The school board started off the meeting with a brief presentation from Kim Ohlee and Kelley Howes of the Nutrition Group, who help design the menus for students in schools across the district every day. Ohlee talked about several topics, including “farm to fork” — she said that when purchasing food for the district, they try to note if any produce is from a local farm or producer, and make an effort to purchase it, providing students with fresh fruit and vegetables from local sources.
Ohlee said they are also taking three days this school year to feed the kindergarten students via the lunch program. She said that by feeding the younger students, they hope the transition to eating in the cafeteria will be smoother.
“We want to try and keep the little ones excited,” Ohlee said.
Howes also discussed the interactive website, “Nutri Slice,” that parents and students can access to learn more about the daily menu. The website also allows users to filter by allergens, helping students plan their lunch without risking the possibility of an allergic reaction.
Howes said the website, also available as an app for high school students, seems to be a great help for both students and parents in planning the day’s meals.
The board also listened to a presentation by Harrison East Elementary Principal Jen Birney and Assistant Principal Donnie Madzia. Birney said the school is ranked by the state, much like a student’s report card. Birney said that the school has shown great improvement in the past year, meeting or exceeding state standards.
Birney said the rankings are handed out based on several criteria, including student achievement, progress and performance index. Birney said that they are proud of their students for helping them achieve this rapid growth, attributing it to the strong bonds between teacher and student.
“It’s working as a team and building relationships,” she said.
Madzia greed, adding that he believes the school has “great kids, overall.”
Board member D.J. Watson discussed the possibility of establishing a broadcast journalism program for students at Harrison Hills High School. Watson said the idea came from several students who are working the new electronic scoreboard at the football stadium, as well as interviewing players and coaches after the events.
The board agreed the idea had merit, and to give it further thought.
The board went behind closed doors for almost two hours to discuss personnel matters, as well as the sale or purchase of and property, emerging with no action taken.
The next scheduled meeting of the Harrison Hills City School District Board of Education will be at 7 p.m. Oct. 26 at the administrative office in Cadiz.