By John Anderson
On Wednesday evening, the Auburn School Committee heard some good news from Student Representative Kyle Quitadamo. The “We The People” team has raised nearly $36,000 of the projected $47,000 cost for the upcoming national competition in Washington, D.C. This incredible show of community support has lowered the per pupil cost to $400 from the actual $1,300 amount. Donations are still welcome and can be sent to the high school or made on line at GoFundMe.com.
Mr. Dan Largesse and District 1 PTO President Mellissa Adamiak addressed the Committee about their success with the “Labels for Education” program. They displayed recently received athletic and art supplies that will be given to Julia Bancroft School. The group has also collected nearly $900 from the “Box Tops For Education” program. Future plans are to have a donation site where community members can drop off their clipped UPC’s and box tops.
The Board approved a school trip to France for April 2015. Auburn High French teacher Karyn Ferdella is leading the trip for up to 25 10th to 12th graders. They also approved an exchange trip to Spain for April 2015 led by Foreign Language Chair Dan Creamer.
The Board graciously accepted a donation of $846.00 from the Auburn Chamber of Commerce. The funds will be equally distributed to all six schools.
Superintendent Maryellen Brunelle notified the Board that the Girls Varsity Hockey Team has won the Sportsmanship Award for the second year in a row. Congratulations to the players and coaches for their continued success.
In other business, the District has received 22 applications to date for the Business Manager position. Peter Gray, the current manager, will be leaving at the end of the school year for a position in Carver, Massachusetts.
At the suggestion of Superintendent Brunelle, the Committee approved adding 5 more School Choice slots for the upcoming school year at Auburn High School. All will be in the freshman class. There are currently 26 school choice students at Auburn High and 15 at the middle school. Applicants are selected by lottery, and no pre-screening is permitted under state law. Once in the system, all school choice students can complete their high school education even if the District decides to eliminate the program.
Auburn High has seen a significant drop in enrollment in recent years. For the school year beginning in 2009, there were 763 students in the school. For the fall of 2014, only 633 are projected to attend. Each school choice student comes with the state funds that would have gone to his home district. That amounts to about $300,000 a year in Auburn.