The Sedalia School District 200 Board of Education voted to increase breakfast and lunch prices by $0.10 per meal for the upcoming school year at Monday night’s meeting.
The district has seen a decline in its food service revenue, which Superintendent Brad Pollitt attributes in part to increased labor and food costs for the program.
“A food service program shouldn’t make money but it shouldn’t lose money either; we would like it to be self-sustaining,” Pollitt told the Democrat after the meeting. “This is the first time in three years since we have increased prices for our meals.”
With the increase, the cost of a student breakfast will be $1 ($1.25 for adults) and $1.85 for student lunches ($2.35 for adults).
The price increase is estimated to generate $15,000 in additional revenues, according to information presented by Assistant Superintendent Steve Triplett at the meeting.
The district provides an average of 2,600 free breakfasts and lunches to all elementary students on a daily basis.
“By the end of January will we have done a thorough investigation of our food service program,” Pollitt said. This is the last year of our contract with OPAA and we will be looking at whether we want to continue their services or completely take back the program.
“We would be asking for the price increase now, but we will be focusing on and paying a great deal of attention on this program in the next six months,” he added.
Chris Pyle, Director of Special Services, presented a program evaluation to the Board. The 726 students in the program are making improvements toward meeting their goals and objectives, according to Pyle.
“We have three strengths I want to let you know about in our program,” Pyle told the board. “But we also have three areas of concern we need to address as well.”
Pyle listed the strengths as:
• A caring and supportive staff who work to meet these needs of all students who receive services through the Special Education program.
• There are high expectations for each student. The staff considers the individualized educational plan (IEP) for each student and works to help the students meet and exceed those goals.
• There is a key veteran staff in place who work to support and mentor younger teachers throughout the program.
The concerns Pyle addressed include:
• The need to attract and retain quality teachers in the program with the ever increasing demands the staff members face.
• The increasing needs of students in the program, especially those who have behavioral concerns.
• The addition of students placed in the program each year.
Sedalia 200 placed 36 students who qualified for services in the program during the 2015-16 school year, according to Pyle.
In other actions, the board:
• Set the tuition rate at $8,000, an increase of $200 over last year.
• Voted to set Aug. 8 as the date for the district’s tax rate hearing. The meeting is scheduled for 6:15 p.m. in the Smith-Cotton Junior High library and will be prior to the board’s next regular scheduled meeting, which begins at 6:30 p.m.
• Voted to purchase a Valcom Intercom System at Smith-Cotton Junior High for $122,771.16 from Nightwatch Security of Sedalia. The intercom system is budgeted as a part of the district’s five-year maintenance plan.
• Accepted a bid from Mid-West Computech of Sedalia for $61,054.30 for an upgrade for needed switches and switch modules. The upgrade is part of the district’s five-year technology plan.
• Accepted a bid of $39,734 from Home Heating and Air Conditioning of Sedalia for the removal, disposal and replacement of the existing HVAC units at Whittier High School. The units are budgeted as part of the district’s five-year maintenance plan and will replace a 30-year-old system at Whittier. The systems are expected to be installed prior to the start of school Aug. 25.
• Voted to approve the purchase of an intercom system from Tech Electronics of Columbia for $45,658 for the two building additions under construction at Smith-Cotton High School. The system is compatible with the existing system already in place at the high school.
• Voted to approve minor changes in the Student Discipline Code.
“Most of the changes are to clarify wording in existing policies,” Triplett told the board. “The primary changes deal with our attendance policy and with the discipline code to provide more clarification to the students and parents.”
• Voted to allow the Sedalia Youth Football League to place a set of lights at one field located to the east of Smith-Cotton High School that is used by the League.
“The Youth Football League rents the land in front of the high school,” Pollitt said. “Any additions to the grounds or improvements they make must have board approval.
“The lights and any additional work by the League is provided at no cost to the district,” he added. “It really is a win for both the Sedalia Parks and Recreational Department, the football league and the school district.”
The lights are tentatively scheduled to be installed next summer.
Hope Lecchi can be reached at 660-826-1000 ext 1484.