TROY — Troy City School board of education kicked off its first order of business Monday with three board members taking the oath of office.
Tom Kleptz, Ginny Beamish and new board member Bill Overla received the oath of office by board treasurer Jeff Price.
The board then re-elected Doug Trostle as board president and Kleptz as vice president.
Clint Hufford, food service director, presented the board with an update about the district’s food service during the first half of the school year. Hufford said approximately 200 more meals, per day, have been added since the increase in the quality in food service. Hufford said his department’s biggest challenge is the cost of labor. The district’s meals are prepared in the high school cafeteria and then disbursed to the rest of the district with two full-time delivery drivers. Hufford said he’ll continue to look at ways to keep costs down, but not to compromise the quality of food. Hufford also said the USDA views the school food service area as a “break-even” proposal. Hufford said 70 percent of its budget is for labor. Kleptz said he’s heard positive feedback from high school students and friends about the changes to food quality and variety.
Board member Bill Overla asked Hufford what he has done to increase the meal service, which Hufford said menu changes and creative food offerings were likely the factors.
“If you put out a quality product, the kids will come back to it,” Hufford said.
Hufford also said the high school is considering putting a coffee bar in the student commons area to increase more students to participate in the breakfast program, which is currently around 5 percent.
Superintendent Eric Herman reviewed how the decision is made to close or delay school due to weather conditions. For example, the schools were closed on Monday due to icy road conditions, which cleared up by mid-morning.
“I’m not going to put a bus driver on the road with ice,” Herman said.
Herman said he drives around the district, which includes rural roads, to determine if buses can safely drive. Students walking to school are also considered in the process. Board members received a wind chill advisory chart, which Herman uses to help determine if it is safe for students to walk to school. Herman also said the decision to close or delay school is made by 5:45 a.m. Bus transportation is also canceled if the Miami County Sheriff’s Office determines a Level 2 or 3 emergency.
Trostle said time is a factor in determining school delays and closing due to bus drivers arriving on campus to warm up the buses prior to student pick-up. Overla also noted many students walk in the street due to property owners not having cleared their sidewalks in some areas.
In other news:
• Treasurer Price noted more than $110 million in property tax is exempt from collection within the Troy City Schools’ district during his financial report.
• The board approved the 2019-2020 school year calendar, 403 (b) tax deferred annuity program, an MOU for staff enrolled in the Troy City Health Benefit Plan to be eligible for one month premium holiday if they participate in an annual health checkup and/or health risk assessment.