Unpaid meals at SCSD to go to collections

Parents ignoring unpaid cafeteria accounts in the Susquehanna Community School District will soon be sent to a collection agency.

Superintendent Bronson Stone said the district has about $18,000 in unpaid meals with individuals not attempting to pay for their student’s meals or fill out the required paperwork to receive free or reduced lunches, if qualified.

Parents with outstanding balances have been contacted on multiple occasions by telephone and letter, Stone told the board. The district has even been willing to work out payment plans for the debts, he said. “Calls have gone unheeded,” Stone said.

At the Wednesday, Sept. 18 meeting, the board approved an agreement between the district and Creditech for collection services. Charges from Creditech will be added to the bill and not to the school district.

At the start of this year, the district rolled out a free breakfast program for all students.

The district has seen a slight uptick in enrollment so far this school year, according to Stone’s report. at the Wednesday, Sept. 18 school board meeting.

Although he said the number fluctuates, as of the third day of school, the district was up over last year’s enrollment by 18 students.

Stone said about half of this year’s senior class is enrolled at the Susquehanna County Career & Technology Center (SCCTC), located on the Elk Lake School District campus.

“A lot of planning” went into sending the district’s largest number of students to the vo-tech, Stone told the board, noting the addition of a midday bus run.

Stone also addressed the negative impact cyber charter schools have on the public school district. He noted that the governor is proposing more intense standards for the cyber charters.

He also said that cyber charter enrollments cost the district about $15,000 per student for basic education and about $30,000 per student for those in need of special education services.

“Commercial cyber charters fail miserably,” Stone said.

The district approved a construction management contract with TAMCO Management Group and is looking to complete some facility updates and upgrades.

TAMCO is authorized to seek contractors capable of completing projects that will be paid utilizing the district’s fund balance.

Proposed projects and estimated costs include:

*replace the elementary school chller and one boiler, at an estimated cost of $338,000. Stone said that equipment dates back to 1976;

*replace identified roof-top units in the high school, estimated cost $334,000;

*install DDC controls in the high school, cost estimate $503,000;

*convert the high school heating system from steam circulation to hot water circulation, estimated cost of $315,000;

*and install a new, all-weather, four-lane running track and associated internal field drainage, at a cost estimate of $405,000.

Stone said the projects identified comprise “Phase 1 of many” to keep the district’s facilities “up and running for the benefit of the students.”

The board also approved the Administrative Class Rank Protocols, effective with the Class of 2021.

Stone said the policy addresses credits transferred into the school district, as well as classes that must be taken by a student in order to qualify for the honored distinction of valedictorian or salutatorian.

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