School board talks food prices, construction

CLEAR FORK VALLEY — The Clear Fork Valley School District is moving forward with its construction plans for two new elementary school buildings.

But it is also coping with day to day matters — like the true cost of providing breakfasts and lunches to all school students.

Both topics were discussed at Thursday’s meeting of the school board.

Superintendent Janice Wyckoff told board members the budget item for school lunches and breakfasts has required supplemental appropriations for the last several years. One year it was $2,900; then it became $12,000.

“If we keep going down this road next year the amount could be $30,000,” said Wyckoff.

The board voted to change lunch prices for the 2018 school year, going up by $.25 at the elementary and middle schools, but staying the same at the high school. Breakfast that had been free will now be $1.

The fact free breakfasts have been provided to a number of students has been discussed several times.

Board president Jim DeSanto said unless prices were changed, the district would have to keep supplementing operations. Kelly Stanford, director of support services, provided the board with numbers from other school districts. They show the district has been lower than the average for six surrounding school systems for elementary and middle schools.

Those districts also charge for breakfasts.

The board approved several staff changes, including hiring Bradd Stevens as treasurer through July 31, 2021.

Wyckoff told board and residents at the meeting the second phase of the bidding process for construction of two new buildings is continuing, with a second bid due July 27. There have been bid meetings for those interested in bidding on the site package.

The Environmental Protection Agency, water, septic and sewer permits have gone in. Plans will be discussed at a July 24 planning commission meeting in Bellville.

Wyckoff said for the groundbreaking for the schools is an “interesting thing.” She said it “keeps floating around.”

She said people think having a groundbreaking on a Sunday afternoon would be best, because it would make it possible for more people to attend.

Board member Amy Weekley said a Sunday event “would get more people” because some people work on Saturdays.

There is a core meeting on the school construction project Aug. 4, and the next school board meeting is Aug. 10.

Information about the project is available on the Clear Fork Valley School District website.

Wyckoff said she urges people to consult it so the “public can be aware.”