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Recycling to continue in summer

School Board awards contracts for computer technology, painting and carpets

For most students, summer vacation means a break from homework and other school-related tasks, but not for the members of the Environmental Club at Conant High School.

Even after graduating on Friday, the students who founded the Environmental Club, along with some of their younger peers, are still advocating for recycling in the district.

During a School Board meeting in Jaffrey on Monday, six members of the club asked the board to ensure that the staff practices recycling when the students are away for the summer break.

“There are lots of boxes and cardboard that comes in over the summer when the school gets supplies shipped, and we don’t want that to be thrown away,” Conant sophomore Austin Stacy said at the meeting.

School Supt. James O’Neill said the board would look at the options for practicing recycling during the summer, and “make sure the right phone call is made,” to ensure the district fulfills the students’ request.

For Seth Farmer, a social studies teacher at Conant who is the club’s adviser, pursuing recycling practices during the summer wouldn’t be hard to achieve. Farmer explained the single-stream container purchased by the school district for the high school last year would make recycling easy for the custodial staff working during the summer. A single-stream recycling container holds different materials like plastic, paper and cardboard without having to sort them out.

“The recycling dumpster is sitting out there and it should be in use not only by the students but by everyone,” Farmer said.

For Farmer, it is the Environmental Club’s responsibility to raise consciousness and awareness about recycling. However, he said implementing the policy should be a shared duty.

“I am the one who always makes the phone call to Monadnock Disposal so they can come and empty the [single-stream recycling dumpster]. I would like that duty to the passed on to someone else when I go on summer vacation,” Farmer said Monday.

Farmer, Stacy, Conant alumni Allina Bennett, Marissa Hehir and Jacqueline Lundsted and Conant students Shelby Barden and Shannon Bennett attended the meeting for the second reading of the Recycling Policy, a document created by the club that intends to make recycling a district-wide policy and promote sustainability in the district’s four schools.

The only proposal to modify the policy came from Farmer himself. He requested that the document state that teachers are required to implement “sustainability” projects in their lesson plans rather than projects on “recycling” specifically. He explained this change will give faculty the opportunity to focus on different topics regarding environmental conservation.

The board agreed to analyze the proposed change and get back to the club in the next weeks.

In other business, the School Board unanimously approved two bids for network upgrades. A bid for implementing 50 Meraki access points and three years of support was awarded to ePlus Technology for $49,271. Jaffrey-Rindge Middle School Principal Ryan Earley explained that Meraki access points will allow the school district to execute reports about faculty and student use, and promote safe and secure system use. Also, a bid for implementing firewall appliances was awarded to Back Bay Networks for $29,082. According to the bid document, Warren Luebkeman, director of technology for the district, recommended that the bid be awarded to Back Bay Networks because “they provided the most competitive bid.”

The district also awarded a painting bid to Wright Painting. The Jaffrey-based company will charge the district $84,000 for painting hallways, stairwells and rooms. A carpeting bid was awarded to Belletetes for $16,000.

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