School board to look at raising meal prices
SALISBURY — The Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education will consider raising school meal prices by 10 cents at Monday’s meeting.
The school board will meet Monday at 5 p.m. at 110 S. Long St. in East Spencer.
Child Nutrition Director Libby Post recommends an increase in the elementary school meal cost from $2 to $2.10, and in the middle and high school meal cost from $2.15 to $2.25.
This is on top of a 15-cent increase approved last year.
In 2011-12, elementary school students paid $1.85 per meal, and middle and high school students paid $2.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) requires an annual review of meal prices as part of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, using a paid lunch equity tool provided by the USDA.
If a school system’s average paid meal price is less than the difference between the federal reimbursements for paid meals and for free or reduced meals, it must gradually increase its prices over time until it meets the required amount (currently $2.59). A school system also can choose to cover the difference with non-federal funds.
This provision of the law keeps schools from using free or reduced meal subsidies, which are meant to help feed children from low-income families, to lower the cost of meals for students paying full price.
According to statistics Post provided to the board, participation in the free and reduced meal program has increased system-wide, from 52.4 percent in 2008 to 62.1 percent in 2012. According to the school system’s website, students who qualify for reduced prices pay 40 cents per meal.
Lunch participation has decreased slightly over the past five years, from 77.6 percent in 2008 to 75.4 percent in 2012.
At the same time, breakfast participation has risen from 29.4 percent in 2008 to 35.3 percent in 2012. Most of that growth took place at the elementary school level, and middle school participation actually went down slightly.
Also at Monday’s meeting, the school board plans to:
• Consider expanding the Overton Elementary Mini-Funk Band to all interested elementary students throughout the school system. Anthony Johnson, Technology Facilitator with Overton Elementary, is seeking approval for the all-district band.
• Consider implementing a new academy at South Rowan High School. Principal Dr. Don Knox will review details of the new academy he is submitting to the board for consideration.
• Consider a final draft of the 2013-14 10-month calendar.
• Discuss amendments to Board of Education Policy and Regulation 8-23, Prohibition Against Discrimination, Harassment and Bullying, and 6-7, Interscholastic Athletics. Currently, the policies prohibit “unlawful discrimination, harassment or bullying.” The new changes would remove the word “unlawful.”
• Hear a first reading of Board of Education Policy 8-34, Appropriate Student Attire. This policy is being put in place to coincide with the Student Code of Conduct rule that applies to appropriate student attire.
• Discuss revisions made to the Student Code of Conduct for 2013-14.
• Consider applications submitted for consideration of the Rowan-Cabarrus Community College Board of Trustees appointment to fill the remaining term of Susan Kluttz.
• Consider a request from South Rowan High School for a field trip to London, Paris and Madrid. The world languages students would leave on June 23, 2014, and return on July 1, 2014.
• Discuss a future audit bid process using information presented by Chief Financial Officer Tara Trexler. At the March 25 board meeting, a contract for the 2012-13 audit was awarded, but members of the board were interested in considering a process for requesting bids for the annual audit.
• Receive a summary of the recent National School Board Association Conference trip in San Diego from board members L.A. Overcash and Kay Wright Norman.
• Meet in closed session to approve closed session minutes and discuss a personnel matter.
Contact reporter Karissa Minn at 704-797-4222.