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Change in cafeteria food fails to tempt taste buds

FPS staff report

The Carrollton Exempted Village School Board agreed to transfer more than $25,000 from the general fund to the lunchroom to cover monthly expenses during its February meeting.

Cafeteria programs in many districts operate in the red, and Carrollton has had the same issues for some time.  The board attempted to remedy the matter several years ago by switching from on-site cooking of meals, to a pre-packaged meal program from Preferred Meals.

After receiving feedback from parents and children who weren’t at all satisfied with the pre-packaged program, the board once again discussed the option of preparing meals in the cafeteria. Figures presented at a board meeting showed there would be a significant cost to going back to the “old way” of doing things because most of the equipment had been removed from the cafeteria. That, along with the cost of hiring additional employees to prepare the food, prompted the board to switch to another program called “bulk foods” from Preferred Meals last fall. 

But that doesn’t seem to be working either.  Board member Wendy Gotschall questioned the quality of the food asking if they weren’t getting what they were supposed to.

Director of Programs Ed Robinson said, “It was the old bait and switch.” 

Superintendent Dr. Dave Quattrochi stated, “We were duped.”

Quattrochi said participation from students has gone up but that they seemed to be getting the same food from the company but instead of individual containers or compartments, it’s now just in larger containers.

“We are looking at other food service companies.  In general, there will be changes,” continued Quattrochi.

Robinson said that certain foods do sell out.  Gotschall asked then why isn’t more of that food ordered?  Quattrochi said that problem goes to the person who orders it.

Quattrochi said he would be glad to share feedback from students and parents with Gotschall.

In an unrelated matter, the board learned about Ohio’s new Alternate Assessment for Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities (AASCD) that will be administered to students for the first time Feb. 25 through March 29.

This is a pilot year and demonstrates a change in Ohio’s alternate assessment.  Previously, the testing consisted of a portfolio based collection of evidence.

The AASCD, is aligned to Ohio’s Academic Content Standards - Extended.  These standards will help guarantee students with significant cognitive disabilities are provided with multiple ways to learn and demonstrate knowledge.

In the Carrollton district,16students will take the alternative assessments.  Seven staff members will be administering the assessment.  Training sessions have already been held for staff members. 

All staff members involved with the assessments will upload or view student data using a Data Entry Interface (DEI).  This allows authorized users to electronically record student test data. 

During the spring OAA’s, the district will have 1,018 students in grades three through eight taking the spring assessments.  They will be administered April 22 through April 26.

Results for the tests will be available mid June this year.

In other business the board:
- APPROVED a three-year contract with payments of $4,900 per month with Toshiba for 24 copiers for the district building.  The contract includes maintenance, toner, and other services.   The board currently pays $3,892 per month for units that are more than eight years old and have many mechanical problems.  Quattrochi said the district makes about 565,000 copies per month in grades K through 12.

- LEARNED that Chesapeake Energy will be sponsoring an initiative for students K through 12 and honoring those with outstanding leadership abilities.  Three mini Ipads will be awarded by Chesapeake.

- HEARD that Quattrochi is planning on hosting numerous meetings throughout the district to explain the goals of the Support Education Committee.  These meetings will be held before the special election in May to explain the need for an emergency levy that will appear on the ballot. Quattrochi plans to explain where funding comes from, and how it is spent in the district.

- LEARNED that members are still welcome on the Safety Committee.  The committee has met twice to discuss safety issues in the district.

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