By Jan Schultz
The Imperial Republican
After the 2008-09 year concluded, Chase County Schools lost about $9,000 between its beginning and ending hot lunch program fund balances.
Since the number of students who ate lunch last year was steady, much of the drop in the school year’s ending balance was due to higher food prices, said Supt. Matt Fisher at the school board’s meeting earlier this month.
Wages were also increased for lunchroom workers, as well, as was all classified staff last year.
Because of the loss, Fisher recommended a 20-cent across the board increase in lunch prices for the 2009-10 school year.
Board members approved the increases, which will raise the prices as follows:
K-6—$1.80 to $2
7-12—$2 to $2.20
Adult—$2.90 to $3.10
For a family with one student in school, it will mean about $35 more for his/her lunch next year.
Supt. Fisher said the school’s breakfast program is “holding its own,” and has even made money since starting, allowing the staff to purchase some additional equipment for that program.
The school may look into a fully USDA-certified breakfast program in the future.
Two new vans
Three bids were received for the purchase of two new 10-seat vans for the school.
While Harchelroad Motors’ bid was slightly higher than that of Imperial County Ford by about $2,200, the board accepted the transportation committee’s recommendation to purchase the vans from Harchelroad’s.
Board President Sheila Stromberger, speaking for the transportation committee, said they recommended Harchelroad’s bid because they gave a higher trade-in value to the school’s two older vans, and the vans offered in the bid from Harchelroad’s also had lower miles.
Here is the bid breakdown:
Harchelroad Motors of Imperial—1) 2008 van with 2,200 miles, $23,950, $4,000 trade-in allowed, 2) 2008 van with 16,700 miles, $19,950, $4,000 trade-in allowed.
Imperial Country Ford—1) 2008 van, $19,200, $2,500 trade-in allowed, 2) 2008 van, $19,200, $2,200 trade-in allowed. Bid states both vans would be under 20,000 miles.
Sid Dillon Motors, Lincoln—Two 2009 vans, $25,997 each, $2,000 trade-ins allowed on each.
The two vans being traded in are 1998 and 2001 models, both 15-seat models.
Other school board business
Randy Hayes, 7-12 vocal teacher, spent a lengthy part of the meeting visiting with the board about staffing in the music department. He was concerned that the board was planning, in the future, to reduce the vocal music staff from two teachers to one. School Board President Sheila Stromberger said there was some incorrect impressions in the beginning of the issue, namely that they were not going to replace Dr. J. Gordon Christensen at all. An email had been sent out by the president of the Pom Poms (parent music support group), addressing the issue that a reduction might be happening in the vocal music department. Stromberger said, however, she felt they should have considered replacing Dr. C with a part-time person instead of a full-time teacher as they did this spring. In past discussions, it was suggested that the replacement for Dr. C be part-time, and possibly his grade 5-6 classes be given to Hayes. That would result, overall, with a 2.5 fulltime teacher equivalency (FTE) in both the vocal and instrumental music departments, compared to a three FTE now. “When I mentioned RIF, that’s where I was coming from,” she said. Hayes encouraged the board not to put a student number restriction on the music appreciation and music theory classes that are in the curriculum and that he would teach. In some years, if five students hadn’t signed up for those classes, it wasn’t scheduled. Board members at previous meetings had expressed concern that Hayes’ teaching schedule included two study halls and two other periods with nothing scheduled in them. Those were in addition to a planning period.
First reading was held on teacher job descriptions, something Chase County Schools has not had in place before. Elementary Principal Nathan Vitosh said the job descriptions should give staff more of a direction on what’s expected. The second reading and possible adoption will come at the August meeting. Board members were asked to review the document and offer any additional suggestions on it to either principal.