Meal prices for Sedalia school district students will increase by about 10 percent across the board next year.
The Sedalia School District 200 Board of Education unanimously approved the price hike during Monday night’s meeting at Washington Elementary School.
Assistant Superintendent Brad Pollitt said that while food and fuel costs have stabilized somewhat, they are still rising, pushing the district to raise prices.
“We’re projecting a $33,000 to $35,000 loss by the end of this school year” in food services, Pollitt said. The district increased prices by 5 cents for breakfast and a dime for lunch going into the current school year, “but we’re still running in the red with that raise. It’s getting harder and harder to keep up.”
With the increases, student breakfast costs will go from 80 cents to 90 cents, elementary school lunches from $1.50 to $1.65, and junior high and high school lunches from $1.60 to $1.75.
Adult breakfast and lunch prices also will increase, by 10 and 15 cents, respectively, to $1.10 and $2.25.
Pollitt said that while the district requested about a 10 percent increase, costs have gone up more than 10 percent.
“Anyone who goes into a grocery store can tell you what is driving this,” he said.
Food services encountered a $83,000 loss last year, due in part to unexpected equipment repair and replacement issues.
“It’s no one’s fault,” Pollitt said.
Also Monday, the board approved former vocal music teacher Sandy Cordes and the late Mayor Bob Wasson as the inaugural inductees into the Smith-Cotton activities hall of fame.
Cordes, who taught vocal music at Smith-Cotton High School for 14 years, remains active as director of the Sedalia Chorale and the annual performance of Handel’s “Messiah.” Wasson was honored for his across-the-board support for S-C activities.
Cordes and Wasson will be inducted during a 2013 spring vocal or instrumental music concert.
The board also approved the five-year maintenance plan, which includes asphalt work at various schools, adding security cameras in stairwells at the high school and the rewiring project at the junior high.
Pollitt said the rewiring project is under way and projected to be 70 percent complete by the time school starts in the fall.
“Right now, everything is on schedule,” he said.
Board member David Wolf asked if there is any way to increase the amount of parking available in front of Sedalia Middle School. Pollitt said the only way to accomplish that would be to reduce or eliminate the green space in front of the building.
Pollitt also noted how middle school administrators are managing the issue; one example is having two concerts on the same night, allowing some parents to attend the early show and others to come to the later performance.
Pollitt took a moment to laud district Maintenance Director Richie Simons, who worked with him on the five-year plan. Pollitt said Simons does a “wonderful job” and keeps cost containment at the forefront of his decisions.
“You couldn’t find a better employee,” Pollitt said.
Also Monday, the board:
• Approved an extension of the technology support contract with Midwest Computech. District technology coordinator Jim Allain is retiring, but will continue to serve the district as an employee for Midwest Computech under the agreement.
• Approved a grant application for Project Search. If the district wins the $60,000 grant, it would adopt programming to help improve work skills for students age 18 to 21 who do not qualify for employment at Ewing Vocational Center but “need help transferring into the community,” said Assistant Superintendent Nancy Scott.
• On the consent agenda, approved bids for light bulbs, filters, paper, custodial supplies, bakery and dairy products and asphalt work for the staff parking lot at Heber Hunt Elementary School. Other consent items included renewal of student accident insurance and a grant to provide services for homeless students.