School meal prices rising

By Jean Verlich: CNJ news editor

Superintendent Rhonda Seidenwurm told the school board at Tuesday’s meeting there would be an increase of 25 or 35 cents per meal depending on the amount of the district’s food bid in July. She said the last increase of 10 cents was in 2001.

Citing higher transportation and food costs, Seidenwurm said, “We are hoping a quarter is going to do it.”

She said the district would make a big push to get more parents to apply for free and reduced-price meals. The increase will not affect the costs for those meals, which are federally subsidized.

“We are working really, really hard to feed kids more nutritious meals,” she said.

Board approval is not needed to raise the prices.

The board took the following action at Tuesday’s meeting:

Approved modifications to the Wellness Policy, including definitions, requirements, goals and activities for health education, physical education, healthy and safe environment, social and emotional well-being, health services and staff wellness to meet the state administrative code. The board adopted the policy in 2006.

Under family life education, parents may request their children be exempt from sexuality education by completing and submitting a form.

Approved several board policies including one addressing student concerns, complaints and grievances. Board member Mark Lansford noted the addition that “harassment, intimidation or bullying are forms of dangerous and disrespectful behavior that will not be tolerated” supported the district’s zero-tolerance policy.

While the courts have upheld bullying and harassment to be situations occurring more than once, Lansford said, the board policy gives school management the ability to implement the no-tolerance stance.

Awarded a contract for $1.26 million to Adair Inc. to continue providing bus transportation services for 2007-2008.

“It’s nice to have a district where transportation is not an issue,” Board President Max Best said.

Seidenwurm reported that progress on the freshman campus is ahead of schedule.

Current meal prices compared with proposed 2007-2008 meal prices

Elementary: $.75 / $1-1.10
Secondary: $1 / $1.25-1.35
Adult: $1.35 / $1.60-1.70

Elementary: $1.50 / $1.75-1.85
Secondary: $1.75 / $2-2.10
Adult: $2.75 / $3-3.10
Milk: $0.25 / $0.35