Saugus school district set to approve policy for school booster clubs

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Among the items on the agenda for the Saugus Union School District board meeting Tuesday night, the board is expected to approve a Surplus Property  Advisory Committee which consist of between seven and 11 members who live in the district.

The board is also conducting the second reading of a policy for school-connected organizations that might collect money, like school booster clubs.

Detailed in its outline of responsibilities, any group intending to raise funds must have written approval of the Superintendent prior to soliciting funds, and agree to grant the district the right to audit the group’s financial records at any time, either by district personnel or a certified public accountant.

Any group raising funds on behalf of student activities must also provide the name of the bank where the funds will be held, along with the names of those authorized to withdraw funds. It must also provide liability insurance as required by law.

Authorization may be requested annually and submitted to the Superintendent or designee, along with a financial statement showing all income and expenditures from fundraisers.

The policy would provide structure for fundraising groups that could avoid the kinds of problems experienced in the Williams S. Hart School District.

The Hart district has had two embezzlement allegations, both at Valencia High School.

One case resulted in a former varsity baseball coach pleading guilty to grand theft and was ordered to pay the $14,129 in restitution.  The second complaint was being investigated this summer involving fundraising for the school’s softball team.

A policy for Volunteers will also be given a second reading tonight.

And a number of school field trips, to be taken by local elementary schools, are expected to be approved. The field trips are to locations. The trips are being funded either partly or wholly by campus parent-teacher groups.

There is also a recommendation for the board to “grandfather” a few of the existing employees in the child development programs.

Originally hired into positions prior to rules changes in July 2010, some of the personnel do not currently meet the new minimum qualifications for the job descriptions.

Their pay rate, however, will be frozen until they meet the new requirements.

Agreements are expected to ratified with service providers to meet the needs of special education students as well.

The Saugus School District is also asking for the board to approve a pilot program for a half-year transitional kindergarten program.

Currently the district receives requests from parents to include their children in kindergarten classes; despite the fact the children have missed the cut off date in which they must turn five-years old Between Sept. 2 and Dec. 2 to enroll.

The transitional program would begin Jan. 16, 2018 and allows children to enter school, without being held out or affecting enrollment for kindergarten classes that begin in August.

A number of contracts and agreements are up expected to be signed off on, many involving school district repairs and maintenance:

  • a mechanical engineering contract to evaluate the humidity problems experienced at Bridgeport Elementary, which may have a connection to the school’s Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning system.
  • completing the installation of electronic door locks at Highlands Elementary School to finish a job abandoned by a prior contractor. The costs are to be paid from Measure EE funds.
  • exterior painting of 10 portable classrooms at Emblem Elementary School. The work was completed Aug. 6, just in time for the new school year.
  • completion of an HVAC replacement project at the district office, as well as maintenance and operations of an additional parking lot. Both projects were completed by the end of August.

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