By Bobbie VanZile
Brenda Lynn, Schoolcraft school lunch manager, informed the school board at its January meeting, that sales of both meals and ala carte items were down, due to government regulations as to what kind of food can be served. It is an effort by the Obama administration to get kids healthier but causing kids to either bring their own lunches or possibly going without, she said.
Through the 2013/14 school year, sales were down over 2,000 lunches, which could also have been affected by a price increase of $0.25 each, she reported. Middle School was down the most with a slight uptick in the High School. The small number of students on the free and reduced price lunch program, also impacts what the district has to charge for everyone. The higher the percentage of kids on the federal reimbursement schedule, the lower the cost of the meal to all students. This is set federally, Lynn explained. The most popular item right now seems to be the low fat chips that sell for 50 cents. With the ala carte menu, the prices range from 50 cents to $1.25 each. Beverage choices are limited to zero calorie or low fat options such as water, vitamin water or flavored water, skim or 1 percent milk.
Following Lynn’s report, Trustee Matt DeVoe, commented that he “hoped that lunch restrictions will swing back the other way so it is in moderation. Eating nothing because the students don’t like the taste of the options they are getting is not a good option.”
In other business, the Board heard reports from the following principals on their progress with the school’s strategic road map.
- Elementary – Amie McCaw, principal. February 12 is a Family Math Night from 6-7 p.m. and open house where kids will teach parents about the new way to do math. The EL building focus for January is respect for others.
- Middle School – Chris Ebsch, principal. Staff had training to help students with digital citizenships. Staff had a refresher course on apps for the students’ iPads, including how to get and turn in assignments from the devices.
- High School – Dr. Rusty Stitt, superintendent, reported for the new principal who just joined the staff in January. “We have a pilot program going with the math interventionist where the bottom 30 percent of students are being pulled during one of two blocks of time. We are also working with the parents to help their students. Lori Pelton has taken ownership of the college ready curriculum.
- General report – Supt. Stitt. “We are looking at how we can build support for students who fall behind. What can we do to catch these students? How are the interventions getting back to teachers so they know where the students are? We have to make sure that the common language gets back to the classroom.”
Trustee Darby Fetzer, reported on the Senior Citizen luncheon she helped to spearhead. “There were 27 people attending. It was a great community builder. We heard they used to get the school calendar and they really miss that. They want to see hard copy of what’s going on in the school district because they are unplugged from the Internet. We need to thing about ways on how we are going to communicate to our unplugged citizens.”
Trustee Mike Rochholz was re-elected as board president; Matt DeVoe, vice president; Kathy Mastenbrook, treasurer; and Darby Fetzer, secretary. They welcomed two new school board members, Jason Walther and Ryan Ledlow to the group.