By Leigh Anne Hubbs
Gloucester City News
Beginning this school year, Mary Bray School will offer brown bagged breakfasts to students to be consumed during homeroom.
The “Grab and Go” breakfasts, a pilot program, will be incompliance with new federal nutrition regulations and will be prepared by Nutriserve.
During the August 13 Mount Ephraim Board of Education meeting, Business Administrator Melissa Raywood explained that parents will pre-order their child’s breakfast each week.
The regular price for breakfast will be $1.55. The reduced price will be 30 cents, and some children will be eligible for a free breakfast.
Board Member Joan Greenwood said studies have shown that eating breakfast improves concentration in students, and that hungry children tend to be pre-occupied with what they will be eating for lunch instead of focusing on their schoolwork.
Ms. Raywood said another advantage to having breakfast during homeroom rather than in the cafeteria before school is that in the past there were children who were eligible for the free breakfast, but did not take advantage of it because they couldn’t get to school early enough.
In other news, Interim Superintendent Diane D. DeGiacomo Ed. D. announced the results from QSAC (Quality Single Accountability Continuum), which the NJ Department of Education uses to monitor and evaluate public school districts.
Ms. DeGiacomo explained that there are five parts to QSAC: Finance, Governments, Operations, Personnel, and Instruction.
The district scored 100 percent in Finance and Governments, and 95 percent in Operations due to the guidance program not being clearly spelled out and approved.
She said that Operations is an easy fix, and that Supervisor of Special Services Amy Francis will be taking care of it.
For Personnel, the district scored 80 percent for the simple fact that the medical records were stored in the nurse’s office, but they need to be stored in the superintendent’s office.
Ms. DeGiacomo said 80 percent is still considered passing and that the records will be moved into her office as soon as feasible.
Unfortunately there was one area where the district did not pass and that was Instruction.
The district scored 79 percent due to test scores, with 80 percent needed to pass.
Mount Ephraim is now required to prepare a District Improvement Plan, Ms. DeGiacomo said, adding that the plan will be addressed further at Septem
Commencing on October 1, staff working a minimum of 17 hours per week will be eligible to contribute pre-tax wages to a healthcare Flexible Spending Account with a maximum of $2,500 per year.
The School Board also approved Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account with a maximum of $5,000 per year, but this section will be on a reimbursement basis.
Board Member James Pacetti brought up the issue that there is not a policy governing school trip chaperones.
Members discussed past issues such as chaperones bringing their other children along, driving in their own vehicle instead of on the bus with the students, and taking the students to restaurants that are not “kid-friendly.”
Board Members will develop a policy soon which addresses potentially liable actions by chaperones.
Mount Ephraim students who will attend Audubon High School next month can visit audubon-schools-.org/summer-assignments to obtain summer packets; and students must complete one reading and one math packet.
Patricia McCahill has been approved to be a first grade teacher for the 2012-13 school year at a rate of $48,111 with single benefits.
Lauren Eichman will be covering for Basic Skills teacher Nadine Oliveti at a rate of $48,111, prorated for 9/1/12 until 1/28/13.
Angeliki Kappatos, Kathleen Linnehan and Kristin Popelak have been approved as substitute nurses at a rate of $125 per day for the 2012-13 school year.
Substitute caller Terri Brunick will receive a $1,000 stipend for the upcoming school year.
TaraAnne Hatfield has been hired as a full-time custodian at a rate of $20,800 with single benefits.
A number of substitute teachers and substitute paraprofessionals have been approved for the 2012-13 year at a rate of $80 and $60 per day, respectively.
The next School Board meeting will be on Monday, September 10, at 7:30 p.m. in Kershaw School’s Media Center.