Creek’s classroom breakfasts successful

MINGO JUNCTION — A new program aimed at keeping students fed and focused on studies has been seen successful in the Indian Creek Local School District, according to officials.

School board members heard an update on the Breakfast in the Classroom program during a recent meeting, where Assistant Superintendent John Belt and district Food Service Director Eric White gave a presentation.

The initiative kicked off last spring but is now in full operation at Wintersville and Hills Elementary schools and impacts more than 900 pupils.

Breakfast in the Classroom was launched in partnership with the Children’s Hunger Alliance of Columbus, which provided a $2,000 mini-grant to implement the program in three classrooms at Wintersville Elementary and two rooms at Hills. Pupils have an option of receiving a hot meal or cereal, fruit and milk, and the meals are delivered directly the classroom instead of eating in the cafeteria. The purpose is to ensure children are fed so they can concentrate on learning, while it also added some instructional time, officials said. Reports indicated participation grew from 49 percent to 83 percent at WES and from 37 percent to 92 percent at Hills.

“We got a Breakfast in the Classroom grant for $16,900 for equipment and labor,” White noted, adding participation numbers have spiked. “There were an average of 800 breakfasts a day and yesterday we hit over 1,000. We’ve fed roughly 80 to 83 percent of the K-4 population.”

Superintendent T.C. Chappelear thanked the Indian Creek Education Association and teachers, saying it changed the teachers’ usual routines but they have handled it admirably.

ICEA President Karen Lloyd said she is thankful and complimented school leaders for instituting a program she had learned about at a state conference. She continued that Indian Creek was one of 10 districts in the state to obtain the grant, while the program has also made a significant difference in the classrooms.

On a similar note, numbers were provided for the Seamless Summer Option, a program offered through the Ohio Department of Education providing meals during the summer. Breakfast and lunch programs were provided at Hills Elementary and Indian Creek High School from June 5 to Aug. 25 and officials said 6,800 meals were distributed during that time. Leaders plan to apply for the program again next year.

In other action, the board:

¯ Adopted a resolution to provide career technical education to students in grades sixth through 12th.

¯ Approved an agreement with Bethany College to provide student teaching and early experience services to college education students.

¯ Entered into an agreement with the Jefferson County Juvenile Court to provide school liaison services to the district.

¯ Approved agreements with Ohio Valley Speech Services to provide speech/hearing screening and speech therapy, Ana McGurn to provide nursing and health administration services and Ohio Valley Student and Career Counseling Services to provide counseling for Jefferson County Christian School students.

¯ Entered into an agreement with Franciscan University of Steubenville’s nursing department to provide clinical education and practice for students in the nursing degree programs.

¯ Approved supplemental personal service contracts for Denny Cowser, eighth-grade football coach; Taylor Fithen, freshman volleyball coach; Doug Karas, varsity football assistant coach; and Mentha Moore, majorette line instructor.

¯ Approved the employment of Roseann Mazik as intervention teacher at Indian Creek Middle School.

¯ Named custodian Mark Chescick, paraprofessional and secretary Shelly Coffman and custodian and cafeteria worker Lawrence Thompson to the classified substitutes’ list.

¯ Approved extra-duty supplemental contracts to Joseph Strohmeyer, seventh-grade girls basketball coach; Margaret Flower-Olson, ICHS and WES choir for three performances each; Colleen Shepherd, grades 5-6 student council at ICMS; Toni Voltz, grades 7-8 student council at ICMS; Kristi Sciarra, WES before and after-school physical activities director; Sarah Houser, swimming head coach; and Matthew Shreve, ICMS wrestling coach.

¯ Approved before and after-school care staff, including coordinators Amy Rusnak of Hills and Karen Lloyd of WES; teachers Cathy DiBenedetto, Amy Rusnak, Michele Fabbro, Jessica Clegg, Ruth Rees, Karen Lloyd, Mary-Lil Guisto, Kristi Sciarra, Rachel Stuart, Sarah Hayes, Ann Hardman, Heather Sullivan and Bobbie Jo Agin; and classified staff Rebecca Altieri, Christina Keyser, Brenda Hyde, Linda Scarabino, Holly Edwards and Laura Sabedra Norris.

¯ Approved one-year probationary contracts for Sarah Vanderwerff as cook at Hills and Shaun Ford as paraprofessional at ICMS.

¯ Approved the resignation of ICHS custodian Andrew Strohmeyer.

¯ Approved a one-year limited contract to Makenzie Householder as technology assistant at WES.

¯ Congratulated Alexis Pethal on being named the homecoming queen and also lauded the high school girls soccer team for its successful record.

¯ Heard from Chappelear that the school year has had a successful start and the One-on-One Chromebook initiative is being implemented at ICMS. He announced that he was also accepted into the Ohio School Leadership Institute.

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