MV board: Don’t yank trays

BY STACI WILSON

Although the Mountain View cafeteria program is expecting to take a financial loss this year, school board members said they want the students to receive a lunch.

A parent told the board that an elementary student’s hot lunch had been thrown away at the cash out line after staff determined the child’s lunch account lacked sufficient funds to pay for the meal.

Board President Thomas Stoddard said the practice was an administrative issue, and said the cafeteria accounts should be tracked and parents notified with a phone call of delinquent balances. “But you don’t yank a lunch away,” he said.

Board member Sondra Stein agreed that the lunches should not be taken out of their hands and thrown away. “I don’t want that to happen to anyone in the district,” she said.

Business Administrator Joseph Patchcoski said that even with a large deficit in the nutrition department, the district policy is that everyone is fed.

Board member Roy Twining said the staff had been told not to throw out the lunches before. “It stopped for awhile, but has started again,” he offered. “That’s degrading.”

Board member Ellen Aherne agreed, “It’s an embarrassment and a waste.”
Elementary principal Christine Kelly suggested the district’s phone notification system be utilize to contact parents of students with low or deficit cafeteria balances.

Free and reduced lunch information could also be supplied to the parents, as needed.

Stoddard said that in the short term “stop taking food” and he said the phone notification system should be used as the long-term solution to prevent deficit cafeteria balances.

Another parent said her daughter had not been put on the bus by the school for the second time this year.

After detailing the situation, Kelly said that procedures have been implemented to keep that from happening again.

The board backed a plan presented by High School Principal Rob Presley to revive the district’s summer school program.

Presley presented his proposal at the April 14 board meeting, and offered up more information Monday night.

Presley said that a preliminary overview has determined that over 40 students in grades 7 through 12 may qualify for the summer session.
“That number could increase or decrease,” Presley said.

He also told the board that three teachers have expressed interest to be summer school instructors. Presley said that although the English, history and math instruction could be covered by the interested teachers, no science certified teacher has expressed interest.

Board members told Presley to offer the position to regular substitutes in the district that hold certifications in science.

Students in grades 7 and 8 may be recommended to participate in the optional summer program, “Strategies for Success.”

“It’s definitely needed,” board member Ellen Aherne said.

The summer school will be held July 7 – 25 in the high school, at a cost of $90 per course, plus a $20 refundable deposit.

The board also said that they would open the summer school program to students from other districts. Presley will contact the other area schools.

The board reviewed budget presentations from the IT department; elementary school; athletics; and the superintendent’s office.

  • Becky Lawson

    Send a note home with the student to the parent(s) that the account is low and they owe for 1 meal. Don’t embarrass the child by taking the meal away. Not only is it humiliating, the child was probably teased and/or bullied over it.