DOBSON — School lunches will cost a little bit more in the Surry County schools next year.
The Surry County Board of Education approved meal price increases for grades K-5 from $2 to $2.10 and from $2.20 to $2.30 for grades 6-12. Director of Child Nutrition Sherri Parks told the board all School Food Authorities (SFAs) participating in the National School Lunch program have to ensure sufficient funds are provided for meals served to students not eligible for free or reduced price meals.
Under this Paid Lunch Equity Requirement, if the average paid lunch price is less than the difference between the free and paid federal reimbursements rates, the SFA must increase the average paid lunch price by two percent plus the Consumer Price Index annual inflation rate (2.27 percent). Those charging less than the minimum price average of $2.65 are required to either gradually increase prices to reach the average or provide additional non-federal support for lunches.
In other action, the board congratulated Central Middle student John Hicks, who qualified for state honors and to attend the State Academy for Summer Studies. Hicks participated in the 2014 Duke University Talent Identification Program (TIP) seventh-grade talent search.
Director of Communications, Instructional Media and Teacher Quality Sonia Dickerson told the board TIP is a nonprofit group serving academically gifted and talented students. The organization works with students, their families and educators to identify, recognize and challenge student to reach their potential.
Candidates are invited to take the ACT or the SAT college entrance exams as seventh graders as a way to give them insight into their academic abilities. Dickerson said 18 county school students participate in the Duke TIP program. The board also recognized Surry Early College sophomore Logan Smith as the state champion for the Invest Writer essay competition for fall 2013.
Dickerson told the board Smith was honored at the Koury Convention Center in Greensboro during the North Carolina Council on Economic Education’s 28th annual Awards Banquet. She said this is the second year an Early College student has been a state champion in this event.
Four North Surry students were recognized by the board for participating in the “Spring Into Life” organ donation assembly. The group also was honored by the Mount Airy Rotary Club for winning contests associated with the assembly, which was sponsored by the North Surry Interact Club.
Junior Sylina Ruiz had the winning T-shirt design which was printed on 2,200 shirts given to every teachers and student at the school. Haley Sumner was first in the assembly’s essay contest and Joshua Eleva and Ashley Oakley were second.
Students Courtney Utt, Abby Vipperman and teacher Carol Atkins were congratulated for designing the Project Unify T-shirt for all North Carolina schools. Project Unify is a program using sports and Special Olympics initiative to promote schools where all young people foster respect, dignity and advocacy for those with intellectual disabilities. The duo designed the logo during lunch at the group’s summit training conference in Granite Falls.
Superintendent Dr. Travis Reeves announced Cathy Flippen had been chosen as the Employee of the Month. Flippen serves as one of the custodians at White Plains Elementary.
“She is a wonderful employee and a friend to White Plains. She goes beyond what is required of her and is always positive about doing it. The students, staff and community of White Plains love Mrs. Flippen,” said Reeves as he quoted from comments given on Flippen’s nomination. “On a daily basis, she keeps the grounds and school clean. She decorates on various occasions, makes the school a pleasant place every day, and is very friendly to all who visit White Plains. Mrs. Flippen is rarely out and is never late for work. The staff at White Plains is very blessed to work with her.”
The names of all recipients of Employee of the Month honors were collected for a drawing to determine who would get to drive an automobile from Simmons Nissan for 30 days. The winner of the drawing is Susan Edwards.
The board also approved a proposal to construct a modular press box at Surry Central to replace the older one at the football field. The new structure will be a raised brick modular unit with restricted rooftop access for coaches. The Surry Central Boosters Club has raised $65,000 for the project and plans to fully fund the initiative, and the school board approved it with the stipulation that it stay at or under budget.
The board also approved an Eagle Scout Project request from North Surry student Wesley Freeman. The project includes installing a stepping stone path around a large spirit rock at Flat Rock Elementary.
David Broyles may be reached at 336-719-1952 or on twitter@MtAiryNewsDave.