Wednesday, April 23, 2014
   
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School lunch prices to rise

Dist. 20 board approves increase.

Lunch for local high schoolers and junior highers will cost a nickel more when school begins again in August.

Parents or guardians of Dudley Elementary children will pay an extra 15 cents.

District 20 school members raised prices at a noon meeting Monday to bring more money into the program which operates at a loss each year.

Superintendent Dr. Mike Teahon said prices will also be more in line with what other Southwest Conference schools charge (see box, pg. A3).

Teahon noted that none of the SWC schools in the lunch price comparison offer more than two lunch entrees while Gothenburg offers eight different entrees daily.

The lunch program is supplemented by general, state and federal funds.

In other action, board members offered an interim, one-year contract to a Gothenburg High School graduate.

Nicole (Saum) Rubenthaler will teach a section of fourth grade previously taught by Claudine Kennicutt.

Kennicutt will take on new responsibilities as a reading intervention specialist grades K-12.

School officials said an external visitation team recommended that the district adopt a more research-based instructional model and the district has chosen to target reading.

“If kids can’t read, they don’t do well in any subject,” said data coordinator and junior high principal Ryan Groene.

Teahon described the new position as a shift since a special education teaching vacancy was not filled.

Rubenthaler received a bachelor of science degree in education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2011 and student taught at Dudley Elementary.

Teahon said the reading specialist position will be evaluated in a year.

The board also heard that asbestos was discovered in old tiles and glue when workers tore up the Community Building gymnasium floor for replacement.

School officials are waiting for an abatement permit from state officials so a company can remove the asbestos before replacement work continues.

Cost of the abatement is estimated at $25,000.

Maintenance director Jay Holmes said they hope the floor is finished by the beginning of August.

Other summer projects include the renovation of primary grade bathrooms, the installation of outside lighting on the Dudley Elementary building and better drainage in the shot put/discus area.

Because bids came in higher that expected to replace the north football bleachers, school officials are looking at portable bleachers that might be shared with the Legion baseball program.

New equipment for the south elementary playground has been moved to next year.

In other business, the board:

approved requests for Mackenzie Cole, a seventh grader from the Eustis-Farnam district, to option into the district, and for seventh grader Payton Buss and sixth grader Mariah Buss, to option into the Cozad school district.

considered changes in school handbooks, about cell phones and the length of the school day, that are expected to pass at the July 15 board meeting.

gave the go-ahead for extra-duty assignments for teachers and staff. Assignments will remain the same with the exception of the following positions: Michelle Stienike will be an assistant eighth-grade volleyball coach; Ann Foster will coach seventh grade volleyball and be assisted by Cindy Moore; Angie Richeson is an assistant girls basketball coach and Jonathon Meyer will take on duties as an assistant seventh-grade girls basketball coach.

A junior high assistant football coaching position remains open as well as an assistant varsity track coaching position.

learned that the board will begin looking at an update and revisions of internal board policies and bylaws as recommended by the Perry Law Firm of Lincoln.

were informed that the school’s preschool program, Jump Start, is July 8-Aug. 2. So far, 44 youngsters are registered.

were told that the district may join a new coalition called STANCE, made up of smaller schools that used to belong to a Greater Nebraska Schools Association organization formed to look at Tax Equity and Educational Opportunities Support Act (TEOSA) issues. TEOSA is the formula used to determine state aid.

heard a yearly report about TeamMates from former coordinator Lindsey Tederman. Tederman, who has grown the program from 15 to 40 student-adult matches in five years, left the program for a business venture.

The new coordinator is Amanda Rossell.

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