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April 18, 2011

District moves Annual Meeting to Aug. 15

The delay in passing the state budget already is having an impact on the Hamilton School District. School Board members decided to move the district’s Annual Meeting from June 20 until Aug. 15. School officials were concerned that without solid information about the state’s budget, they could not provide up-to-date and accurate district data to the community. They anticipate that the move to August will provide adequate time for the state budget situation to be resolved and local implications will be better known.

School lunch prices to increase 15 cents

School lunch prices will rise 15 cents next fall to offset increased expenses. Student lunches will be $2.25 at elementary schools and $2.65 at middle and high schools. Adult lunches will be $3.40. The cost for milk will remain at 30 cents for all students and staff.

In a memo to the School Board, Food Service Manager Judy Pinter reported that the district has experienced commodity cutbacks and increased costs for labor, equipment and food. In addition, new federal mandates require the district to increase unsubsidized lunches.

Pinter provided examples of food costs that increased from the fall of 2010 to January 2011. Among the list was a 142 percent increase in the price of fresh carrots – going from $21.76 to $52.74 for a 50-pound bag of the fresh vegetable.

“I think we all should have gone into the carrot business,” School Board President Gabe Kolesari said.

Other spikes in food costs include 60 percent increase for cocoa, 29 percent increase for fresh grapes and 17 percent increase for chocolate chips. Fuel prices influence the cost of food. School Board member Michael Hyland said he hopes the new lunch prices can be sustained and the board will not have to raise them again during the school year.

Technology upgrades to continue

District will begin the second phase of upgrades to the district’s physical network infrastructure. Last summer the upgrades began. The second phase will include completion of high school switching replacements and complete switch replacements at Templeton. The plan will include the purchase of hardware that will complete wireless access throughout the secondary schools and the addition of wireless access to elementary schools as needed.

Summer school registration a success

Superintendent Kathleen Cooke, Ph.D., reported to the School Board that online Summer Opportunities registration worked well this year. Registration opened April 13 at 6 p.m., and within the first hour more than 1,000 students were registered for their summer school classes. Registration currently stands at 1,500 students for the popular program that runs from June 20 to July 15.

Two School Board members take oath

School Board members James Long and Michael Hyland took their oaths of office following their unopposed re-election in the Spring Election. Long was re-elected to the Lannon seat on the board, and Hyland was re-elected to the at-large seat. Both will serve additional three-year terms.

Personnel business

In personnel business, the School Board:

  • accepted the retirement request of Lannon fourth grade teacher Nancy Collopy, effective at the end of the school year; and
  • approved the leave of absence request for Templeton Middle School eighth grade teacher Angela Weber for 2011-12 school year.