2013-07-18 / Front Page

Lunch prices set to rise

MAS board approves rate, hears test scores

MANISTIQUE – School lunch prices will increase by 25 cents this year, following changes to a reporting system to the state. The increase was approved during Monday’s meeting of the Manistique Board of Education.

According to Administrative Assistant Donna Winkel, the increase is the result of a new worksheet the district must fill out to determine the cost for its lunches. The worksheet takes into consideration school lunch participation and the fees, revenues and expenditures of the district on its lunch program.

“This is the most involved the state’s ever gotten with our lunch prices,” she said. “They’ve come up with this formula that pretty much tells us … what we have to charge for our lunches.”

Last year, the district was required to make changes to its lunch offerings – making lunches healthier for students. Superintendent Kathy McDonough explained this change to the menu resulted in a cost increase for the district of 11 cents per meal; however, the state only reimbursed the school for 6 cents per meal.

The new lunch prices will be $2.50 at Emerald Elementary and $2.75 at the middle/high school – meeting the state required average of $2.66 per meal.

“We still are low compared to the area,” she said.

The last lunch price increase was in July 2010 – also for 25 cents across the board.

In other business, the board heard an update from middle/high school Principal John Shiner about the school’s test scores. He noted the school had received its scores from the entire testing cycle with the state of Michigan, including the Michigan Merit Exam and the ACTs.

“While I’m not satisfied with where we’re at … I am very, very pleased that we showed significant improvement across the board,” Shiner said. “It’s truly a testament to the teachers in this district and the amount of effort they show.”

He explained the seventh grade had improved their test scores significantly, while the 11th grade MME results showed improvement of four of five areas. Middle school science and 11th grade social studies are two areas still needing improvement, Shiner added.

As for the ACT scores, he explained in 2012, the average ACT composite score was 19.3. This year, that score moved up to 20.01.

“That’s pretty significant,” he said.

Shiner also explained he had recently received a letter from the Michigan Department of Education noting that the school may become a “focus school”.

“A focus school is a school that is showing that it needs to work on the kids that are lower achieving,” he said. “I don’t know whether or not it’s going to happen.”

He said while college-bound students are showing improvements, especially in light of the ACT score jump, other children are not fairing as well. However, he noted the school is taking steps to improve this – including the creation of school and district improvement plans, continued use of the Multi- Tiered System of Support (pulling children out of the classroom for intervention sessions), and the purchase of iPads to be used with the students with “math deficits”.

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