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After 12 year decline, enrollment up at USD 355
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ELLINWOOD — Superintendent Ben Jacobs has reported that enrollment is up for the first time since 1999 in the Ellinwood School District at the school board’s regular Monday meeting.
“It’s an exciting time after a decade of decrease,” he said. Jacobs said that it is unbelievable what it adds to programs.
Food Director Susie Batchman was present to explain the new food plan. The new federal regulations have required some changes.
She said the biggest changes are in the amount of bread and desserts. Bread portions are smaller, and second servings of protein are not allowed. In addition, there are more fruits and vegetables. They will also be serving a wider variety of fruits and vegetables.
There are also fewer desserts or no desserts.
Batchman said that next year, there will be changes in breakfast.
In other business, several private individuals have been raising money for a scoreboard for the football field, but haven’t reached their goal. The old board is from 1987 and does need to be replaced. In addition, the sound system needs replaced as well. The district will look into what they can do.
Kip Wilson reported that he has met with CPL league, and that they are beginning transition activities with the new league. The board received a report from Adams Brown Beran and Ball. They had a number of recommendations which include: the person that makes the deposit shouldn’t be the person who receives the money, double check that special employee requests for withholding were properly set up and cancel the invoice instead of the purchase order when receiving payment.
Also, they said the district had too many credit cards, and that they should use pre-numbered receipt books. The board passed the report and Jacobs said they would work to implement the changes. some of the issues were due to employee changeover.
In final business, the board:
•And superintendent expressed concerns about the upcoming state tax cuts that could results in cuts for schools.
•Will hold a strategic planning special board meeting at 6 p.m. next Monday at the School Community Library.
•The FBLA club received approval to attend the Fall Leadership Conference in Denver. Nine students  will attend. They raised funds for the project.
•Has decided to hold only one athletic banquet per year instead of three. This year will be a trial to determine if that will work.
•Heard the school is looking for a candy stripe program at  Woodhaven.
•Heard that members up for re-election are Janice Birzer, Steve Billinger, and Richard Doll in April.
•Heard Ellinwood Grade School Principal Eric Sjogren reported that students have improved in phonics over last year through MTSS and PTR