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February 6th Richland School Board Meeting

The Richland School Board met Monday evening, February 6th.  At the meeting, the food service arrangement between the Richland and Ithaca School Districts was discussed.

Richland Food Service Director Nellie Tyl, along with Ithaca Food Service employee Annette Louis and Ithaca Administrator Bob Smudde reported that the partnership between the districts has been very positive.  Smudde said that the lunch participation has increased from last year and the students are enjoying the options and salad bar that is available at Ithaca.  The Ithaca District contracts with Richland.  In turn, Richland plans the menu and oversees the food service staff at Ithaca.  Both districts share the same breakfast and lunch menu.  It was explained that all of the food at Ithaca is prepared there with the exception of baked goods.  In the future, an ala carte menu may be offered at the upper levels at Ithaca to provide more food options for students and staff.

District Administrator Jarred Burke recognized the students and staff at the high school for again achieving recognition on the AP Honor Roll.  Burke said that it’s a testament to the commitment the seven high school teachers who instruct the ten AP classes, and the Richland Center students who challenge themselves to take the courses.  He said it’s an accomplishment to be named to the AP Honor Roll once, but it’s not easy to be awarded twice as the criteria are even greater.  Just 433 high schools across the nation and Canada were part of the most recent AP Honor Roll.

School building administrators discussed their second quarter discipline numbers.  Generally speaking, the number of discipline incidents was down due to a variety of factors including time lost by snow days.  High School Assistant Principal Caleb Hundt said that there has been an uptick in the number of discipline incidents related to improper cell phone and Chrome Book use.

In other action from the Richland School Board meeting Monday night, it was reported that the mid-year 2nd Friday pupil count revealed an overall student decrease of 23 children compared to September.  However, Jarred Burke indicated that the general decline in student population in recent years has leveled off.  That was evident by the Full Time Equivalency figures that were 58 students above the January levels from 2013.  The Richland School Board approved a recommendation to lower the student entry fee for high school choir and band events from $2 to $1.  Finally, Mr. Burke indicated that early news from the state regarding school funding is encouraging, but the Richland District will not benefit from the rural funding initiatives announced recently by the governor.  Those are largely targeted for schools with student populations of 1,000 or less.  The Richland District’s enrollment is roughly 1,400.