After reviewing and asking a number of questions, the District 9 Budget Committee voted to approve the budget. Voting no was board member Jim Mannenbach. Mark Bateman left the meeting early and therefore did not vote. The public hearing and vote of the board of directors will be at their June meeting.
One of the items presented involved some changes in the food services department and with freshman.
The cafeteria options considered for next year at the high school include what they call the Eagle Chopstix, which will be in the lobby of the small gym; an Eagle Grill, which will include a BBQ and salad bar in a space away from the cafeteria. In addition, the high school is looking at keeping freshman on campus the first quarter; allowing those with 4.0 after the first quarter to go off campus for lunch, with a slightly reduced g.p.a. for the second semester.
Budget member Mike Bull expressed concern over the loss of income for local businesses. EPHS Principal Allen Barber said he has had restaurants request a change and does not believe this will cause a problem for the local businesses.
Some of the changes anticipated are with technology and will result in long-range savings. This includes change in the phone system, climate controls, and with the photocopying equipment.
Several items were brought up by board members. The STARS program and an abstinence curriculum were among the topics. Barber said the STARS program had been eliminated at the state level and that schools cannot do an abstinence only program, that other options must be part of the program. He only said he was very pleased with a program now being done by the sheriff’s department with regard to drugs and alcohol.
The capital improvement fund was also discussed. This is the fund from the insurance company as a result of the junior high school fire several years ago. Interim Business Manager Dan Zaklan said the district was continuing to review options and location. Zaklan, Little Butte Principal Lynn Scott and Maintenance Supervisor Ken Gruenwald flew to Reno last Friday to meet with a contractor that does concrete pre-fabs and to see samples of their work. He will report to the board in their workshop Wednesday, May 26 at 5 p.m. That session is held in the staff development room and is open to the public.
Budget Committee Chair J.B. Dimick said it was apparent District 9 was in pretty good shape, relative to the times, and thanked the staff for the transparent budget.
By Nancy Leonard
Of the Independent