Summary of Homer District 33C Board of Education Finance and Operations Committee Meeting
April 18, 2016
John Reiniche, Assistant Superintendent for Business, led the following discus- sions:
- An exploration of the District’s food service options and whether the District should hire Quest Food Management Services to provide healthier, made-from- scratch meals to students and staf The Lombard-based company currently ser- vices over 60 locations in over 110 kitchens across Chicagoland, including schools in Orland Park and Tinley Park. Reiniche recently surveyed Homer 33C parents to find out what type of meals like would like to see served in the schools and whether they would be willing to pay more for fresher, healthier meals. Of the 567 responses received, 75 percent indicated they would be willing to pay more for higher quality food. Students currently pay $3.00 for pre-packaged meals. For 50 cents more, the District could offer meals that include fresh fruits and vegeta- bles each day as well as freshly prepared sandwiches, wraps, pizza and pasta on a rotating basis. A committee of parents, (including one who has a child with die- tary restrictions), two PTO members, two principals, an administrator and a sup- port staff member recently taste-tested meals from Quest Food Management and gave it high marks for taste and quality. The District is moving away from the re- strictive National School Lunch Program (NSLP), which only benefits about 10 percent of our students. The program’s strict guidelines for the types/portions of food served have greatly impacted our student participation rate. Currently, only about 15-20 percent of our students participate in the food service program. We expect those numbers to double (based on results seen in neighboring districts) by offering fresher, made-from-scratch meals. Another advantage to switching pro- grams and moving away from NSLP is that we’ll be able to invite our PTOs back into the lunchrooms to offer healthy treats and other fundraising events. The op- portunity was negated by NSLP restrictions.
- An update on the District’s tax levy. The District’s preliminary tax extension from Will County is $40,668,074 — $2,119.74 (0.005 percent) more than the project- ed extension of $40,665,950.00. Of that amount, $704,536.94 is new money; the effective rate increase is 1.763 percent.
- A review of items going out for bid, including buses, paper, fuel and a district truck for Buildings and Grounds use. The District is working hard to create effi- ciencies throughout the District by taking stock of its supplies and implementing an inventory system that tracks everything from cleaning supplies to reams of pa- per at each school.
- An update on Will County’s plan to widen 143rd Stre The Will County Divi- sion of Transportation wants to acquire a sliver of property in front of Goodings Grove School as well as a temporary construction easement. The District is cur- rently negotiating a price with the Division of Transportation.
- An update on how the District is working with Frankfort School District 157C to write legislation making it mandatory for the State’s Attorney’s Office to consult school districts before settling tax objection cases. Homer 33C recently lost about
$150,000 in tax revenue when the Will County State’s Attorney’s Office entered a
settlement agreement without consulting the school districts.
The Next Regular School Board Meeting is April 26, 2016 at 7: 30 p.m .