Some parental concerns about early buses and the breakfast program were the main topic of discussion at the October school board meeting held Monday, Oct. 15.
Glenn Poxleitner was present representing several parents who had concerns. Poxleitner said there were concerns about the nutritional value as they had heard of “powdered donuts” and “fruit loops” being part of the fare and that children were being forced to take something. He had concern about feeding his children breakfast and then having them eat again at school. Lynn Rehder, the district’s food service coordinator reported that nobody is forced to do anything. Children are urged to take at least two items when they do take something as the district gets federally reimbursed if at least two items are taken. If the child only wants one item they are asked to take two and put the second on a sharing table. She also said they are very concerned with the nutritional value as well. The donuts are a treat offered no more than once or twice a month and they have gone to whole wheat flour with nearly all baked items. She said “fruit loops” is more a euphemism to make it sound like something the children would want as it is a whole wheat cereal rather than the brand named cereal by that name. They use other euphemisms as well. Rehder offered to meet with any of the concerned parents and show them just what is offered and how it works.
The other concern expressed by Poxleitner was about the buses arriving so early. He said they used to pick up his children at 7:40 and it’s now about 7:20. And they get to school by 8 when class doesn’t start until 8:30. Dave Remacle reported a lot of that came about when they had to drop a bus route for lack of drivers and absorbed those riders into other routes. They also try to get the children to the Middle School by 8 as that’s when the breakfast program starts there.
Superintendent Gary Blaz offered to do an evaluation to see what could be done. He commented that “the needs of the many outweigh the needs of a few.”
Blaz and Rehder also offered to work up a list of the questions asked and provide answers for the Chronicle.
Mitchell Marx of Presnell & Gage presented the auditor’s report. He said he found nothing out of sorts in the district’s books. The auditor’s report was approved by vote of the board.
Bryan Higgins was approved for hire as the 8th grade boys basketball coach.
Blaz presented some of his thoughts on an early graduation policy to the board and asked for their input on anything else they would like to see in it.
In the administrative reports, high school principal Todd Shumway presented a list of the academic courses they plan to offer by next year that would also earn students college credit from the University of Idaho. They already have similar offerings in the vocational areas through LCSC.
He reported on several high school clubs. PAVE is painting the football bleachers for Homecoming and is looking for other service projects in the community. The Drug-Free Club had a movie night in Lewiston last month and is planning for Red Ribbon Week, which is next week. National Honor Society inducted 6 new members and they also are looking for service projects.
Rene’ Forsmann reported ISAT testing is finished. She also reported the 6th grade students attended the McCall Outdoor Science School (MOSS) and it went very well. Kelli Bruner, who attended as a chaperon, handed out an agenda of what was done and reported they are trying to go to a 5-day program as it just crams things together too much when they put it into 3 days. She said they feel the children would learn a lot more. The students who attended will report on what they learned to the County Commissioners, who have funded the program.
Forsmann reported the students recorded their radio spots for Red Ribbon Week at KORT last week.
She also reported they had an assembly on Oct. 3 of “Living Voices” which features actors portraying historical figures. This one was on the women’s suffrage movement. The Booster Club provided money as did Colleen Sonnen’s mother.
She reported the teacher in-service on aligning the curriculum to the state standards went well. She has had positive feedback from the teachers.
In his report Blaz offered kudos to Forsmann and Shumway for their efforts during the in-service.
He also reported the elementary students invited the volleyball and football players to lunch and that went very well.
He said he is looking into doing an all-school veterans assembly for Veterans Day which would likely be held at the Middle School. He said he’d like to see something special to honor the local armed service veterans.
The board adjourned to an executive session at 8:15 p.m.
The next regular meeting of the board will be Monday, November 19 at 7 p.m.