ROCKPORT — A series of changes are underway at Camden Hills Regional High School in Rockport this school year to support students and families within the school who find themselves in need.
The changes are broken down into two categories: School board funded initiatives and community funded initiatives, according to Jen Curtis, the school’s assistant principal.
New this year, the school board is funding Preliminary SAT (PSAT) testing for all sophomores and juniors, regardless of their individual ability to pay.
In the past, Curtis said, students were tasked with paying a $15 testing fee and completing necessary paperwork on their own. Now, the school is overseeing the paperwork in addition to covering the fee.
The school board is also funding some new benefits for students needing financial assistance for breakfast and lunch.
“Last year, we noticed students who received reduced lunch fees still had difficulties paying their lunch bills,” said Curtis.
This school year, students eligible for reduced student meal fees will receive free meals as the school board is subsidizing the difference in fees.
In July, penbaypilot.com found that an overwhelming number of students in Knox, Waldo and part of Lincoln counties struggled to pay their student meal balances. (See: Negative school meal account balances reflect broader social and nutritional concerns.)
For the community supported portion of initiatives, $15,000 has been earmarked for the school’s equity initiatives and the school hopes to raise an additional $5,000.
Included in the equity initiatives are backpacks and school supplies, seasonal needs like winter or athletic gear, a snack program, a backpack meal program, heating fuel assistance, assistance during the holidays (such as food), mental health services and assistance with emergencies.
Those interested in assisting the school in its equity initiatives are encouraged to contact Curtis by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or phone (207-236-7800). Those who contact Curtis will be provided complete awareness of how their donation will assist families and students in need, she said.
Reach George Harvey at: email@example.com.