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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Monett R-1 board eyes food service change

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Monett High School at dusk, looking south. [Times Photo by Murray Bishoff]
Monett School Board members moved toward a major change in the R-1 District's food service program during its December meeting.

Superintendent Dr. John Jungmann reported the food service program has lost around $75,000 a year for the past two or three years. Use of the program has not decreased and enrollment has stayed stable.

"Our labor costs are significantly higher than the state average," Jungmann said. "There is no easy solution. We've hit the wall with the problem and now we've got to figure out where to go."

The board and Jungmann will analyze the situation at length over the next 30 days. Food management companies have been contacted.

"We'll possibly go to bid (for a food service contract) in the spring," Jungmann said. "The board said it's got to see the numbers and analyze what is the best option, so we don't supplement the food service with money from the education program, which is definitely what it does now."

Financial issues

Board members passed a resolution to support the state's participation in the new federal Race to the Top program, which is largely expected to replace the No Child Left Behind Act. Grant money is available to the state under the new program as long as individual districts commit to participate as well.

Up to $200 million in grant money will be available to Missouri, Jungmann said. Of that total, half will go to participating districts in the form of competitive grants.

"There's a lot we don't know about the new program," Jungmann said. "A lot of money will be available for school reform and technology integration."

The dispute between the counties and the city of Monett over tax increment financing will result in tax revenues collected for the school being held by the counties until the lawsuits are resolved.

Jungmann reported Barry County has agreed to provide a monthly statement on the status of tax money that would otherwise have been paid to the city. The same request has been sent to Lawrence County.

"We want fiscal oversight over the district's tax dollars," Jungmann said.

Program review

Before the formal meeting started, board members toured the nearly completed construction of four new classrooms on the west wing at the Southwest Area Career Center. "The architect and the board were very happy with the project, with the contractor's ability to get done ahead of schedule and make a quality project," said Jungmann. "Sides did a good job matching the tile, ceiling, lighting and color pattern. It's nearly unnoticeable that it's a new addition."

Room exists to add onto the shop wing of the Career Center, and additional classrooms could be added on the north side of the west wing if the playground for the child care technology class was moved, Jungmann said.

Survey results

Board members looked at community input from a survey distributed during parent-teacher conferences, which was answered by more than 300 patrons.

Jungmann said when asked if the quality of education in Monett was improving in the past five years, 71 percent said yes. The number of respondents who gave the district either an A or B grade tallied 88 percent.

"One of the most encouraging responses came when we asked for feedback on facilities and the likelihood of supporting a no-tax-increase bond issue," Jungmann said. "Ninety-four percent said they would, which helps reaffirm the board's work."

Calendar adopted

Board members adopted the school calendar for 2010-11 with very few changes from the current year. The next school year will start on Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2010. Graduation will be on May 13, 2011 unless it is moved due to snow days. The last day of school will be May 20, 2011.

The snow day schedule, Jungmann said, will again call for adding four days at the end of school and three days that would take place during breaks. With Christmas falling on a Saturday, classes will be held through Tuesday, extending the holiday break by one day.

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