Lunch prices raise eyebrows at board meeting
The discussion of lunch and breakfast prices raised eyebrows among board members at last Monday's regular meeting of the East Poinsett County School Board. Carolyn Harrson, the cafeteria coordinator, made a proposal to raise lunch and breakfast prices. The proposal was to raise lunch prices from $2 to $2.25 and breakfast prices from 50¢ to $1.25.
Harrson said that we are actually losing money by not raising the prices of the meals. Another way they are going to cut back is last year they had a lot of leftovers.
"This year we cannot have as many leftovers," said Harrson. "They can be reused if cooled correctly."
However, Harrson did explain that the reduced lunches will not change, but no charged lunches will be allowed this year.
"If we do not receive the money from charged lunches, then the school has to pay it back and we lose money that way as well," said Mitzi Malone.
Harrson said parents can pay directly to the school for up to two months at a time in advance. She said parents are always free to call her with questions about the lunch program.
"If a child forgets their money that day, we will try to provide them with something," said Harrson. "Even if it is some peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and water."
The school board approved the increased prices.
Also, up for discussion was the sub-teach program, a program that requires an individual to undergo hours of training services to become a substitute teacher. The courses teach the substitute professionalism, classroom manner and other skills. The substitute teacher can specifically request that they only want to work within the EPC school district.
"It's been successfully in other schools and districts," said Mitzi Malone.
The Sub-Teach program will do background checks, do all the unemployment paperwork, and the pay will come directly from sub-teach - they pay weekly and by the service.
"It takes weeks and even months before you can even get a background check on someone," said Malone. "They will even pay the same amount as the school does. Which was $50 a day, but now that minimum wage went up on July 24, it has been increased."
Malone said that under the Sub-Teach program the pay for a substitute teacher will be $78.95. The school will pay the services how ever often they use them and there are no contracts to be made with the Sub-Teach program. Another beneficial factor is that the school can request any certain substitute teacher they want to use for the day.
Board members approved the Sub-Teach program for the school year.
The board members also agreed that Donna Richmond could take over the speech therapy contract. They will pay her $20 an hour to teach the children and to even come after hours to help. The hours shouldn't vary too much each day. It was approved.
A consideration for a parent's request to be excused from attendance policy was denied. If a child is absent or tardy for more than six times unexcused then the school has to report it. The board members felt that if they excuse the policy for one person then they must for all others and it simply would not be fair. They want to consider other options rather than excusing this parent from the attendance policy.
In other business the board:
*Accepted bids for milk and bread.
*Approved the salary schedule for 2008-2009.