Seeking more revenue for the upcoming school year, the Oblong Unit 4 Board of Education Monday night approved increases to student fees and meal prices.
Student breakfast will now cost $2 and student lunch will cost $3. Adult breakfast is now $3 and adult lunch will be $4. The sports/activity fee was increased to $25, but the largest increase was in registration fees. Registering students will now cost $20 more, $60 for K-8 and $75 for high school. Also, the cap per family on student athletic fees has been removed.
The district is also looking to increase the driver's education fee, but the amount being considered will require a public hearing before approval during the June meeting.
"Our financial issues are well documented and we have been working for many years to cut expenses wherever we can, but now we must look at ways to increase revenues," Unit 4 Superintendent Jeff Patchett said. "We've looked at all areas: meals, sport and activity fees, student registration and driver's ed. What do these programs cost and what can we charge to help decrease our deficit?"
The board is also studying the possibility of such cost-saving measures as preparing high-school meals at the grade-school cafeteria and taking them to OHS rather than operating two kitchens, and using central printers in some areas to reduce the cost of inkjet cartridges.
Also Monday, the board held a public hearing for comments on a proposal to sell $800,000 bonds to increase the working cash fund of the district.
In other business, the board approved the final calendar for the 2012-13 school year. The last day of school for students in the Oblong school district is Friday, and the teachers will come back next Tuesday for an institute day.
The board also approved an estimate of $1,306 for refinishing the gym floor at the grade school and $1,275 for the high-school gym floor from Mokim Hardware Refinishing.
Also, the board approved renewing the contract with Crawford Memorial Hospital for athletic training services for $432 per year and also approved departmental budgets for the 2013-14 school year and also student insurance.
The board also gave tentative approval to updates in seven school policies and one new policy regarding students bringing tech items to school.
In personnel matters, the board approved the collective bargaining agreement between the Oblong Teachers Association and the Oblong school board for the 2013-14 school year and accepted Joe Hill's resignation as assistant high-school boys' basketball coach. The board approved Gregg Brooks as volunteer high-school boys' basketball coach and Tracy Pepmeier as volunteer assistant high-school cheerleading coach.
The board also approved John Ireland as teacher for the Crawford County CEO program.
In other business, the board approved:
A request from the junior class to hold the 2014 prom in the Oblong Elementary School Gym Saturday, April 26, 2014.
A request for one FBLA student to attend the National FBLA Conference in Anaheim, Calif., with the district using the remaining $1,150 in the FBLA account toward registration and hotel accommodations.
A request from the FFA to attend the Illinois FFA Convention in Springfield June 13-14 and an FFA field trip request to go to Turkey Run.
* A request from the FCCLA and FBLA to go to Six Flags.
A request from the high school boys basketball team to attend camp at the University of Southern Indiana.
The next regular meeting of the Oblong Unit 4 Board of Education will be Monday, June 17 at 7 p.m. in the Oblong Room.