North Callaway renews contracts with food, insurance providers

After looking into portion sizes and discussing different options with the district’s food service provider, North Callaway School District Superintendent Bryan Thomsen recommended the board renew its contract with the provider.

“They’ve been great to work with,” Thomsen said.

During the previous board meeting on Feb. 17, the board decided to await renewing the district’s contract with Opaa! Food Management, Inc. until Thomsen could look into a few issues, most importantly the portion sizes the students received. Board Vice President Dan McMurtry had asked if it was possible for the portions to be increased, since the board had received reports that some students were still hungry after meals. Thomsen reported to the board at its meeting on Thursday evening that Opaa! gives the correct portion sizes according to DESE standards and if any more is given, then the meals would have too many calories.

For the students who are still hungry and can’t afford to purchase seconds, Thomsen said the schools will soon make sandwiches available in the cafeterias. He added that a breakfast program was started at the high school since the last meeting and it is off to a good start.

The board approved two policies Thursday — one regarding the recording of meetings and student educational records and one outlining student allergy prevention and response. The former policy states that the district prohibits the use of audio, video or other recording devices in any meetings between district employees and parents/guardians unless a written request is given to the district and approved. The latter outlines measures district staff will take to accommodate students with allergies. One measure is not providing food unless it is clearly labeled with a complete list of ingredients.

Justin Loucks, director of technology, presented his technology plan to the board, reporting that wireless capability will soon come online for all the K8 district schools. He also told the board there are now two 15-unit laptop carts available for student use at all the K8 schools.

Kellie O’Donley, business manager, reported that the district’s health insurance provider, United Health Care, had a 24 percent rate increase on the district’s current plan. After receiving bids from other providers, she said, it was decided to remain with United but to modify the current plan so it would only cost the district an extra 1.89 percent instead of 24 percent. The board approved the modified health insurance plan.

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