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Mitchell school meal prices likely to stay in place

The Mitchell School District is aiming to keep meal prices stable heading into the 2018-19 school year.

School officials are recommending to leave the district's prices for breakfast and lunch the same as the 2017-18 figures for the new year and the Mitchell Board of Education will consider the plan at its regular meeting today. The meeting is scheduled for 5 p.m. at the Mitchell Career and Technical Education Academy.

Superintendent Joe Graves credits a number of efficiencies in the district's food service program and experience in the last school year to leave meal prices as is and allow the district's program to remain fiscally stable. In the text provided to the school board's members, Graves said "holding the line on price increases will help sustain or improve participation rates."

Elementary students will pay $1.85 for breakfast and $2.80 lunch, while middle school and high school students will continue to pay $2 for breakfast and $3 for lunch. The district will charge $2.30 for breakfast and $3.90 for lunch for adults.

The price for students who qualify for a reduced meal rate will be 30 cents for breakfast and 40 cents for lunch.

Agreement reached on classified employees

The Mitchell Classified Education Association and the Mitchell School District have reached a tentative agreement, which will be considered by the school board.

The membership of the MCEA, which includes the district's physical plant workers, custodians, instructional assistants and food service employees, has already voted to approve the agreement, which is set to cover the next three academic years through 2020-21.

The MCEA agreement included possible enrollment of employees into the South Dakota Retirement System. But the board will not make the decision until results of a straw-poll vote from all Mitchell district employees is known, delaying the implementation of that provision until July 2019 at the earliest.

If employees don't join the SDRS, paraprofessionals and clerical workers, maintenance and custodial employees will mostly see a 25-cent per hour raise over the previous year, while food service employees will mostly see a 50-cent per hour raise. Future compensation for the 2019-20 and 2020-21 years would also be subject to negotiations.

If the MCEA employees do enter the retirement system, the wage increases would be smaller, between, generally between 10 and 17 cents per hour.

Personnel

As part of the consent agenda, the following personnel moves are before the board:

New hires: Katelynn Ellsworth, 1/2 Begindergarten at Gertie Belle Rogers and 1/2 Title district-wide at $42,500 for 2018-19 school year; McKenzie Johnson, guidance counselor at GBR and middle school girls track and girls basketball at $42,350 for 2018-19 school year; Heather Doerr, science teacher at Mitchell Middle School at $42,350 for 2018-19 school year.

Transfer: Jaime Neuendorf, from begindergarten/title at GBR to fifth grade teacher at LBW.

MTI resignation: Lisa Geraets, custodian, effective June 8.

Other business

The board will:

• Consider consent agenda to include board minutes, claims, and open enrollment.

• Recognize Marica Shannon for a $5,000 grant from CenturyLink for technology in art.

• Consider approving bid for welding equipment for a CTE grant for $92,860.02 from A-OX Welding Supply, of Mitchell.

• Consider setting meal prices for the 2018-19 school year.

• Consider approving Mitchell High School Handbook for the 2018-19 school year.

• Will hold a second information review session regarding the 2018-19 proposed K-14 budgets. (Final approval is scheduled for the June 25 meeting.)

• Hold a second reading to approve Board Policies 1047 (K-12 student restraint and seclusion and Policy 1071 (extra-curricular participation code of conduct and academic requirements).

• Consider, on first reading, Mitchell Technical Institute Policy Series 1000-1200.

• Hear a presentation on an MTI report: "Analysis of the Economic Impact and Return on Investment of Education: The Economic Value of MTI."

• Hear board member, superintendent reports and public commentary.