Dr. Semmel's Update - Aug 22, 2023
It feels like just yesterday that we graduated 499 proud Trumbull High School Eagles and congratulated their families, but here we are at the dawn of the 2023-2024 school year. Our new teachers will be joining us on Tuesday and Wednesday, while the remainder of our teaching staff begins professional development this Thursday. We are all excitedly preparing for Tuesday, August 29, our First Day of School! I hope that you all had wonderful summers and that you are excited to join us for the school year.
Free School Meals Program
In August, Governor Lamont announced an expansion of the Free School Meals Program. As I understand the program, it uses $16 Million of Federal COVID assistance dollars to provide 1) a free breakfast to all students and 2) a free lunch to students who qualify for reduced lunch status. This is not the same program as last year since not all students will receive a free lunch.
The district originally believed that we would lose close to $85,000 if we accepted these funds from the State. We did not feel that passing this loss to local taxpayers was fiscally responsible, so we had originally declined the funds. We needed to give an answer to the State by Friday, August 18.
However, given that our new Food Service Director just started on August 14, I requested that he contact the State for more guidance and confirmation of our calculations. After waiting a few days for the State to respond, our new Director just heard back today and learned that there were two conflicting distinct memos regarding reimbursement rates for Food Services. Mr. Molyneux was unaware of the reimbursement we would receive for paid students who take a free breakfast. With this latest information and increased clarity from the State, we calculated and confirmed with the State that Trumbull will at least break even if we accept the funds. Therefore, we contacted the State today and let them know that we will be accepting the funds.
If you are looking for information on Free/Reduced meals, you can find the information here.
You can find additional information about our Food Service program on our website.
Master Facilities Plan
You can find our 2023-2024 bus routes online. I want to thank our former Director of Transportation, Dawn Perkins, and our new Director of Transportation, Deena Robushi, for working together over the summer to develop the bus routes. Ms. Perkins had decades of experience developing these routes each year and we will miss her expertise. We are excited that Ms. Robushi has hit the ground running and we expect that she will not miss a beat. We ask for your patience during the first few days of school given the change of Directors.
Our building and district leaders, in collaboration with our Human Capital and Talent Development department, have done an excellent job filling all our classroom teacher positions for the start of the new school year. I believe this does not happen by accident and is a tribute to a strong, award-winning school district and a supportive community.
If you are interested in working with the Trumbull Public Schools, please check out our job openings on our website.