By Emily Younker
JOPLIN, Mo. —
Higher lunch prices at Joplin schools are in the offing this fall.
Under a proposal approved Tuesday night by the Board of Education, the price will increase for an elementary school lunch by 10 cents to $1.60, for a middle school lunch by 15 cents to $1.75 and for a high school lunch by 15 cents to $1.90. The price of an adult lunch will increase by 25 cents to $2.50.
The increase — the third in 15 years — is the result of a federal mandate from the U.S. Department of Agriculture related to reimbursements for lunch costs, according to Jason Cravens, the district’s director of secondary education.
The board also approved a new course for Joplin High School that will bring the Project Lead the Way program to the district. The program, which is already in use by the Carthage School District, provides science, technology, engineering and mathematics curricula to districts across the country, according to Assistant Superintendent Angie Besendorfer.
The new course, Principles of Engineering, is an introductory course that will provide freshmen and sophomores the opportunity to explore the basic concepts of the engineering field. It will be funded by a three-year, $35,000 grant that has been awarded to Franklin Technology Center, according to the district.
The program will fit into the new high school’s “career path” model of education, which will encourage students to pursue one of five career paths: health sciences, arts and communication, technical sciences, business and information technology, or human services.
“It’s something that is a very positive step in the right direction,” Besendorfer said of Project Lead the Way.
In other business, the board approved:
• Nearly $540,000 in bid packages for fencing, ceramic tile, landscape and irrigation at Irving Elementary School.
• Nearly $503,000 in bid packages, including testing, inspections, earthwork and site utilities, for the construction of safe rooms at Stapleton, McKinley, Eastmorland and Cecil Floyd elementary schools and at Junge Field. The bulk of the projects was approved by the board over the past two months, with plans for safe rooms at the remaining elementary schools under way.
• A $22,000 proposal to upgrade the operating system of the laptops used by students at the high school, along with two proposals, totaling about $48,000, that would equip Stapleton Elementary School with 30 iPads and 30 MacBook Air laptop computers.
• Annual renewal costs, totaling nearly $65,000, for Blackboard Learn, a program used by high school teachers to store content online, and for ESET, a technology security program.
• A $15,600 proposal for Apple TVs and a $22,900 proposal for digital signs and mounting equipment for East Middle School and Soaring Heights Elementary School.
NINE STUDENTS in Joplin High School’s class of 2013 who finished their graduation requirements during summer school received their diplomas Tuesday and were recognized by the Board of Education in a ceremony preceding the board’s meeting.