2006-12-28 / Front Page

Surplus may be used for energy efficiency

By Donna K. Drago

Superintendent Robert Power told the School Committee Dec. 21 that the end-of-year audit has been wrapped up and there would be a budget surplus.

He suggested that the School Committee take a look at capital projects during the upcoming budget workshops and use the surplus funds to finance energy and water saving improvements at the school.

Power’s suggestion was to focus on “the skin of the building,” which includes replacing windows to cut down on heat loss, especially in light of the current fuel costs.

Power also suggested adding more waterless urinals, a project that started with one of the new devices this year.

“We’ll save water and the town loves that,” Power said.

Additionally, the school has been talking with the town about using wind energy to produce electricity for public buildings on the island. “We will have the costs of electricity, heat and water reduced by making an investment in those items,” Power said.

In other business, the School Committee:

• Discussed new information from the North Kingstown board that it is reconsidering bonding to fund new improvements at the Wickford Middle School.

“If they do not go out to bond,” Committee Chairwoman Kaiser said, “we can suggest taking some students” in at the Lawn Avenue School.

“We can do that,” Superintendent Power said.

In other business, the school committee:

• Asked the community for suggestions on how to do things more cost-effectively as the board enters into budget discussions for next year. “Sometimes parents and teachers have the best ideas,” Committee Vice Chairwoman Julie Kallfelz said.

• Learned from a letter from resident Ginny Perry that the flag at the Lawn Avenue School should not be flown at night without being lighted. Kaiser suggested that a spotlight on the flagpole would be a good gift from the graduating grade 8 class, “or we can put it in the budget.”

• Read the Home Instruction Application for the first time.

The policy asks parents to provide basic information about any child they want to be home schooled on an application form. “Applications shall be completed in such detail as to provide the superintendent of schools information necessary to make a recommendation to the School Committee. The committee will review the application and make a final decision on each request,” the policy says in part. The Jamestown School District currently has about a dozen students who are home schooled.

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