Wednesday, August 15th, 2012
Pupils get menu choices
By Betty Lawrence
COLDWATER - Coldwater schools' food services director called new USDA food guidelines "the most sweeping" in her 14-year career.
Lynn Rinderle told school board members during a meeting Tuesday that students will be able to select from three to five different food components in the new "build a tray" cafeteria program, coined Offer vs. Serve.
"Instead of slapping the food on the tray, now the students can choose their food from five components of a meal," Rinderle said.
The five choices will consist of a meat, bread, fruit, vegetable and milk/juice. Each student will be required to choose either a fruit or vegetable. Students will pay the same for the meal, whether they take three items or all five.
The new format should lessen food waste, Rinderle said. Students likely will choose the food they will eat.
Other required cafeteria changes highlighted by Rinderle include larger portions of fruits and vegetables, using butter instead of margarine to reduce trans fats, no salt on the french fries to reduce sodium and white milk must be 1 percent or less. Flavored milk is to be fat free.
"Students also can choose between milk or juice. They don't have to take milk," she said. "I'm excited and feel the changes will be good in the end for the kids."
Students will be introduced to the new cafeteria format the second week of school.
Also during the meeting, board members accepted the resignation of Marceil Kahlig, secretary to the supervisor of student services. Her position is being filled by high school secretary Elaine Schwendeman. The high school position remains open.
Board member Todd Bills then expressed his displeasure at the changes in the high school staff.
"First of all, the board got rid of a good principal (Steve Keller) and now we've got two inexperienced people. In my view, the board is setting us up for failure," he said.
Board member Linda Steinbrunner disagreed, countering that changes will improve the school.
"It's up to our superintendent, not the board. We have to trust him," she said.
"That's just my opinion. I think it is a mistake. It's wrong and it concerns me very much," Bills added.
The board earlier this year voted not to renew the contract of Keller, a retired Parkway superintendent. This summer they hired Charles Tackett to take the role.
In other action, the board,
• Approved 13 activity budgets in one swoop, from the Family Career and Consumer Leaders of America to student council.
• Accepted Misuzu Kobashigawa, a Japanese exchange student, for the upcoming school year.
• Accepted donations from the athletic boosters of a water wheel for the soccer field ($2,000) and 50 sets of junior high football uniforms ($5,000).
• Accepted five additional students for open enrollment, bringing the total to 97.
• Hired Ashley Lefeld as assistant cross country coach.
• Approved 41 supplemental positions for the upcoming school year with board member Todd Bills asking Toby Siefring's title be changed from fall assistant athletic director to site supervisor.
• Approved 27 substitutes for the upcoming school year, including custodial, cafeteria, aides and bus drivers.