What about a second breakfast?
Lake Holcombe School Board
Although it’s still in the planning stages, superintendent Kurt Lindau brought an idea before the Lake Holcombe School Board Dec. 16. The grab-and-go program Lindau wants to start, would be, essentially, a second breakfast, for those who missed or skipped the first go-round.
Working with the school cooks, Lindau conducted breakfast counts for one week in November, with figures showing that only about 30 percent of the students actually eat breakfast.
“On the one day, only five high schoolers ate breakfast, which is astounding to me,” said Lindau.
The reasons students gave for not eating, were that they aren’t hungry right away in the morning or don’t have time to eat before school starts.
With the grab-and-go, bags of breakfast items that meet nutritional requirements, will likely be placed on a cart and rolled down to the commons about mid-morning.
“We’re still working out the details,” he said.
Lindau says middle and high school students would start the day three minutes earlier and end the day four minutes later.
“What that does, given that we’ve already had four snowstorms… it will build a bit extra cushion time into hours of instruction,” said Lindau, “in case we end up in a year like last year, with 17 snow days, seven early releases and 12 late starts. We had to re-invent the calendar 14 times in the last three weeks, to meet the hours.”
“Is there going to be a cost to this?” asked board member Anneleise Willmarth.
Lindau said the grab-and-go would be the normal price for breakfast, as well as for those who qualify for free and reduced meals.
“So, we want to give it a try,” said Lindau. “There will be some bugs to work out.”
With the second chance breakfast, Lindau looks to help with test scores, as he wants to leave no stone unturned to increase the school’s state scorecard results and make sure no student is spending the day with an empty stomach.
“You can’t learn if you’re hungry,” said Lindau.
Moving forward with the boiler replacement project at the school, members approved a contract with APEX Engineer-
See SECOND BREAKFAST/ Page 4 ing, a firm CESA recommended to do engineering services for the retrofit of the boilers. Phase 1 of the project deals with the design retrofit for replacement.
“They’re talking either two or three high efficiency, modulating boilers, but that’s one of the things we’ll find out through the engineering study,” said Lindau, adding they could see specs by March or April. “We’re gonna get it done. We’re going to do as much as we can, with the money we have.”
Lindau said the ultimate goal, is to have the entire building under one control system.
“Is there any air conditioning figured into this at all?” asked member Matt Flater.
While air conditioning has not been figured in at this point, Lindau says the engineers can see how much a retrofi t would cost. A few years ago, head of maintenance Tom Hayden requested a bid from a company for installing air conditioning, for $200,000.
“Everybody knows, everything goes up,” said Lindau, who added that with the new design, air conditioning could be installed at a later date. “It would be nice.”
Board president Brian Guthman says he has noticed a lot of schools going with air conditioning.
“The largest injurer of students in the United States, is heat,” said principal Mark Porter.
Members also approved purchasing new social studies and history curriculum from McGraw-Hill, for $14,057.38. Lindau and Porter put together a team to review and select materials, making sure the curriculum is aligned to state standards, teacher preference and compatible with the technology associated.
With the board’s approval, the school will order classroom copies and an online digital subscription for six years, allowing students to access lessons online.
“I call this a hybrid approach,” said Lindau. “We’re not handing every kid a textbook and we’re not handing every kid a Chromebook. There are still places that there are dead spots and no high speed internet.”
Also approved, was the 2020-21 school calendar, where interested teachers sat down and hashed out two options, making sure to follow certain parimeters from the state, such as not starting before Sept. 1 each year, and meeting hours of instruction.
Lindau requested the calendar have parent/teacher confer- ences the fifth week of the quarter.
“My philosophy is, that meeting with parents in week five or six, it gives them (students) two or three weeks to salvage their grade,” said Lindau. “So, I call it the ‘no more waiting to fail’ model.”
Option 1 of the calendar includes a week-long spring break in March, with Option 2 favoring two or three extended weekends. According to a survey Lindau sent out, Option 2 was the favorite.
“I just wish we could be done by Memorial Day,” said member Debbi Readinger.
Lindau says he wishes that, too, but the best the school can shoot for is the first week in June, to get all the hours and requirements in, not counting possible snow days.
The board also approved an addendum to the school emergency plan for Alert Lockdown Informed Counter Evacuate (ALICE). Lindau plans to send a parent letter, informing them of the board saying yes to the adopting plan, and training of staff and students.
“It’s just one more tool you can build into your school emergency operations plan, that takes a little different approach to a situation…where there may be a threat to students,” said Lindau.
In the past, in the event of an intruder, students and staff were to lock down the school, and hide.
“ALICE gives you the ability to think on your feet and to take evasive action, if you feel that you can and it’s necessary,” said Lindau. “It doesn’t teach people to fight.”
With ALICE, younger kids will be read I’m Not Scared...I’m Prepared, while a video will be shown for older kids.
In other business, the board approved next year’s fall coaching contracts, as Lindau says he likes to know who is coming back to coach and who may not be, giving the district time to find someone.
“It’s a great idea,” said Flater.
Coinciding with that, members also approved the baseball, softball and golf co-oped 2021 agreements with Cornell. District accountant Lisa Spletter says she couldn’t find a record of the approved contracts, but that the WIAA component was taken care of, prior to that.
“It’s kind of just finishing up what should have been done,” said Spletter.
The board also accepted donations to the school, with $31.30 from Eastbay Lodge to the music department; $250 from the Lake Holcombe Lions Club to the girls basketball program; $160 from Prevea Health to the athletic department; and $100 from Jacqueline Hawkinson in memory of Josephine Gygi to the music department.
As a heads up, Lindau says he is mapping out a plan to replace the school’s technology infrastructure in the summer of 2021, after receiving around $70,000 Teach Category 2 funding to complete the project.
“The current Cisco system has reached end-of-life… we can keep it hopefully running this year and next,” said Lindau.
He also reported that he and the Chippewa County Sheriff’s Department are still working on an agreement for a school resource officer. Lindau checked with a former auditing firm about the ability to pay for the officer from Fund 80 and was given a green light. The position would be approximately five hours a week, for $10,000-$12,000 yearly.
I’m Not Scared...I’m Prepared, a book teaching younger students how to deal with a possible intruder in the school. Superintendent Kurt Lindau had copies of the book on hand at a meeting Dec. 16, for members to review.
Photo by Ginna Young