School board discusses school meal portions

Posted October 16, 2012 at 4:33 pm

The Miller School Board met Monday, Oct. 8 for its regular monthly meeting.

New faculty member, Desiree Yeigh, was introduced to the board. She teaches grades five-12 music and instrumental music.

Elementary principal Tammy Caffee reported on the Books, Bags & Beanies Bingo held October 4, and that about 150 adults and kids were in attendance. She attended iPad training, and was impressed with the applications available for educational purposes. Board members agreed that iPads could replace many computer uses.

She will also be attending training on Common Core Standards.

Secondary principal Steve Schumacher reported he has pursued the PA system problems. Twenty-three rooms in the junior-senior high school have speakers, but only seven work as they should. He had checked with Venture Communications about replacing the system. The board told him to continue on the project, and suggested he get a quote from at least one more provider.

Schumacher said the student council is presently sponsoring a pumpkin decorating contest, and the decorated pumpkins will be taken to the nursing home. The council will also decorate a tree for Christmas at the Capitol in Pierre.

He noted that Miller native and author Doyce Testerman would meet with classes Friday, Oct. 12. A “Student Spotlight” is being implemented to recognize students.

Superintendent Mike Ruth touched on several items.

Ruth said the lunch program is in “bump” mode, because two additional full-time workers are needed. Presently, two full-time workers and a CBM coordinator have been providing and serving the meals.

Ruth said portion size seems to be the main problem, rather than quality of the food, which he deemed excellent. The smaller portion size is required by federal mandate, Ruth said, if schools wish to continue receiving federal funding. Business manager Lisa Werdel said the school district receives about $7,000 per month from the federal program.

Principal Caffee asked if personnel from CBM Managed Services could be brought in as lunch workers until two permanent workers could be hired.

It was also noted that more students are relying on vending machine food, because the portion sizes aren’t satisfactory.

Ruth suggested forming a board committee regarding the lunch program; Cindy Rombough, Natalie Bertsch and Mike Runge volunteered.

Ruth reported the Armory closing ceremony would be held at noon October 14, and noted October is Principal’s Month.

Ruth mentioned a law passed in last year’s legislature regarding a school accountability system regarding testing and standards. He said ranking of schools and/or districts will be released in mid-October.

Board member Kurt Pfeifle reported the elementary building project is coming along well, and steel walls for the building itself should be up within the week.

Discussion was held about school insurance, and the board’s insurance committee recommended continuing with the Hand County Insurance Agency.

Also discussed was the “Olympic Challenge” instituted by the Miller Area Health Board. Superintendent Ruth reported 230 individuals have signed up for the challenge, with includes exercise and healthy practices. A school board team for the challenge will be headed by board member Connie Schroeder.

Under action items, the board voted to waive fees for Armory use for the Post Prom Committee, for a tailgate supper fundraiser on October 12, and for a craft show fundraiser on November 25.

Five open enrollment applications were approved.

Approval was given for registration for attorney Rodney Freeman to attend the 2012 Education Law Association meeting, and to approve the school insurance agreement with Hand Count Insurance Agency, for a total premium of $67,376.

Payment application #5 was approved totaling $359,002.73 for work on the elementary school project, with payment to First Dakota Enterprises, Inc. (2); Wells Concrete Products Co.; S & S Masonry, Inc.; Smith Plumbing, Inc.; Custom Sheet Metal, Inc.; and Engelstad Electric Co

Following an executive session, the board voted to approve an amended work agreement/contract for Carrie Schumacher, to add K-4 computer instructor, for $9,150.

More discussion was held regarding computers and iPods, but no action was taken.

The next regular board meeting date is Monday, Nov. 12 at 6 p.m.