Purdy schools to expand food service collaboration

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Purdy R-2 Board of Education voted to expand its collaboration with Springfield Grocers for its food service program during the November meeting.

Superintendent Dr. Steven Chancellor reported that new federal guidelines on school meals require a level of analytic reporting and paperwork that surpasses what the food service staff can provide.

Currently 72 percent of the district's food supply is purchased from Springfield Grocers. If the district purchases 92 percent of its food from the vendor, not counting commodities and milk, Springfield Grocers will prepare the necessary reports and keep the district in compliance. New reporting requirements begin in August 2013.

Under the arrangement, the district's food service program will send menus to Springfield Grocers, along with a list of available commodities. The vendor will assemble the ingredients needed to prepare the meals. Board members voted to start the service in January.

"The benefit to this is we retain our employees," Chancellor said. "We think it will be budget neutral. All the [food service providers] are going to struggle with the availability of good tasting foods that are healthy."

Board members asked about measuring waste. Board secretary Anna Marie Erwin said the staff will regularly track consumption and report back what students don't like to reduce problems as much as possible.

Approval was also given to a district credit card program available through UMB Bank. Chancellor said the program offers a way the district can pre-program credit cards for specific use without releasing the district's main card in Chancellor's name. Most individual cards now in use for specific vendors could be elimnated. The district would receive detailed records on all purchases.

By using pre-programmed cards, which can be loaded with amounts for each trip or planned purchase, the district can receive a percentage of the purchases back at year's end. The option required no up-front cost.

Board members cautioned the system will have to be closely monitored. Erwin said there will be a training period. UMB was one of several vendors offering a similar service.

A contract was approved to again offer summer school through Edison Learning. Chancellor said the district has had a long relationship with the provider and risks no expense if a minimum number of students enroll.

Filing dates for the April 2, 2013, school board election were approved, opening Dec. 11 and closing at 5 p.m. on Jan. 22, 2013. There will be one vacancy as two-term incumbent Tracy Tate said she does not plan to run again. The other open seat is presently held by one-term incumbent Ed Mareth.

Board members authorized three names for signing for certificates of deposit with First State Bank and approved policies requiring sex offender disclosure by school board members and a required filing with the Missouri Ethics Commission.

Administrative reports

Chancellor provided an update of the job entry plan he prepared for his first 100 days as superintendent. He said the plan has provided a road map to keep himself focused when days are often unpredictable.

Fifty-six faculty and staff participated in the recent health risk assessment, provided through Cox Monett Hosptial. Thirty-six paid for additional flu shots. Screenings went smoothly and were well received. Chancellor anticipated higher participation next year.

Elementary Principal Jeff Swadley reported 96 percent attendance at the fall parent-teacher conferences.

Middle school Principal Janet Boys said she was taking 68 students to Neosho for a roller skating party for maintaining high attendance, completing homework and behaving in school. It was the first time she needed two buses to fulfill a student motivation project.

High school Principal Bob Vice reported each of the classes had selected candidates for Miss Merry Christmas. Almost 80 middle and high school students were participating in the musical "Crazy for You," based on the music of George and Ira Gershwin that has been scheduled for shows on Dec. 8 and 9.

The board will next meet on Dec. 17.

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