In July 21 Issue
The Russell County School Board met Tuesday evening at the Russell County Auditorium/Natatorium Complex and began tying up loose ends before the start of another school year, which begins August 10.
Due to rising food costs it has become necessary for the school board to increase the price of lunch this school year from $2 to $2.25. Breakfast prices will remain the same at $1.25 with adult pricing being ala carte only.
"I realize food costs increase and there is nothing we can do about that," board member Steve Kerr said as he motioned to raise the lunch price.
In two years, the minimum price for school lunch will be $2.47 statewide, according to Food Services Director Susan Melton.
In other happenings at the meeting:
• Board members heard the first reading of a revised corporal punishment policy after board members concluded over the summer that that the current policy needed updating. The revision limits the number of corporal punishment events and the number of "licks" for each event a child can receive.
Supt. Kenny Pickett said under the revised policy a student could have corporal punishment twice per school year with no more than three "licks" at each event.
"Once that second threshold has been met then the parents and school administrators need to come together and have a behavioral plan for that child and the schools will have to do whatever they deem necessary after that to correct it," Pickett said.
Kerr noted that this type of punishment is discretionary and is done according to age and various other things taken into consideration.
"We're not saying a preschooler, a kindergartner, first grader or second grader is going to automatically receive three licks," Kerr said. "It depends on the situation each and every time."
The school board will likely hear the second reading and vote at the August regular monthly meeting.
o The board is still in waiting mode to receive their 10,000 gallon diesel fuel tank and until the tank is received and installed the board voted to continue receiving fuel from Cumberland Lake Shell on as needed basis under emergency circumstances. When the tank is finally set in place, the board will then purchase diesel fuel needed for the school buses in trailer loads.
o In accordance with state laws, the Board adopted the revised 2011-12 Student Code of Acceptable Behavior and Attendance Policy. The code will be posted at each school, referenced in all school handbooks and provided to school employees, parents, legal guardians or other people with custodial control or supervision.
The code sets the standard of acceptable student behavior and discipline and includes districtwide standards of behavior for students who participate in extracurricular and cocurricular activities.
o The board accepted the bid of Somerset Food Service, Inc. to be the prime vendor for school food after they came in with a total bid of $1,357,498.73 for canned, frozen and dry food storage, meats and supplies and another $20,336 for dishwashing chemicals and service.
o The board accepted the bid of Southern Belle to be the prime vendor for all milk and dairy products. Southern Belle's escalation or de-escalation bid with equipment was $139,355.81, their escalation or de-escalation without equipment was $137,909.11, their firm bid with equipment was $142,527.84 and their firm bid with equipment was $141,078.14.
o The board accepted the bid of Earthgrains Baking Company Heiner's Bakery to be accepted as the prime bread vendor for the upcoming school year after their bid of $30,570.
o The board accepted the bid from Green River and Farmer's Produce to be accepted as the produce vendor with bids being awarded weekly based upon price, availability and quality of produce.
o The board granted Stacy Loy a professional leave of absence, without pay, effective August 5, 2011, for the duration of this school year.
o Supt. Pickett announced the hiring of Commander Jeffrie Richards with the Russell County High School's NJROTC as well as both Beth Sneed and Chelsea Boger being hired as English teachers at the local middle school.
Pickett also announced the retiring of Kenny Kimbler from Union Chapel Elementary. Also, with Loy's aforementioned leave of absence Pickett said Jeff McGaha would be at Union Chapel for half a day and Jamestown for half a day to still meet federal requirements for special education.