By Kim Thompson
Meeting in regular session on Wednesday, New Franklin School Board members voted to increase lunch prices by 10 cents. They approved the special education plan to be submitted to the Missouri Department of Secondary and Elementary Education (DESE).
The New Franklin School Board members voted to raise lunch rates by 10 cents, $1.65 to $1.75, beginning the next school year.
Reasons for the increase are because of anticipated rises in meat prices, increased costs of implementing federal food guidelines and reduced revenue for the food service department from USDA. The vote to increase the meal prices was not unanimous: Jason Jennings, Ken Hendrix, Jeff Chitwood, Darren Harris and John Bailey voted for the increase. Travis Hundley voted against. He said the food service program was currently operating in the black and a lot of food was thrown away by the students. “I hate to charge more when they’re throwing a lot of it away anyway.”
Before approving the special education plan to be submitted to DESE, Special Education Director Mary Mackey reported on the number of students served in the district’s special education program during 2013-14 and anticipated the number of students for the 2014-15 school year.
During the 2013-14 school year, the special education department served 54 students out of 474 (11 percent) in the district. Eleven percent is lower than the state average.
Mackey related positive comments from parents about the progress their children are making in reading. Mackey attributes the student skills to teachers’ commitment to excellent instruction to all students, including those served in the special education program.
Mackey reported that the district special education program has been accepted into the BEAT (Building Effective Autism Teams) program sponsored through DESE. This program provides training free of cost from Julie Donnelly, Ph.D., who has a tremendous amount of expertise on autism. Donnelly, professor at the University of Missouri-Columbia and consultant about autism education, praised the New Franklin School District special education program that serves students with autism.
Middle and high school principal Benji Dorson recognized the following groups and individuals for outstanding performances:
- Sonny Martin, Adam Harris, Breann Friedrich and Trevor Hook, all members of the High School Scholar Bowl team, finished 4th place in the state.
- Track coaches Adam Quest, Erika Soder, Heather Beach led athletes to the Sectional Track meet held at Central Methodist University.
- Baseball coaches Erich Gerding and Jim Triebsch have “done a great job with the baseball team.”
In other business, board members:
- With minor revisions, approved the 2014-15 student handbooks.
- Noted that all of the district’s teachers are certified “highly qualified” as per state guidelines. Criteria for a “highly qualified teacher” (HQT) varies from subject to subject, but generally, to receive HQT status, a teacher must be fully certified to teach in all areas he or she teaches.
- Accepted a bid for $18,950 from David and Marilyn Gerling for the double-wide mobile home on property recently purchased by the district.