(Posted Nov. 20, 2015)
By Sandi Latimer, Staff Writer
Serving breakfast to children in their classrooms is one of the changes made in food service at Madison-Plains Schools over the past year.
At the Nov. 17 school board meeting, Mary Sparrow, food service director, reported that her department’s operations earned a $500 award from the Children’s Hunger Alliance and a visit from that body’s governing board.
Breakfasts are packaged for each child, keeping in mind such things as food allergies, she said. Bags are then placed in plastic storage containers and stacked on carts along with crates containing cartons of milk. Everything is then wheeled to the classrooms.
“Breakfasts are at the classroom door by 7:10 or 7:15,” she said.
Sparrow’s department serves breakfasts to 375 students every day, up 60 percent from last year.
She said children are not necessarily hungry when they get up in the morning, but by the time they get to school, they are ready to eat. Eating at school gives them a few extra minutes of sleep.
After breakfast, children clean up after themselves, she said.
“They are learning responsibility, and all the maintenance people have to do is empty the trash can,” she said.
In addition to the 375 breakfasts served in grades K-6, another 45 breakfasts are served in the upper grades. At lunchtime, 400 elementary meals are served, and another 230 in the higher grades. Snacks account for more than 650 going through the line, Sparrow said.
Athletic Director Matt Mason outlined some improvements that are forthcoming.
He said a rubberized floor will be put down in the weight room at the field house, a new scoreboard will be installed at the softball diamond, and improvements will be made in the girls’ locker room.
Much of the work, nearing the $30,000 range, was made possible through donations. One of the more recent donations, accepted at the meeting, was $5,600 from Stan Hanson, a native of Mount Sterling who now lives in Ocala, Fla. He has made several donations to help the school district. This latest donation will be used for the scoreboard and uniforms.
Mason also said that the school will join the Ohio Heritage Conference next fall and be in the South division. However, the football team will not join the league until 2017. The school will also leave the Central District of the Ohio High School Athletic Association for another district.
Superintendent Tim Dettwiller told the board that the Madison-Plains Education Association has a draft for a new dress code that drew a lot of criticism at the previous meeting and that the Ohio Public Service Employees Association workers should have the input ready shortly.
Dettwiller also reported that the Scholastic Boosters, Music Boosters and Athletic Boosters have been talking about working together and possibly holding a fundraiser that would benefit each group.
High School Principal Matthew Unger introduced senior Taylor Sollars as the student of the month. She was recommended for this honor for her academics and activities at school. She plays volleyball and softball and was named to the academic all-league team, recognition bestowed to students whose grade point average is 3.5 or above.
Earlier this fall, Madison-Plains FFA members carried on the tradition of making their own cider. They pressed, filtered, and bottled the cider with little assistance from advisors. They thank everyone who supported the chapter by purchasing cider, helped with expenses, and donated apples and supplies.