Ludlow School committee discusses return of travel club

LUDLOW – The school committee has learned of the return of a travel club for students as well as the destination of the funds they received from Town Meeting.

Anna Baboval is a seventh-grade geography teacher at Baird Middle School and the creator of the travel club. She came to talk to the school committee to get approval for two upcoming trips they have planned.

The club have been unable to travel since 2019 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Baboval said there were 26 students ready to go on a trip to Rome and Pompeii “before the world shut down”.

The Baird Middle School Travel Club was started in 2012 by Baboval and a group of travel-loving students.

Baboval said she had the opportunity to travel both internationally and domestically as a middle school and high school student and wanted to provide the same experience for students at Baird Middle School.

The purpose of the travel club is to plan opportunities for seventh and eighth graders to travel domestically or internationally during April Break each year.

All trips are limited to 18-40 students depending on destination.

The club has traveled to Washington, DC, on several occasions, including for the 2017 Presidential Inauguration, London, Iceland, and most recently Montreal and Quebec City, Canada in April 2019.
The next tour will take place in Washington, DC in April 2023 and in London, England in April 2024.

Baboval was concerned about how interested parents and students would be in these trips, but said there was currently a waiting list of 10 people for the trip to DC and 26 students signed up for the trip to London. .

The committee approved initial travel plans, and Baboval said she plans to hold several fundraising events to help fund the trip. She wants to hold big events in the winter and spring with other minor fundraising efforts in between.

Baboval added that the travel club meets Wednesdays after school from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. to brainstorm and plan fundraisers, research current and potential destinations and cultures, and plan upcoming visits. All students are welcome.

The committee shifted gears to talk about the $150,000 the city approved at the town hall to be allocated to the school department to help with the fiscal year 2023 budget.

Kathy Demetrius, Director of Operations and Head of School Affairs, provided the committee with a breakdown of the allocation of these funds.

She added that the funds will go to items that could be negative because the account line was short or originally unbudgeted.

There will be $15,000 allocated for photocopiers, $22,500 and $23,622 to cover tuition and transportation for a student going to vocational school, $31,910 to cover the electric bill, $13,000 for to cover the waste account and $43,968 to cover the transportation account for an exact grand total. of $150,000.

The school committee will meet again on November 15.

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