BAINBRIDGE -- Like many area schools have done recently, the North Putnam board agreed to increase the price of lunches in all its buildings this fall to comply with state law.
The change began last year but the cost will go up again, this year to $2.58.
This is an attempt to make the lunch price for paid students match the amount that schools get from the state for state-funded lunches.
Debbie Carrico, the corporation's food director, presented the change to the board at its June regular meeting on Wednesday.
It was met with surprise by some of the board members who saw a large surplus in the food service budget.
"Maybe that (surplus) is due to your management skills," board member Oliver Haste said to Carrico. "I'm certain it is. But it looks odd to me that (the surplus) grows every year and we want to raise the prices."
Carrico assured the board that the money will go to good use and be used to pay for healthier, more expensive foods, as well as new and replacement equipment.
The board agreed on Thursday to purchase a new refrigerator at a cost of $2,850 for Roachdale Elementary after the last one broke irreparably, to be paid for from the food service budget.
Last year the school corporation began offering a healthier menu of lunch items, which include more fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
North Putnam Middle School students recently won an award for their healthy lifestyles, Fuel Up to Play 60, which was sponsored by the NFL and the Indianapolis Colts.
Part of this award was their initiative to add healthy choices to the lunch menu.
The food will continue in that direction this year, Superintendent Dan Noel said.
He added that the money could also be used to update the cafeteria facilities, making them more efficient for the workers and students waiting in line.
The board also agreed to renew the school lunch contract and bids for milk, bread and other supplies at the meeting.
In other business,
- The board listened to a presentation for an evaluation software tool, Standard For Success, that will coincide with the RISE program being initiated this fall. The software will be voted on for approval at a later date.
- Noel handed out an extensive list of maintenance projects for each building, an effort he regretfully said will be "ongoing." Some have already begun.
- The new student handbooks will reduce the number of absences for each student by two per semester, going from 10 to eight.
- Four new teachers were hired: Krysten Kingery, high school language arts, Brittney Nees, high school art, Nicole Da'Bren, high school business, and Holly Frye, Bainbridge Elementary.
The next regularly scheduled meeting for the North Putnam School Board is Thursday, July 19 at 7 p.m.