Archive for Thursday, April 19, 2012

Sixth graders made plea for healthier lunches

April 19, 2012

The USD 204 Board of Education Monday heard a presentation from Clark Middle School sixth graders asking for healthier lunch options.

A group representing the entire sixth grade class presented statistics about obesity and how learning and test scores correlated to healthy eating for the board, which at its next meeting will consider bids for the 2012-2013 food service contract.

All students wrote letters to the board about how healthier lunch options could help them academically and physically. The showed video of trips to Platte City and Ottawa middle schools, which provide more fruits and vegetables in their cafeterias.

Superintendent Robert VanMaren invited some of the sixth graders to return to the boards first meeting in May to listen to bid presentations for the food service contract.

In other business, the board:

• Approved a resolution for the sale of bonds in refinancing of bonds from 2005. David Arteberry, bond council, reported that the school district’s bond rating was confirmed at A1, and the former interest rate was 4.83 percent. With the refinancing, the interest rate is now 2.256 percent. Arteberry said the savings per year would be about $80,000, saving a total of $1,043,985 over the life of the bonds.

• Discussed the installation of the new bleachers, which will begin at the end of April.

• Discussed and approved 6-1 the 2010-2011 audit report. Board member Tim McGinnis voted in opposition because he hadn’t read through the report yet. The district received an unqualified opinion, the highest rating possible.

• Approved a bid for $195,000 for three buses, using funds from the capital outlay fund. The district hasn’t purchased any buses in the last three years. District staff reported it would cost $89,000 for a new bus, but the district was saving about $30,000 by purchasing previously-leased buses. The new buses also are large enough to accommodate 71 passengers; current buses seat only 60 or 65.

• Approved right-of-way usage for Westar Energy at Bonner Springs Elementary.

• Approved the minutes from the April 2 meeting.

• Approved warrants totaling $141,826.

• Conducted a 20-minute executive session for the purpose of negotiations.

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