Trenton R-9 Board of Education increases meal prices, hears report on Summer school

Trenton R-9 School District

Trenton R-9’s board of education has increased breakfast and lunch prices to comply with federal guidelines; heard reports on the recently-concluded summer school; as well as the progress of summer projects.

Board members had a discussion on installing artificial turf for the football surface at C-F Russell Stadium of Trenton.

Superintendent Dan Wiebers and R-9 board president Kevin Bailey requested input from the board on allowing the fundraising to continue toward replacement of the football field grass with an artificial turf next year. Donations and pledges are being sought to go toward the cost of the proposed project while committee members are described as vowing that no school tax dollars be spent on it. A couple board members expressed concerns about R-9 having turf maintenance costs in the future but were told by Bailey that the committee intends to also provide a maintenance fund.

Wiebers reported 39 commitments have been secured for an accumulated total of $331, 400. That’s a majority of the anticipated costs that are said to range from 528 to 600 thousand dollars. It also was pointed out the R-9 school board will continue to be involved in the process partly due to the future request for construction bids on a project of this size.

Without objection, but no vote, it’s the apparent consensus of the seven-member board to allow the fundraising to continue. The foundation trust for THS will be the depository of funds since it has a tax deductible status. Board President Bailey called it an awesome gift to the school district with so many alumni involved.

Breakfast and lunch prices will go up by a dime for students and adults who eat at Trenton schools. The new rates for students are high school / middle school at $2.20 for lunch; Rissler at $2.00 for lunch; and student breakfast at all three buildings will be a $1.30. Adult prices are two-60 for lunch and $1.60 for a breakfast. Reduced rates still apply at forty cents for lunch and 30 cents for breakfast.

Summer school was described by its administrator, E’lisha Gass, as beneficial for students, the school, and the community. She credited financial incentives offered by Catapult Learning for increasing the enrollment and daily attendance.

Mrs. Gass stated 145 students had perfect attendance with each earning a $100 (Visa) gift card. 73 others had near perfect attendance and earned a 50 or 75 dollar gift card. It was a total boost to the local economy of $19,435 dollars in gift cards. Catapult also provided $3,300 worth of student prizes; plus two I-pad mini’s on the last day of school.

R-9 summer school finished with 243 students, an increase by 41 over last year. Average daily attendance was nearly 94 percent – about a ten percent increase.

In his report, Supportive Services Director Kris Ockenfels said the high school parking lot project was completed with 18 thousand dollars under budgeted costs.

Superintendent Wiebers noted R-9 purchased 111 thousand dollars of asphalt from the city of Trenton. Other significant payments went to Larry Griffin for labor and equipment; Tim Miller for trucking the asphalt; and Joe Devorss for curb and sidewalk work. Milling work, done prior to asphalting, was paid for last month.

Ockenfels reported the summer projects remaining include another exit for the back middle school parking lot; finishing up the balcony improvements at the high school gym, and installing an LED message sign for the high school campus.

The board set the annual tax rate public hearing for August 9th at 5:25 pm at the district office. It will precede the regular board meeting that night. At the end of that meeting, board members are invited to accompany school officials and tour the various summer projects.

Back to school activities were reviewed with offices at the high school, middle school, and Rissler elementary re-opening the first of August. The >