Raymond School Board News

Raymond Addresses Unresolved School Lunch Debt in Multiple Ways
Submitted By Tina McCoy 2-1-19 

The Raymond School District is taking a multifaceted approach to solve the problem of school lunch debt that has challenged their community for years. Last summer, the Raymond School Board approved a new School Lunch Program Meal Charges Policy (EFAA) that placed a $30 limit on charges for high school students. The Policy also calls for timely and regular notification to all parents of students that accrue unpaid balances. Superintendent of Schools, Tina McCoy indicated, “It is essential that all students eat a healthy lunch so they can thrive in school, so no student through grade 8 will be denied lunch because of unresolved debt. However, we need parents to communicate with us if support completing free and reduced lunch applications would be helpful, if they need to work out a payment plan, or if they simply want to know if any other type assistance is available through the District”.

The Policy is only one way that the District is moving forward to address the issue. On January 16, 2019 the District adopted new Procedures for the Acceptance of Donations to the Food Service Department. This process clarifies how donations from individuals charitable organizations will be applied to students’ lunch accounts. “In the past we had people who expressed an interest in donating” said Judy DiNatale, School Nutrition Services Director, “‘but became overwhelmed when they heard the total amount owed by students”. The District hopes that by applying donations in a clear and systematic way, those who are considering a donation will be encouraged, and experience a greater sense of satisfaction if they do choose to contribute.

Despite the willingness of the District to develop payment plans, assist families in need, and accept donations to help resolve school lunch debt there are still some cases where parents will not cooperate to address unpaid debt. In consultation with the Raymond School Board, for those situations where debt is significant, long-standing and unaddressed by parents or guardians, the administration has decided to take action in small claims court. “We are striving for just the right balance” said Superintendent McCoy. “We will do all we can to help students and their families, but parents need to work with us on this. Ignoring the issue is not fair to the taxpayers of Raymond”.

Any organizations or individuals interested in donating to the Raymond School District School Lunch Program to help families with unresolved debt is encouraged to contact Business Administrator Marjorie Whitmore at (603) 895-4299 or m.whitmore@sau33.com.



























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