Ratcliff proposes raising the price of school lunches in an effort to keep food service in the black

By BILLY WESSELS, Post correspondent

Three Alvarado ISD school board members were sworn into office and the board re-elected three members as president, vice-president and secretary of the board.

Re-elected school board members Kelly Price and Ted Dossey and newly elected David Jusiewicz, who all won elections last month, were sworn in by Johnson county judge Roger Harmon.

Linda Neeley was unanimously elected for the position of school board president. Doug Thompson was unanimously elected to be the committee's vice-president and Tom Head was also elected unanimously for the position of school board secretary.

Larry McGough estimated in his financial report that Alvarado's local property values would increase by 12 percent, "if not more," by July 25.

Kyle Berger discussed this summer's technology projects and expenditures in his executive director of technology services report.

Berger mentioned that the fiber replacement project is going well and they will begin working on a network upgrade during the summer.

Mark Ratcliff presented the assistant superintendent operations report and announced that the district earned $22,750 by selling used buses in Kilgore last weekend.

Ratcliff also presented the idea of raising public school lunch prices next school year in order to get closer to the average school lunch price in the area.

The prices for lunch would go up 15 cents at the elementary and intermediate levels and 25 cents for high school students, staff members and visitors.

The board did not raise the price of staff and visitor lunches last year.

"Food service is always a battle to stay in the black," Ratcliff said. "We worked real hard this year, last year we cut some staff and we talked to the cafeteria about trying to find a way to increase participation and bring in more federal and local money."

Assistant superintendent Ellen Cooper showed some artwork created by high school students to the members of the board. The artwork is part of the memory project and the paintings were portraits of orphans from all around the world.

Cooper said this program is a great opportunity for students to learn valuable life lessons.

"Students can learn empathy and giving," Cooper said. "I just wanted (the board) to know about something great going on in the community."

Junior high school assistant principal Chris Everett announced a workshop called "Building Champions," which is coming to Alvarado. Renowned psychologist Flip Flippen created the workshop and one of his top researchers will be at the event, according to Everett.

The next scheduled regular meeting for the board will be July 9, 2007.

The board also approved:

Placing bids on new school busses Premium of $162,353 on Texas Association of Public Schools property, casualty and vehicle insurance A district call-out system to contact student's families in case of emergencies or school closings The purchase of 18 total cameras, some interior and some exterior, at the Alvarado

Intermediate School

An amended cell phone plan for emergency preparedness grant To upgrade inner campus connections to fiber-optics in both Alvarado High School and Alvarado Intermediate School The installation of projectors at Alvarado South The purchase of the Skyward Food Service Program