Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

By Bethany Helwig
Moose Lake Star-Gazette 

Meal improvements for Willow River School


Changes are coming for meals at Willow River School for the 2019-20 year as approved at the regular meeting of the school board on July 16. Superintendent Bill Peel said one of the things most asked for in the strategic plan survey was to improve lunch. In response, they will be adding a salad bar, additional a la carte options, and will look into increasing the size of lunches. To assist with this improvement, the price of lunch will be increased by 10 cents across the board. The school will maintain free breakfast for the elementary.

In order to secure more funds for meals, the board will again ask all families with students to complete the application for free/reduced lunch (“Application for Educational Benefits”).

“Every application, whether or not they participate in the program, if they qualify we get additional funds,” said Superintendent Peel. “We’re asking every household to fill out an application. If they do that, we’re going to enter them into a drawing.”

It’s not necessary to qualify for the program to be entered in the drawing.

A television will be one prize, an air-fryer will potentially be another, and they are in talks to have a ride in a fire truck to school. The prizes are donated and not paid for by the district.

People may be hesitant to fill out the application as it asks for financial and other personal information. However, Superintendent Peel assured the board that the applications are confidential and no teaching staff sees the information.

Applications will be mailed out with the welcome back letters and are also available upon request from the school.

Superintendent Peel reported that the bus garage and sidewalk projects should begin before the end of July. He stressed to the contractors that the projects must be completed before the start of the school year.

In other business, the board accepted two donations: $1,000 from Dan and Sue Benzie and $5,000 from Minnesota Power for the playground.

The old playground sets have now been removed.

The board thanked the custodians and groundskeepers for their hard work to prepare the school for next year. They also thanked the summer bus and van drivers.

The results of the superintendent evaluation from June 19 were presented, finding that Superintendent Peel met or exceeded all standards of performance and goals.

A motion was passed to approve the 10-year long-term facilities maintenance plan.

The next regular board meeting is scheduled for August 20 at 6 p.m.


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