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BOE addresses crowdfunding

You may have seen the appeals for funds through GoFundMe or Donors Choose. The practice, known as online crowdfunding, has become a popular practice to raise money for schools or individual classrooms. Teachers may appeal for funds to purchase particular items, such as iPads, when funds through the school system are not available.

Since teachers or other school employees often use the name of the school system in these types of campaigns and essentially solicit donations on behalf of the school system, Escambia County Superintendent of Education John Knott felt guidelines were needed to address those activities.

Knott recommended adopting a policy to clarify that these types of fundraisers are subject to the same rules and regulations as any other board funds or board property.

“This would provide additional protections against the potential for misuse or confusion regarding any money or supplies that are donated through these types of arrangements,” Knott said.

On August 16, all Escambia County Schools offered a salad and sandwich bar for lunch.

According to Knott, the new bar was an overwhelming success throughout the county among students and adults. The items offered were spinach and romaine salad mix, red peppers, carrots, red onions, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumbers, corn salad, Italian chicken, diced ham, croutons, crackers, pineapple, raisins, and four dressing options. For students that opted for a sandwich, hoagie buns were available with mayonnaise and mustard.

“The salad and sandwich bar was implemented to offer fresh and healthy foods to students who may or may not have access to these foods,” Knott said. “The goal is to offer nutritious and delicious foods for our students and to give students the option to be creative and make their own selections based on the offering.”

In the future, the Child Nutrition Program staff would like to offer grab and go salad, sandwich, or yogurt parfait options three to five times per week at all schools in addition to the regular hot meals offered to students. The current menu offers the salad and sandwich bar every other week.

Chief School Financial Officer Julie Madden reported a fund balance of $11.7 million with 3.66 months reserve for the period ending July 31, 2017.
In other business, the board approved policy revisions and personnel recommendations.