2 - April 13, 2012 | Pelham - Windham News
School District Decides to Implement Own Lunch Program
Northeastern University is pleased to recognize those students who distinguish themselves academically during the course of the school year. Pelham residents Lauren Mitchell, a Criminal Justice major, and Brianna Barbaro, an International Affairs major, were recently named to the University’s Dean’s List for the fall semester. William Hebert, a senior from Windham, led a group of fellow Marquette
University students to Alamosa, CO, over spring break as a part of the Marquette Action Program (MAP). During the weeklong service trip, Hebert’s group volunteered at La Puente. Since 1977, MAP has offered students the chance to work and interact with people all over the United States. Sponsored by Marquette’s Campus Ministry, the trips expose students to aspects of poverty, racism and the lives of the disabled in today’s society. Depending on the site, students may be doing anything from assisting in classrooms to preparing meals at homeless shelters to repairing houses devastated by storms. This year, over 180 Marquette volunteers traveled to 21 different sites in 14 different states. Shannon Oriole of Pelham was named to the President’s List at LIM College for the fall semester. Emily C. O’Hearn of Pelham received academic honors from the Harpur College of Arts and Sciences at Binghamton University by making the Dean’s List for the fall semester. Pelham native Julia Crane will be one of 50 students from Stonehill College working with faculty members at the College this summer on research projects through the Stonehill Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) program. The SURE Program provides students with an opportunity to perform significant, publishable research under the guidance of an experienced faculty researcher. Crane, a junior English and Sociology double major at Stonehill,
will work with Professor Kenneth Branco, professor of Sociology, on Religiousness and Staff Conflict among Nursing Home Residents. Crane will be investigating the possible existence of a pattern that connect religiousness, cognitive impairment and conflict between residents and staff. Theoretically this research is located within a tradition that extends back to one of sociology’s founders, Emile Durkheim, who argued that moral constraint is effective only in as much as it becomes part of consciousness. Crane’s research extends that tradition to the study of those that may have lost awareness of religious moral restraint. The goal of the research is to produce and submit a journal article to the Journal of Religion, Spirituality, and Aging for publication. This article will be based on the elaboration of research that was done as part of an earlier SURE project on aspects of religiousness and several aspects of conflict among nursing home residents. Crane will be focusing on resident conflict with staff in her paper.
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Pack 25 Scouts Make Pinewood Derby District Race
submitted by Beth Knight, Pelham’s Cub Scout Pack 25 Pelham’s Cub Scout Pack 25 had the privilege of attending the Pinewood Derby District Race that was held on Saturday, March 31, at the Londonderry Senior Center. The top two races in each rank from the Pack’s Pinewood Derby were honored with a spot at the Pinewood Derby District Race! Our area district, Nutfield, includes Pelham, Salem, Windham, Derry and Londonderry. The excitement from the Pack 25 boys was uncontainable. Boy Scouts ran the
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by Barbara O’Brien School lunch programs are generally expected to break even. The expense of providing lunches to students should approximately equal the revenue generated through the sale of those lunches. That has not been the case in Windham for the past few years. Three years ago, a contract was signed between the Windham School District and The Abbey Group of Vermont and the school lunch program was transitioned to the outside vendor. At the time, the owner of The Abbey Group told school board members that the Windham School District would come away with a profit of at least $25,000 and that the quality of the meals served to students and staff would improve immensely, resulting in a much higher participation. That, however, has not happened. Currently, three years into the contract
with The Abbey Group, the Windham School District is faced with a $75,000 deficit in regard to the school lunch program. “We will have to bridge that gap this year,” SAU 28 Business Administrator Adam Steel said. “The expenses have not been offset by revenue.” The Abbey Group is not responsible for taking any of that loss, school officials said. “I’m livid, absolutely livid,” School Board Chairman Bruce Anderson said. “I am not happy!” Anderson was a member of the school board at the time the contract was signed with The Abbey Group. “We were promised, in public, that we would walk away with a minimum $25,000 profit,” Anderson said. “It’s very sad that this group couldn’t deliver better quality food that the kids wanted to buy,” Anderson added. Barbara Coish, A former school board
chairman, said, “This is really upsetting. We really thought this was the best thing
for the school district. It is distressing, to say the least!” Steel, who was not with the Windham
School District when the contract with The Abbey Group was signed and negotiated, said, “To break even is a reasonable expectation.” The Pelham School District is in the black, right now, Steel said. Pelham is the other district that currently makes up SAU 28.
Prior to contracting with The Abbey Group, school lunches for Windham students were prepared in Pelham and then trucked to each of the Windham schools. Windham school officials thought, however, that hotter, fresher meals would result if the food were cooked in the kitchen at the new Windham High School, which opened in September of 2009. Since the transition was made to The Abbey Group, participation has not increased, however. It has, in fact, “mostly receded,” Steel reported. For example, in 2009, 60 percent of students at Golden Brook School bought a school lunch on a regular basis. By this year, the percentage of participation had dropped to 41 percent, Steel said. Statistics are similar for the other schools in the district, he stated. As the result of the financial situation regarding the contract with The Abbey Group, Steel recommended that the Windham School District not extend that contract and commence operating its own food service program. “This is the most common procedure in New Hampshire,” he said.
Steel said that the most important factor in the success of a food service program is the person hired as its director.
recommend that we go through the hiring process immediately,” he said. The actual cooking of the food would take place at Windham High School, as has been done for the past few years. Steel also
recommended that the Windham School District join the New Hampshire Buying Group, a move that could save the district a substantial amount of money in the long run.
According to Steel, the cost of the food service program was budgeted at $921,000 for the upcoming 2012-2013 school year, which begins on July 1. “It is meant to be self-funding, with the revenue matching the expenses,” Steel explained. Steel said he expects the switch to an in-house food services program will save the school district money. When asked how student participation could be increased, Steel replied, “It is a marketing choice. The program needs to be customer-focused. We need to make it more kid-friendly.” It will be essential, he continued, to obtain feedback from students, parents and staff members. It would take about 20 people to staff the food services program, Steel said, adding that plans are to retain as many of the current workers as possible. Most of the current staff live locally, he said, some of whom have been with the program since lunches were prepared in Pelham. From a student/parent perspective, the
program will operate similarly to what it has in the past, Steel explained. The free and reduced lunch program, subsidized by the federal government, will also continue as before. School board members voted unanimously (5 to 0) to not renew a one- year extension with The Abbey Group for next year and to implement the Windham School District’s own food services program, effective with the 2012-2013 school year.
Just prior to the vote, Steel
told school administrators, “I am confident that we won’t wind up in the hole” by making this decision.
Cub Scout Pack 266 Visits Battleship Cove
submitted by Roger Smith Pack 266 of Windham recently made a trip to Battleship Cove,
in Fall River, MA, to explore the world’s largest collection of historic naval ships. After touring the battleship Massachusetts, destroyer Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr., submarine Lionfish, PT Boats 617 and 796, and the Russian missile corvette Hiddensee, the scouts, their parents, and adult leaders spent the night of March 31 on the famous U.S.S. Massachusetts. Battleship Cove’s Nautical Nights program included a knot tying class, storyteller, living history presenter, major motion pictures, and Morse Code class. The trip has enabled the scouts to better understand and appreciate the sacrifices made by veterans of all military branches in all wars. “This is one of those scouts activities the kids really look forward
to. It is fun and educational. Truth is the parents and Scout Leaders enjoy it as much as the scouts,” Says Russell Redard, Cub Master of Pack 266. Battleship Cove serves as the Commonwealth’s official memorial for the Massachusetts citizens of all military branches who lost their lives in World War II, and the Korean, Vietnam and Persian Gulf conflicts, and most recently, the Commonwealth’s victims of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Preserving five National Historic Landmark naval vessels, Battleship Cove also delivers educational programs that expose a national audience of 60,000 youths to a mission that promotes duty, honor, and country.
Jason Smith and Joey Hoag manning the Battle Stations Battleship Cove is open all day 362 days each year.
You can find out more about Battleship Cove by visiting www.battleshipcove.org
Pack 25 Tigers John Hamilton and Jacob Knight along with Pack 610’s Andrew Haley
• idealvalue • idealservice • idealchoice
race and our cubs sat idolizing their awesome work. Each Scout racer received an award ribbon for their awesome achievement. Every year more than a million Cub Scouts and adult partners team up to participate in a Pinewood Derby®, a tradition that goes back generations. While the exhilaration of the actual race lasts only moments, the Pinewood Derby experience lasts a lifetime. The benefits, for Cub Scout and adult, are discovered through the derby process itself: strengthening bonds, sharing responsibility, developing teamwork, learning new skills, exercising creativity, building sportsmanship, and making new friends. Racing in the Pinewood Derby creates a bond between a Cub Scout and all those who have raced before, as well as those who will follow to participate in this same tradition. Walk up to any Boy Scout - youth or adult; if he participated in a derby, his memories will resemble those of all other participants in the history of the event.
Half the Cost
in Half the Time!
Photos courtesy of Beth Knight
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