USD 410 Board considering outside food management

USD 410 may follow other school districts such as Marion-Florence, Centre and Canton-Galva by partnering with a food management company to contract its food service.

At the Dec. 11 regular meeting, the Board of Edu­ca­tion listened to a presentation by Steve Adams of Opaa! Food Management Inc., whose main office is in Chesterfield, Mo.

Adams said the company’s nutrition program emphasizes choice and home-style cooking with food prepped on site at the schools.

“The more choices there are, the greater the likelihood they are going to eat,” Adams said about the students’ typical responses.

Those choices, which meet USDA and KSDE guidelines, include a fresh fruit and vegetable bar, al la cart options and a variety of selections for lunches and breakfasts with menus rotated every six weeks, he said.

Parents can access menus plus nutritional analyses on mobile phone and computers, he added.

Adams said a completed feasibility study indicates that USD 410 could gain some budgetary savings by contracting with Opaa!

Based on a five-year contract, food costs are fixed and the district determines its meal prices, he said, adding that the board would decide whether food service employees continue with USD 410 or would be hired by Opaa!

Adams said the timeline for implementation could be as early as mid-February, depending on when the decision is made.

The board did not take action at this month’s meeting.

Evan Yoder, principal at Hillsboro Elementary School, and Clint Corby, principal at Hillsboro Middle/High School, gave their building reports.

Yoder told the board about taking fifth-graders and four teachers to participate the Kansas STARBASE program in Salina, which involves science, technology, engineering and math activities.

Corby informed the board about a proposed policy for the middle school that will limit students’ cell phone use and likely will be implemented for second semester.

“Students won’t necessarily love it out of the gate,” Corby said.

Three teachers—Emily Dalke, Collette Haslett and Carisa Funk—presented two computer/online learning programs,which reinforce Common Core standards, that are being piloted at HES.

Also, David Sheppard, director Marion County Special Education Coopera­tive, gave his annual report, noting that 115 students in USD 410 receive services for various types of exceptionalities.

“Our numbers are constantly changing,” Sheppard said.

Other business

In other business, the board:

• approved adding the social/emotional professional development in-service date of April 23 for all faculty and staff.

• approved classified hires of Daniel Pohlmann in maintenance at $14.50 per hour for a 40-hour week, Constantia “Connie” Gauthier as HMHS/HES custodian at $9 per hour for a 30-hour week, and Ashlee Gann as FACT director, beginning Jan. 3. FACT will reimburse her wages of $32.61 per hour for a 15-hour week.

• approved a supplemental contract for Seth Shields as HMS assistant wrestling coach.

• scheduled next month’s regular meeting for 7 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 18.

• heard a report from board president Mark Rooker about TEEN.

Board member Jim Paulus attended the meeting via conference call.

And board members Joe Sechrist and Kim Klein were absent from the meeting.