can take place without prior School Board approval. If the transportation is to be by bus, the driver will also be subject to a criminal background check. The use of personal vehicles

to transport students to or from a field trip or an airport is highly discouraged, due to liability and safety issues. The proposed policy also mandates that all required personal documents must be in place prior to departure or the student in question will not be allowed to participate in the field trip. Each student is responsible for all his or her own spending money and any personal supplies that might be needed while the trip is in progress. Parents will be responsible for informing school administrators/

teachers of any medical needs in advance of departure. A registered nurse or other trained staff person must accompany all groups participating in field trips. Lecaroz is in the process of checking with legal counsel regarding whether older students can self-medicate themselves for such conditions as asthma or the administration of insulin for diabetes. The proposed policy will be reviewed again at a future School Board meeting and is likely to be voted upon at that time. “We just want our kids to be safe,” School Board member Jeff Bostic said.


Dozens of prom dresses line the racks at Penny Pincher and are sold for only $5 each


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