C-P implements new rules to collect $6,000 in lunch room charges
Faith Huffman | News-Telegram News Editor

Jan. 22, 2007 - New rules regarding lunch room charges were implemented this month at Como-Pickton Consolidated Independent School District, and already school officials are seeing positive gains as a result.

Lydia Walden, recently appointed to oversee the cafeteria program, sent letters to parents of students who owe money to the school for cafeteria charges on Jan. 8, and advised parents of the new rules.

The lunch policy was put in effect in an effort to collect the $6,000 in lunch charges owed to the district so far this year. According to Walden, parents were very responsive to the change, and "quite a bit" of the total amount owed had already been turned in by Wednesday.

Effective Jan. 16, all charges are to be paid. Any student with three unpaid charges will no longer be given a tray lunch. After three charges, the student will be handed a sack lunch. They will be eligible for the sack lunch for three days. If the fees are not paid by that time, the students' parents will be required to furnish the child's lunch.

The school also plans to utilize a $3,000  grant to enable junior high students to participate in Destination Imagination competition this year. Currently, 11 students have indicated they want to participate in the event. A local competition will be held to eliminate four of those students, then work with the 7-member team to prepare them for the March 3 competition. The cost for membership, fees, T-shirts, hotel and meals should they advance to higher levels of competition, and other expenses is $2,800. Parent Kim Screws will be working with Johnny Wells, a DI sponsor and mentor for Sulphur Springs Independent School District. Lydia Walden will supervise the group.

Assistant Superintendent Sandra Billodeau reported that the district improved its rating on the annual performance-based audit. Last year, the audit showed at least one indicator to work on. This year, there were none.

In other business at the district:

n While before-school tutorials are ongoing to help bolster core scores on TAKS testing, plans are being made to begin an after school tutorial program for all areas tested. Transportation is also being factored into those plans, which should be completed soon.

n Science and math dictionaries have been purchased, as well as aids to help students better learn multiplication skills. High school science teacher Jan Elmore is working with elementary and junior high science teachers to better align curriculum so that fifth grade students are ready for the science TAKS test, which requires students to test better than passing with the scale set at 78 percent. Another instructor is also assisting with science, as well as math tutorials and alignment.

n The school board also gave Assistant Superintendent Sandra Billodeau the go-ahead to submit a grant application on behalf of the school for a grant to help reduce waste in landfills. The recycling project would likely involve baling and recycling of cardboard. The project next year could be expanded to include recycling of paper products.

n The district has its first graduate from the ECP computer-based program. Calvin Moody will be attending Texas A&M-University Commerce this spring.

n District officials were also notified in December of several thousand dollars in grant funding the school is eligible to receive through DairyMax simply because it is located in an area with numerous dairies.

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