Butler County Times Gazette
  • USD 490 School Board hears about option of summer lunch program

  • The USD 490 Board of Education gave its consensus to look into a summer food program for the district during their meeting Monday evening.
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  • The USD 490 Board of Education gave its consensus to look into a summer food program for the district during their meeting Monday evening.
    Superintendent Sue Givens said Judie Storandt, community advocate and consultant, had contacted her about the program.
    “We agreed it was something to look at,” Givens said.
    Givens then sent out a survey to all of the superintendents in the state and presented the results to the board members.
    “There’s not anything in here (the survey) that would discourage us from pursuing what we think is good for kids and that is us to look at a food service program in the summer,” Givens said. “It does not, as we have been led to believe, cost the district an arm and a leg.
    “I’ve been convinced enough from my colleagues that I really want to look seriously at doing this next summer, but to do that we are going to have to put our feet to the pavement and get a plan in place by February.”
    She also suggested they could link that to a program she had wanted to look into last year, which was a summer shuttle system to take kids to summer school, the library and recreation programs.
    “I think we need to do it but I think we need to get a lot of stuff ironed out before we do it,” Givens said.
    Storandt also told the board she is a part of the Outreach Mission at Trinity Episcopal Church and they, along with others she has talked to, are enthusiastic about helping with such a program.
    In other business, the board:
    • recognized El Dorado High School teacher Dennis Cantu for his work with the technical aspects of the new stadium.
    “He has not only taken on learning all the new ins and outs of video production, but he also is teaching the class,” Givens said.
    Cantu said there have been a lot of people helping, including Julie and Doug Jensen and five students who show up pretty routinely.
    “It’s been a team,” he said.
    Givens also explained Cantu has chosen to re-enter the field of education after retiring.
    “It would be real easy to come back in and teach your art, but you are taking on new stuff and learning new stuff,” she said.
    Others who have helped include Keith West, radio/television/film instructor from Butler Community College, as well as Russell Baker and Ryan Hull from the school district.
    Page 2 of 2 - Cantu said they have one student who has gone to every Butler game to help.
    “It’s been a good learning experience,” he said. “I think it’s a great opportunity for the kids.”
    Givens also recognized those on the transition team for maintenance including Virgil Reed, Dan Gonzalez, Pat Koppenhaver and Richard Altis.
    • heard an update from Lincoln Elementary Principal Linda Johnson.
    She said the demographics have changed quite a bit this year with adjusting with the new Skelly school.
    They are now at 66 percent for free and reduced lunches, which is up from last year.
    She also shared some of her personal professional goals.
    “I am always working on improving student grades,” she said.
    She also wants to create a smoother transition for students going from Jefferson to Lincoln.
    “One of the things that I am trying to work on is getting a transition where I can get some of the Jefferson parents in and work with Susan Holthaus (Jefferson principal) on transition ideas that will make it a smooth transition,” she said.
    Students in Lincoln and Jefferson are the only ones who still change schools after second grade.
    She also proposed the idea of having coffee breaks for parents to stop in and talk about ideas.
    One other thing she mentioned was the need for better signage on where the main door to the school is as well as the location of the office.
    • heard a report on enrollment. The deadline for the state report is Wednesday. Their regular enrollment is up 34 students.
    Their career and technical education students are down a little bit as they transfer to the new CTE program. They also have more English language learner students.
    • approved the district police department manual. BOE member and Butler County Sheriff’s detective Monty Hughey reviewed the policy before its approval. There was one section that was of concern which referred to Triple-I, which pulls up all of the criminal history on a person from juvenile to adult. That information could not be shared with others so they took that part out, then the manual was approved.

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