Monday, July 28, 2014
   
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School lunch prices inch up 10¢; staff, administrators get raise

Campus greenhouse slated for erection this summer

Lunch prices for students will go up next school year with no change for adults who have a meal.

At a noon meeting Monday, District 20 school board members raised prices 10 cents for high school, junior high and elementary students and 15 cents for those who eat breakfast (see box).

Dr. Mike Teahon, superintendent, said the increase was necessary because of federal lunch program guidelines.

“It requires that districts eventually raise the price of their meals to a number equivalent to a reimbursable meal in the National School Lunch Program,” Teahon said, noting that the increase will also help bridge a shortfall this past year.

Even with the increase, he noted that the district’s meal prices are still lower in all categories than the average of what Southwest Conference schools charged last year.

Teahon pointed out that none of the SWC schools offer more than two entree choices for lunch while Gothenburg offers eight different entrees daily.

Last June, lunch prices for high schoolers and junior highers went up a nickel and 15 cents for elementary students.

District officials are moving ahead with construction of a greenhouse with the purchase of a $30,000 structure from Valley Ag Products of Gothenburg.

The board approved the purchase which is contingent upon the approval of building permits by the city and the selection of firms for design, site preparation, relocation and installation.

The 84x30-foot greenhouse will be located in the green space between the performing arts center and Community Building.

Paulsen Inc. of Cozad was hired to do site prep work with a cost yet to be determined for each of three phases of the project. Installation will be this summer and fall.

Teahon said officials hope to have the greenhouse operational by second semester, noting that the facility will be used by all grades as well as by the FFA organization that now uses an off-site greenhouse.

He added that a greenhouse has been part of the district’s long-term capital improvement plan for nine years.

School administrators will receive a 3.45% increase in salary and benefits and non-certificated staff a 4.02% raise.

The raise, for 2014-15, compares to a 2.41% increase for administrators last year and 3.09% for non-certificated staff which are school employees without teaching certificates.

A Gothenburg native will join the district teaching staff with approval of a contract for Kaitlyn Clark.

Clark, a Nebraska Wesleyan University graduate, will teach junior high English and history.

She taught history at Lexington High School for three years and also coached the school’s speech team.

During the meeting, board members entered into a 52-minute closed session to discuss teacher negotiations, real estate and personnel issues but took no action upon reconvening.

In other business, the board:

gave the go-ahead for extra-duty assignments for teachers and staff. Assignments will remain the same with the exception of the following positions: Cindy Moore will be an assistant eighth-grade volleyball coach; Kris Epke will coach seventh-grade volleyballers; Angie Richeson is the head eighth-grade girls basketball coach and Bryan Mahlberg is both the head girls seventh-grade basketball and boys eighth-grade basketball coach; Jonathon Meyer is the assistant varsity girls basketball coach and Wade Houchin will coach ninth-grade girls basketball. Dan Scherer will be the head boys golf coach with assistance by Don Graham; Mahlberg is an assistant varsity track and field coach and Claudine Kennicutt and Cindy Moore are co-coaches of Quiz Bowl.

introduced policies for revisions or updates concerning internal board policies, tobacco, student discipline, bidding construction projects, attendance and absenteeism, pupil transportation and concussions.

New policies include high school credit for middle school courses and student participation in athletic contests between schools (junior high activities eligibility). All policies will be up for adoption at a later board meeting.

approved an option enrollment request from Landon Diltz, a second grader from Eustis-Farnam.

learned that a second session of summer school and Jump Start (the district’s preschool program) is scheduled from July 14 to Aug. 1. The first session of summer school ends June 27.

heard that the Nebraska Department of Education has approved the district’s peer review rubric or statement of purpose for Title I.

were informed that NeSA reading, math and science scores will be released in August and that administrators and staff are working on guidelines for Chromebooks for students. All high school students will receive laptop computers for the school year when classes begin.

settled on a date for a summer board retreat which will be June 21 at Camp Comeca.

were told that Teahon has been elected chair of the Nebraska Council of School Administrators.

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