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School Health Advisory Council Makes Additional Recommendations

By Crystal Howerton
(from minutes)

The Knox County R-1 Board of Education met on Monday evening, January 14, 2008, having been moved up from the usual Tuesday meeting.
During the meeting, School Nurse Kathy Palmer, RN, presented the recommendations of the Advisory Council for implementation to support the School Wellness Policy and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation guidelines. 
Recommendations covered under the School Meal Program include training for all food service staff to reduce fat and sodium in food preparation, ensuring that half of all grains served daily are whole, monitoring the amount of various fats in students’ lunch entrees, adding a salad option that includes at least three fruits or vegetables in addition to lettuce, and using only unsaturated, zero trans fat oils during on site food preparation.   Incorporated into the Competitive Foods and Beverages area are foods and beverages offered outside of the school meals program including foods available in vending machines, ala carte lines, as fund raisers and snack carts.  Other areas covered were Health Education, Physical Activity, School Employee Wellness and Physical Education. 
The Board agreed to consider the requests prior to the February meeting at which time they will disclose those items that are to be implemented.
Administrators’ reports were heard.  Superintendent D.J. Leverton included a report of bus routes during inclement weather due to road conditions, an update on recent inspection of the high school roof with repairs to be made, and a report on the completion of the patching and resealing repairs on the high school roof.  He announced that he would attend a meeting of superintendents and legislators in Jefferson City on January 23, 2008 to discuss MSTA salary proposals, proposed legislation (SB 722) that would exempt school districts from paying motor fuels tax and gave information on the State Funding Formula and possible changes regarding Free and Reduced Meals Reimbursement.  Following Supt. Leverton’s report, School Board members voted to recognize and thank Richard Witherow and Larry Sykes for their time and effort in serving as community representatives in overseeing the high school roof repair project.
Smokebusters community leader Cindy Gunter gave information regarding the current grant, which will end in August 2008 and said that the process is underway to submit and application for continuing the grant for three years (2008-2011) with the goal to focus on a tobacco policy for the community.
She and Knox County Coalition Against Meth (KCCAM) President Robert Becker described recent youth activities sponsored by KCCAM and presented information about a grant to promote 40 Developmental Assets (building blocks of healthy development that help young people grow up healthy, caring and responsible) in the community and schools.  Gunter requested support from the school district to include training of school administrators, teachers and community on the 40 assets.
Programs and Services Evaluation Reports in the areas of Guidance and Counseling, At-Risk Programs and Community Education were presented by Guidance Counselors Dani Fromm and Carolyn Primm.  Reconnecting Youth Coordinator Jane Moore presented information on the At Risk program including the Missouri Virtual Instruction Program. MSIP Coordinator Marilyn Waite gave the Community Education Report, as well as presenting the Mid-Year report for CSIP. 
Board members granted a request made by After Prom
Committee member Cathy Greenley for the use of the high school gym, high school cafeteria and the services of one custodian for the after prom activities.  
Supt. Leverton presented a Programs and Services Evaluation Schedule for 2008-09.  According to the minutes, the district reviews the goals and objectives of each program and service, reports on the effectiveness of each program and service and takes action to ensure these programs efficiently achieve their goals.
The School Board approved the proposed school calendar for the 2008-09 school year, which includes an earlier start date, more than ten calendar days prior to the first Monday in September.  In the proposed calendar, school will resume on August 20, 2008 and dismiss on May 15, 2009, subject to make-up days.