SPRINGFIELD TWP.  The Springfield Board of Education approved a raise in school lunch prices throughout the district for the 2017-18 school year.

Prices were raised 25 cents for lunches and milk, while breakfast stayed the same. Business Manager Dustin Boswell said it was something "they hated to do but, unfortunately, they had to." Lunch prices were last increased in June 2009.

Boswell said the decision to raise lunch prices was based on two factors:

- USDA "paid lunch equity" rules requiring the district to keep lunch prices equitable compared to the reimbursement rate for free lunches, which is up to $3.24 per meal.

- The food service program has closed in the red the last two years due to rising costs, with staffing and price of food being the primary factors.

This year the food service ended in the red in but the reimbursement for June, which was received in July, covered the shortage.

New prices will be:

Grades K-6: Lunch $2.50; breakfast $1.25; milk $.50

Grades 7-12: Lunch, $3; breakfast $1.75; milk $.50; adult lunch $3.50

Future isssues, but ...

Treasurer Chris Adams said a dark cloud still looms surrounding the district's financial health, but it did have a good year with medical benefits costs.

"We are self insured, so when I say we had a good year that means people stayed healthy," he said. "If we have another good year like this one, we could push a levy out a year. That is our goal, to push out as far as we can, another operating levy."

Last year, the district spent more than $6.1 million in medical benefits. This year, it was a little more than $5.5 million.

Perfect attendance

Superintendent Chuck Sincere recognized 14 staff members with perfect attendance and who used no sick or personal days during the 2016-17.

"Having good attendance is not only great for employers, but also good for students. When teachers and staff are out. The quality of instruction goes down," he said.

Employees have a right to take time off for various reasons, but perfect attendance can be a sign that employees are enthusiastic about their work and they are being productive every day, Sincere said. He also pointed out that one of the employees, Debra Lininger, has children who also have had excellent attendance through school. Her oldest son did not miss a day from kindergarten through his senior year and his siblings are well on their way to matching that.

Those receiving the recognition were: Danielle Anderson,Jessica, Casher, Terri Conner, Rebecca Dolwick, Tom Fleming, Douglas Householder, Lininger, Todd Lovell, Shaun Morgan, Larry Murphy, Paula Murphy, Nannette Pelkey, Terry Robinson and Melinda Weakland.

In other business, the board:

- Approved the retirement of classified employee Annetta Cline, effective Oct. 1; employment of Rebecca Reckart as a 75-percent teacher, Joyce Housley as a 50-percent literacy tutor and classified substitutes Tracie Holstein, Mary Stevenor and Denise Nunley; and a variety of athletic supplemental contracts.

- Approved an overnight/extended trip for the high school cheerleaders and chaperone(s) to travel to Great Wolf Lodge in Mason to attend the UCA Cheer Camp from Aug. 5-8 was approved. All expenses will be paid by participants with fundraising opportunities available to lessen cost.

- Heard from Boswell, who said that the grade 7-12 campus has reached certification with energy star. On average, those certified use 35 percent less energy, emit 35 percent less green house gasses and cost $.54 less per square foot to operate. Boswell reported the summer projects are moving along, including roofing repairs, seal coating, painting and parking resurfacing at Spring Hill Elementary.

- Approved a service contract with the Springfield Township Police Department to provide an attendance coordinator for the 2017-18 school year.

- Approved a revised negotiated master agreement between the Springfield Board of Education and OAPSE Local 179 for a period of three years beginning July 1 through June 30, 2020.

- Approved a project agreement with Energy Optimizers, USA, for the purpose of furnishing certain services and work designed to improve district facilities.

- Approved a memorandum of understanding with SLACT (Springfield Local Association of Classroom Teachers) to modify the athletic supplemental salary schedule to add a junior high golf coach at 10 percent.

- Accepted donations from the GAR Foundation Educator Initiative Grant for Lisa Moretz and Danielle Starkey, $9,920; Tina Hartong, $9,560; and Kevin Hanna, $3,650.

School begins Aug. 23 for grades 1-12 and Aug. 29 for kindergarten.

The next regular board meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Aug. 15 in the community room of the high school/junior high building.