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Ripley may qualify for “Backpack” program

May 21, 2015
Westfield Republican

By David Prenatt

Ripley Central School District may soon be able to provide food for qualifying elementary students to take home on the weekend thanks to an innovative "Backpack" program, board of education members learned recently.

Math Specialist Lisa Stonefoot gave the board information on the Backpack program offered by the Food Bank of Western New York. Stonefoot completed the application and took the steps necessary to get Ripley school approved for the program, which is intended to provide eligible students with an adequate supply of nutritious food on the weekends or when school is closed.

Stonefoot noted that the Backpack Program assists these students by providing easily prepared, nutritious food in take-home bags each Friday throughout the school year. According to the Food Bank of Western New York, every backpack is filled with cereals, shelf stable milk, canned soups, fresh fruit, and a whole grain snack. The backpack also includes one meal large enough to share with the children's family.

Acccording to Stonefoot the program is essential in Ripley because over 60% of the children receive free or reduced price lunches, and may not get adequate nourishment when school is not in session.

In other business, Ripley Superintendent Dr. Lauren Ormsby told the board that representatives from Expeditionary Learning will visit the school in June. Ripley has been implementing various aspects of Expeditionary Learning into its curriculum since Ormsby, ELA teacher Karen Kondrick and two other faculty members attended the Expeditionary Learning National Conference in Boston and the New York Network Team Institute in Albany last fall.

Ormsby also informed the board that Kondrick has been asked to serve as a consultant for the National Teaching Institute in Washington, DC.

Ormsby also reported on the district's capital project, which has experienced delays due slow processing at the state level. Ormsby said she met with the architect on May 6 and they will now embark on the bidding process. If all goes well, the majority of the work may be completed by January of 2016, she said.

The board also agreed to approve a contract with former superintendent Karen Krause, who will serve as an administrative consultant for the district, retroactively from May 6, 2015 until August 31, 2015 for up to 30 days.



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