School lunch prices going up in the fall

The price for school lunch will increase at the start of the 2013-14 school year.

Huntington County Community School Corporation's high school and middle schools will see a 10-cent increase in lunch price, while the corporation's elementary schools will see a 5-cent raise.

The increase was approved on a 5-1 vote, with one abstention, of the Huntington County Community School Corporation Board of Trustees on Monday, April 22.

Member Ben Landrum, District 3 voted no and Tom King, District 5, abstained.

Ken Akins, director of food service, recommended the price increase to the board, saying the increase is necessary to eventually reach the federal government's mandate that school lunches reach a price of $2.46.

The full price for school lunch will be $2.30 at Riverview and Crestview middle schools and at Huntington North High School, while the price of lunch at all area elementary schools will be $2 per lunch.

Superintendent Tracey Shafer says the price increase comes with a silver lining, as the higher rate will allow the corporation to increase quality.

Akins says he would like to add more food services that are on the "cutting edge."

The board also approved the Summer Feed Program, which brings food to children of the community throughout the summer months.

Akins says food will be available at about 15 different locations - an increase from summer 2012 - throughout the county during summer vacation.

The board heard information about textbooks for the elementary school's language arts program.

Assistant Superintendent Chuck Grable presented a recommendation to select "Journeys" by Houghton Mifflin.

The texts, which were chosen by a committee of elementary teachers and parents from a list of federally approved texts, are iPad compatible and will cost the corporation $279,336.65.

The cost per student has not been determined at this time, but Grable says ihe would expect it to be about $28.

The books meet the Common Core and Indiana State Academic Standards.

If approved, the books would be used in the classrooms for six academic years.

The board will take action on the textbook adoption at its May 29 meeting.

Grable also presented a digital curriculum update. He says the corporation is getting ready to enter phase two of the 1:1 digital learning initiative.

He says a digital curriculum committee is being formed at the elementary level, as well as a parent focus group. He says the groups should be formed by mid-June.

Currently, Jill Brumbaugh, third grade teacher at Andrews Elementary, is piloting iPads in her classroom. Grable says it is "going well."

He also gave information about Canvas, a learning management system, which he hopes to install on every iPad before next school year.

In the coming years, he says the iPads will allow the corporation to create its own textbooks using iBook, and copying and pasting information as needed.

Jon Bennett, assistant superintendent for business and classified staff, presented an update on the Capital Projects Fund (CPF).

He says he has two priorities for summer projects - expanding the Lancaster Elementary School parking lot and installing a security system of cameras and buzzer systems in every school building. Both, he says, are safety issues.

Other projects he hopes to see completed in the near future are replacing a walk-in cooler at Salamonie and repairing Roanoke Elementary School's roof.

The expansion of the Lancaster parking lot is estimated to cost $50,000, and the cost of the cameras and buzzer systems was still uncertain as board members discussed the possibility of reconfiguring school entryways.

Bennett reported that the corporation spends $1 million on utilities, $600,000 on maintenance, $200,000 on insurance, and $1.9 million on technology annually - all funds that come out of the CPF.

The Instructional Service Center building has had no specific offers for purchase, Bennett says.

He says he hopes to work with Ellenberger Brothers auctioneers, of Bluffton, to entertain bids on the building.

Bennett says Ken Ellenberger will visit the building on Thursday, April 25, to evaluate the building's "sellability."

Board President Kevin Patrick expressed an interest in handing over the sale of the building to the administration.

In other business:

• Shafer presented a first reading of updated policies. The updates introduced new policies and amends existing policies to correspond with state law.

• Shafer will attend a conference for HUMANeX Ventures, the school's hiring system, with Melanie Park.

• Donations were accepted from Teachers Credit Union, in the amount of $186, to purchase reading materials for Flint Spring's fourth grade classrooms; and from Paige Humphries, in the amount of $515.95, to purchase a Forensic Science CD-rom network for Huntington North High School's Viking New Tech program.