The Elkin City Schools child nutrition department is bringing in more money this year than it was in the 2013-14 school year at the same time, reported school officials Monday night.
Jan Zachary, finance director, gave an update to the Elkin City Schools Board of Education during its meeting. She reported that breakfast sales are up as of Nov. 30 over last year, while lunch sales have decreased. But the overall net difference is $27,359.22 less of a loss than in October of 2014, reported Zachary as she presented a Power Point presentation illustrating the differences.
“Commodities are coming in faster, so it causes us to purchase less food and it is down $18,000,” she said as part of the change in numbers.
Another difference is the addition of a second school outside the school system who is contracting with Elkin City Schools to provide lunches to its students.
For breakfasts from Aug. 24 through Nov. 30, she reported lower sales at Elkin Elementary School than last year, but much higher numbers at Elkin Middle and High schools with those increasing about $1,500 each. For lunches, the elementary school sales are down about $3,000, with a slight decrease at the middle school and a slight increase in sales at the high school.
Superintendent Dr. Randy Bledsoe said the system has been focusing on food service and new menus, and encouraging the students to try new foods, which he said is helping with sales.
Zachary said administrators will continue to update these numbers monthly.
ACT prep offered free at high school
Andrew Treske, the college advisor serving Elkin High School from the Carolina College Advising Board, shared with the board members information on ACT and the college application reports from the high school.
“November is a big college application deadline month,” Treske reported. During the month, 109 applications were submitted, with 95 seniors submitting at least one application. More applications will be submitted as the year continues, he said.
The school saw a 25 percent increase in the number of students who turned in financial and FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) submissions, and Treske said he is encouraging students to continue that trend this year.
Also, beginning in January, a six-week ACT preparation course will be offered after school one day a week, with all materials provided, he reported. “We want to make sure students are aware of the content on the test,” Treske said.
For the ACT at Elkin High, five goals have been set. The first of those is to increase the score the students are receiving on the test, with 17 out of 36 being the state minimum to attend a four-year institution.
School administrators also want to make sure the students know the strategies and knowledge needed for taking the test, and they want to be certain the staff is aware of the material the test covers without them having to search for them.
ACT preparation will be offered free for juniors and seniors, he said.
The ACT includes four sections — math, English, reading and science, with an essay. Treske said the national average on the test is 21.
“We’ve been busy pooling free resources for the teachers, so they can carve out chunks of class time for preparation,” Treske said.
The statewide test being offered for juniors in March is paid for by the state, he reported.
“He has really had our kids and staff excited about college applications,” noted Bledsoe of Treske’s work. “Thank you for your energy and making sure our kids are taken care of.”
Calendar suggestions presented
Two suggested drafts of options for the 2016-17 school year were provided to the school board Monday as well.
Human Resources Director Allison Moxley explained the timeline for the calendar preparation included a period from Oct. 28 through Nov. 20 when suggestions and feedback were requested on what people would like to see in the building of next year’s school calendar.
Those suggestions were presented Monday, and then work will be done on the calendar with the plan of presenting a final calendar for board approval in March, she said.
Some of the suggestions the calendar staff heard were to be sure early dismissals are on Fridays whenever possible because it’s hard to keep students on task if they leave early on a Thursday and then have to go to school the next morning; staff appreciates not having staff development scheduled on teacher workdays; keep Memorial Day as a holiday instead of a teacher workday; and to set make-up days carefully.
Two drafts were presented Monday, with difference highlighted on a matrix chart. One draft suggests leaving Jan. 2 as a holiday with the other designating it an optional workday. Also, the first draft suggests May 29 as optional workday, with the second draft keeping it a holiday for Memorial Day.
Both drafts suggest a first day of school for Aug. 29 and a last day for June 9.
“We hope in March to adopt” a final calendar, Moxley told the board.
Bledsoe pointed out state law requires a school to have 185 days or 1,025 hours of instructional time, and in the past the Elkin system has chosen to go with the number of hours. “We’ve exceeded those 1,025 hours,” he said, noting that a final calendar will never please everybody.
Consent agenda items approved
Three items were brought to the board for approval on the consent agenda and each was highlighted briefly prior to a unanimous vote.
Zachary reported the state is requiring a paid first responder at both football and wrestling now, so $900 for football and $800 for wrestling was approved by the board to cover that mandate.
Moxley received approval for a contract with Concord University in West Virginia to provide a student teacher during the spring semester.
Two field trips were approved allowing the Elkin Elementary and Elkin Middle Junior Beta Clubs to each attend an overnight event in Greensboro in February.
Board leaders maintained
As is protocol each year in December, the school board elected its chair and vice chair for the year. Unanimously, Dr. Richard Brinegar retained his post of chairman, and Haley Sullivan will remain vice chair.
Wendy Byerly Wood may be reached at 336-258-4035 or on Twitter @wendywoodeditor.