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USD 431 prepares for end of year
new vlc Hoisington student governor scholar web
Hoisington High School senior Emily Hammond was awarded the Governors Scholar award om Topeka on Sunday. She was accompanied by her father and HHS Principal Joel Mason. - photo by COURTESY PHOTO

Other items of discussion included:
* the first Lincoln Elementary School construction meeting will be this morning, Wednesday, May 4.
* Athletic Director Matthew Shultz gave a report on the Kansas State High School Activities Association confernce last month. There, it was agreed that Division 3A would split. He also reported on band and vocals students who received high standings at local competitions.
Shultz also reported Forensics team member Jonathan Ball placed 6th in the State Forensics competition in humorous solo acting.
* Mason reported senior Emily Hammond receved a Governor’s Scholar award.
* Lowry provided an overview of Grant Bank Applications from the district.

With the end of the school year just a couple weeks away, the USD 431 Board of Education met Monday night with only a few items of business to consider. Board members also heard about end of the year preparations around the district.
This week is teacher appreciation week, and USD 431 Superintendent Bill Lowry announced each teacher in the district will receive $10 in Chamber of Commerce Cash.
“We want to thank them for all the hard work that they do throughout the year,” he said.
Elementary Principal Alan Charles said the Parent-Teacher organization surprised elementary school teachers and staff with May baskets. Members delivered the baskets to desks on Sunday, so teachers had something special waiting when they arrived Monday morning.
Several field trips are planned for elementary school students in the next couple of weeks. While kindergartners and second graders will be staying in town, the other grades will be traveling out of town for fun and educational field trips.

Middle School Principal Pat Reinhardt was not at the meeting Monday night, but was contacted by the Great Bend Tribune on Tuesday. The middle school is celebrating all week with small gifts and food, she said.
The GBMS Student Council, KAY club and several parents, office staff and administration are helping each day.

Hoisington High School Principal Joel Mason reported the Hoisington High School booster club is sponsoring a lunch for teachers and staff from Mi Tierra. Seniors will be taking final exams Tuesday, and Wednesday will be their final day of classes. Graduation ceremony practice will be on Friday morning, followed by the traditional Walk of Pride through the lower grades, and a stop at Cerv’s, where a patron of the district plans to treat seniors to a slushie drink. From there, seniors will walk through the Main Street business district back to the activity center where they will enjoy a barbecue lunch from Lorenzo’s Barbecue.
Graduation will be on Sunday afternoon, and honorary graduate Art Gruber has confirmed he expects to be in attendance to receive his diploma with the Class of 2016.

Price increase for school lunch
The USDA two years ago required districts taking part in the free and reduced lunch program to gradually increase the charge for regularly priced meals up to the a federally recommended level  

“We were two cents short for next year without the increase for this year,” Lowry said. “We should be right on target for next year.”
The board approved a lunch increase of five cents for grades pre-K through two, and 10 cents for grades three through 12. An increase of five cents across the board for breakfast was also approved.

With pricing settled, the board also approved extending the district’s food service management contract with OPAA! for another year at Lowry’s recommendation. So far, outsourcing school breakfasts and lunches have paid off for the district as anticipated, with a savings of nearly $100,000 over the course of a year.

For the time being food service workers will continue to be employees of the district, Lowry said Board President Dean Stoskopf inquired, due to the previously approved contract that will not be up for renegotiation for a few more years. This, he said, is beneficial to the current employees because they continue to be covered by KPERS and the district’s health insurance.

Another item of business was a report on the district’s health insurance. A brief discussion concerning the district’s grandfathered plan culminated with the board deciding to take no action and continue with the same plan. Though pharmaceutical costs have increased 11 percent in the past year, and health costs five percent, Lowry recommended the district continue with the grandfathered plan as it is more beneficial overall.