At last night's Board of Education Meeting, members voted unanimously to withdraw from participation in Project Oceanology by the 2012/2013 school year, at the request of administration.
Oceanology courses will still be offered, assured Principal Dr. Murphy, just not this component of the course. Dr. Murphy explained that the fee for as well as the cost of the field trips (about eight to nine a year) adds up to approximately $20,000 and that no other course is this costly. Typically about 50 to 75 students are enrolled in this elective.
“It was very innovative in the 90s and it has sustained itself but we need to eliminate participation outside school.”
Operations Manager Bill King presented the board with possible advertisers for the replacement scoreboard on the football field. This initiative is part of an effort to raise revenue for the Stonington schools, said King. Lawrence and Memorial Hospital is projected to take up prime space as well as , and South Shore Insurance. The charge for the 5 x 8 spaces on the scoreboard are up to $3,000 for gold level.
The ad for McDonalds, slated for a prime position at the press box, at the 50-yard line, evoked some discussion. The ad displays a large image of a Big Mac with the words “Don’t stare too long you’ll miss the game.”
Chairwomen Gail Macdonald said that she had no problem with the company itself but expressed an issue with the image.
Board member Doug Rea said he would be against it because “it does not stand for what we believe,” referring to healthy eating habits.
“I don’t want to scare them away, everyone knows what McDonald’s sells, but I would like to see some other options,” said Macdonald. The board approved a motion to accept those that have agreed to sign on but not to approve all of the content in the ads as yet.
The board also approved the go ahead of “Save Me A Seat,” the sale of brass auditorium seat plaques at the high school. These are now available at $100 for an individual or family and $200 for a business. The proceeds will benefit all extra curricular and co-curricular programs for all Stonington schools.
Finally, the board voted unanimously to approve a new policy for the use of dogs to search school property (including lockers) for the “presence of illegal substances.” Searches will not involve individuals and any searches would be at the request of the administration,” said Macdonald and not the police department. Details of this new policy will be included on the schools website as well as students/ and or parents handbooks.
The town meeting for the education budget will be held May 16th and a referendum following May 24th. Three polling stations will be available for voting.
“I’m hoping the 24th is it and that it goes off and goes well,” said Macdonald who expressed concern about families leaving for summer vacations if the budget does not pass.