By Gabe Licht
DELANO, MN A United State Department of Agriculture requirement has caused student lunch prices to increase by a dime for the 2015-16 school year.
“As we’ve had to do in the past few years due to federal legislation, we need to raise our lunch prices to get to an average of $2.70 per meal,” Business Manager Mary Reeder told the Delano School Board at its Monday meeting.
Currently, lunch prices are $2.55 for elementary students, $2.65 for middle school students, and $2.70 for high school students. Adult lunch prices will remain unchanged at $3.50. Breakfast prices are not set to increase.
The school board approved the increase 6-0, with board member Carolyn Milano absent.
In a related matter, the board approved bread bids from Pan-O-Gold Baking Co. and milk and juice bids from Kemps.
Many of the prices in Kemps’ bid were lower than for the current year. For example, a gallon of 1 percent white milk is 59 cents cheaper, at $2.98 per gallon. Half pints of lactose-free milk will be 15 cents more. Juice prices will be less than a penny more.
The board chose Pan-O-Gold over Bimbo Bakeries, which is the existing bread provider, following the recommendation of Reeder.
“We are recommending that we go with Pan-O-Gold for next year,” Reeder said. “Their prices are a little lower and they also offer a 3.5-inch hamburger whole-grain bun, whereas Bimbo Bakers does not, and that’s an absolute must for (Food Services Director) Kris (Larson) to have for her menu planning, based on federal guidelines.”
With the new bid, hot dog buns will be 15 cents cheaper, sub buns will be 45 cents cheaper, and 4-inch hamburger buns will be 16 cents more, while all other prices will be similar.
Odds and ends
In other business, the school board:
• learned Delano’s share of the Meeker and Wright Special Education Cooperation $4.4 million construction project will be about $32,324 annually for 15 years for instructional space and $8,611 annually for 15 years for administrative space, which can be allocated differently.
• accepted the following gifts: $1,500 from Delano Lions for Destination Imagination teams competing at the global competition, $877 from Delano Wrestling Boosters for bus transportation and supplies, $534 from boys basketball for bus transportation, $250 from Delano Youth Basketball Association for wall padding under the basketball hoops in the community education gym, and $148 for the staff conference dinner.
• received a report from Special Education Coordinator Keely Swartzer. She noted that special education students now make up 13.4 percent of Delano’s student population, up from 12.9 percent in the 2013-14 school year. Superintendent Matt Schoen noted the district is dealing with a wider range of special needs that are more severe than 15 to 20 years ago.
• approved the Washington, DC and New York trip for Delano Middle School in 2016.
• approved the first and only read of the following policies: Policy 419 regarding a tobacco-free environment, Policy 603 regarding curriculum development, and Policy 619 regarding staff development for standards.
• approved the 2015-16 Delano High School student handbook.
• learned Delano student Nicole Carlson will be attending the National Leadership Conference in Washington, DC, with fellow students from the Wright Technical Center.