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DB district implements new food service plan

Effects students with negative account balances


COAL GROVE — Starting in the fall, students who have outstanding food service accounts will have to pay up before they can get a hot meal.

At Monday’s Dawson-Bryant Board of Education meeting, the board approved a new practice for students who owe the district.

Instead of continually being able to charge lunches on their accounts, students who have a negative balance will only be served a cheese sandwich, a fruit and vegetable and a carton of milk.

Food service director for the district, Sharon Brammer, said the meal is still recognized by the USDA as a full meal with all food groups included.

The cost for the reduced meal will be $1, opposed to the $2.75 regular lunch cost for the middle/high school and $2 for the elementary school.

Superintendent Dennis DeCamp said more than $25,000 is owed in negative balance food service accounts.

Brammer said the district makes every effort to notify parents of the negative balances.

Calls go out every Wednesday for negative balances of $3 or more and paper statements are sent once a month.

“I’ve been here 13 or 14 years,” Brammer said, “and (the negative balance) has always been around $10,000. For the last five or six years it has steadily increased.”

Free and reduced-priced meals are available, but Brammer said parents will not fill out the paperwork.

“It’s completely confidential,” Brammer said.

Brammer said parents can contact her for the paperwork and she can mail it to them. The forms are also available in the school buildings or they can be sent home with the child.

As for paying up account balances, Brammer said she would work to make comfortable payment plans for parents.

“I’ll work with anyone who contacts me,” she sad. “I don’t want to take away from their needs at home.”

In other business:

• DeCamp told the board summer school will no longer be offered due to lack of interest and the expense. The district will continue to offer summer Third Grade Guarantee classes in the summer and high school OGT prep classes.

• The board approved two supplemental positions for the golf team.

• DeCamp informed the board that there will be a playground renovation pre-bid meeting at 9:30 a.m. Thursday.

• The board approved DeCamp’s proposal to have a positive public relations video made for the district.

DeCamp said the video would cost between $5,000 and $6,000 and will be used as a promotional tool. He said the cost of the video would be paid out of money set aside in a family and community fund.

• The board approved the most recent amended certificate revision, appropriations amendments and monthly financials.

• The board approved 2012-2013 membership of the Ohio High School Athletic Administration.

• The board approved a contract with the Lawrence County Board of Developmental Disabilities.

• The board entered into executive session for the purpose of discussing personnel contracts and staffing request and the impact they may have on the collective bargaining negotiations, upcoming DBEA negotiations, letter to personnel, discussion of personal development personnel, draft of supplemental personnel for the 2012-2013 school year, employment of substitute bus driver and employment of transporter and personnel.

After the executive session, the board approved a position to assist with professional development, employed a substitute bus driver, employed two instructional aides for the elementary school and employed a transporter for special needs students.

The next meeting of the school board will be 4 p.m. May 21 at the board office.