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PC Board renews OPAA! contract

Monday, March 5, 2012

The Pierce City R-6 Board of Education approved renewing a contract with OPAA! Food Management, Inc. to provide breakfast and lunch to the students of the district. The approval came at the Feb. 29 meeting of the school board.

Janie Duffey, regional director for OPAA!, updated the board on new federal dietary requirements that have been enacted since the district started utilizing the food management program. The new guidelines set standards for schools' food quality and participation in meal programs.

"By 2013, every slice of bread, cinnamon roll or pizza crust will have to be 51 percent whole grain," Duffey said. "We are going to have to raise lunch rates to meet United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) standards."

Duffey said that portion sizes will be larger and schools will be required to offer more dark green and orange foods three times a week.

"A lot of students won't take the dark greens," Duffey said. "The oranges will include pumpkin and sweet potatoes.

"We are hoping to offer choices to students," she continued. "Students can decline up to two items on a tray, but next year, students will have to take a fruit or a vegetable every day, and we will have to offer a different fruit or vegetable every day."

Duffey pointed out that the district could offer an apple one day during the week but would not be able to offer applesauce on a later day.

"It's considered the same fruit," she said.

Board members approved the extended contract with the food management program. Lunch prices will be determined at a later date.

Richard Werner, of Werner and Associates, presented an update on the district's building projects.

"Things are going well," Werner said. "The weather has been cooperating."

Werner said contractors would probably start erecting the vo-ag building in a week, because workers had primarily been focused on erecting the steel framework on the middle school building.

Werner also spoke of utilizing concrete blocks for a vandal-proof storage area to hold student records.

"The space is there; we will just have to look at using different materials to secure the room," Werner said. "I estimate about a $5,000 difference in costs."

In administrative reports, Gayla DeGraffenreid, Middle School principal, reported attendance at 94 percent for the month.

"We have had a lot of flu," DeGraffenreid said. "Both among students and staff."

Steve Garner, high school principal, reported one senior who was not going to be able to graduate on track with the class in May. The remaining at-risk students should graduate through intervention programs.

Kristi Marion, principal at Central Elementary School, said students participating in the Hoops for Heart fundraiser brought in a total of $4,100.

Superintendent Dr. Aaron Cornman reported he had negotiated with Reliance Communications, the service that provides the district's messenger student notification system, to provide the service at a cost of $1,400.

Cornman also alerted board members about some proposed funding "fixes" for education funds.

"I'm very disappointed in our legislature and our state leaders," Cornman said. "It was announced that the state had released $3 million in transportation funds. That was a ploy. Pierce City only received $2,200 of those funds.

"[Legislators] need to be fixing the formula, not trying to get re-elected," Cornman said.

Cornman also told board members to be thinking of the proposed budget for the 2012-13 academic year.

"If something doesn't happen with the funding formula, as it sits, we're going to lose $180,000," he said.

That loss is calculated on rising costs of district-paid employee insurance premiums, salary schedule adjustments and other cost increases.

Cornman said he is looking into what kind of summer school program the district will offer, and he will report back to the board on his findings.



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