Price increase for DISD student meals in 2017-18

Parents of school-age kids in Devine ISD will need to plan to pay a little more for school meals this next school year. At their April 17th regular meeting, DISD Board of Trustees approved a $.10 price increase for paid student breakfasts and lunches at all campuses for the 2017-18 school year. The current costs of meals are: paid breakfast $1.60, reduced breakfast $.30, paid lunch $2.70, and reduced lunch $.40. The price of reduced meals will remain the same and is set by the US Dept. of Agriculture (USDA). The USDA also requires this price increase as established in their meal pricing equity regulation. The last increase was two years ago. The free breakfast in the classroom for grades Kinder-2nd will continue also.
This summer, when driving by the high school, you will notice lots of construction going on along the science wall facing Hwy 173. This activity will be the repair of wide-spread water and dampness damage that was found when doing a mold remediation project last summer in a science classroom. This part of the building was built in 1989 and over the years there has been water damage to the gypsum board and water barriers behind the brick. The DISD Board approved a bid from R.L Rohde, General Contracting Inc. in the amount of $395,100 for repairing the entire wall and improving the gutter and drainage issues. Work begins June 2 and is planned to be completed prior to the start of the new school year.
Superintendent Scott Sostarich presented a Certificate of Recognition from the Child Nutrition Administration Review to the DISD Child Nutrition staff for their Perfect Review score, with zero findings in their audit. He also read a letter from the Texas Department of Agriculture Commissioner, Sid Miller, congratulating them on this honor. The DISD Director of Dining Services/District Chef Southwest Foodservice Excellence, Maisie Goodman, accepted this award and spoke highly of her staff and their hard work and dedication in making this possible. It was also stated that very few school nutrition programs receive this high rating.
Ms. Goodman also gave a report about the DISD Child Nutrition programs and activities during the school year. This year 1128 students are eating school lunches daily, which is a higher than expected participation rate. Her powerpoint presentation included pictures and information about some of their activities at various campuses this year. These included: a Farmer’s Market to encourage kids to sample new fruits and vegetables that are available at local grocery stores; the Roving Chef’s program where kids get to tour campus kitchen facilities and actually prepare food that is served to students; Cookouts at the Intermediate and Elementary campuses; and an upcoming Mother’s Day luncheon. The Free Summer Meals program will be held from June 2-30, 2017 at the Intermediate School cafeteria. These dates will coincide with Summer School, but is open to other students as well. Ms. Goodman stated that this program is required, but Devine has very little participation of students outside of the summer school students. Board member, Nancy Pepper said that maybe that is a good sign that the children are getting meals at home and are not in need of this.
The Intermediate School campus report was given by Principal Blain Martin who told about the awesome year they are having at DISD this year with a “Happy” theme for the year and Disney theme for STAAR. They have also focused this year on writing initiatives and have added a structured recess to their schedule. This recess was added as a result of observing children having trouble working together and solving differences on their own. This extra recess time has the kids in groups, with them being given the opportunity to learn to play a game with different people and solve their own issues as they arise. These groups are monitored by teachers who will step in as needed. Mr. Martin said that it is a ‘work in progress’! (With so much technology and tightly-directed activities dominating our children’s attention these days, the skills kids learn while “playing together on the playground” may be lost as a result. It is good to see that the staff noticed this need and is working on ways to address it. – NS) A video presentation, prepared by DISD teacher Melody Riou, displayed pictures of various activities at DISD this year: Veteran’s Day program, Thanksgiving Feast, Read Across America, field trips to WOAI & the Institute of Texas Cultures, District UIL Championship, and many more.
The meeting continued with the monthly business of campus, business, and regular reports with action taken on several other items. The Athletic Boosters requested a $2000 increase in the amount of scholarship money they are allowed to give each year from their funds. Booster representative, Kim Aaron, explained that this increase was requested because of the large number of applicants this year (18) and they needed to be allowed to use extra funds in order to give each one a scholarship. The Board approved this increase, which will mean that the Athletic Boosters may use a total of $4000 of their own funds for these scholarships. The Board also approved the continuation of the contract with Southwest Foods of Excellence and Ms. Goodman discussed the upcoming summer improvements of the purchase of four new convection ovens, movement of a larger burner stove from DMS to DSAC, etc.
Also approved was the agreement with the TASB Energy Cooperative for procurement of Unleaded and Ultra Low Sulfer Diesel fuel through the Fuel Program Purchase Agreement. The current agreement expires on April 30th. This use of a cooperative for fuel procurement helps get better fuel prices and saves on administrative costs for the district.
Director of Student Services, Dawn Schneider, presented the proposed changes to the required local school wellness policy. Under federal law, each district that participates in the National School Lunch Program and/or the School Breakfast Program must adopt a wellness policy. This includes many aspects, including nutrition education, physical activity goals, food standards, to name a few. The Board approved the changes to this policy.
The Board went into Closed Session at 7:51pm and reconvened for action to accept the Superintendent’s recommendations of contracts to principal recommended professional and administrative staff. All were approved.
All DISD Trustees were in attendance: Wayde Anderson, Nancy Pepper, Wes Herring, Henry Moreno, Robert Morales, Gina Champion, and Carl Brown. Board VP, Nancy Pepper, called the meeting to order and led the Pledge of Allegiance and Invocation. The next DISD School Board meeting, on Monday, May 15, 2017, will begin with a public Budget Workshop at 5:30 pm at the DISD Administration Office, then moving to the Devine Student Activity Center at 6:30 pm for student recognitions, followed by the rest of the regular meeting at the Devine ISD Administration Office at 605 W. Hondo Ave, Devine, Texas.
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