Unit 40 Board Discusses Lunch Payment Policy


Published on February 13 2020 8:49 pm
Last Updated on February 14 2020 8:10 am
Written by Greg Sapp


Effingham Unit 40 school board members Thursday discussed how to handle high school students who spend more than they have available on their lunch.

Unit 40 Lunch

There was sentiment by some members that, for a short time on an experimental basis, students will be given some grace if they don't have enough money on their account to pay for what they want to purchase. The students will be expected to settle their account or else other steps would be taken. Some, though, shared that having to stay within the funds they have available is a learning experience for the students.

There were concerns, too, that if kids go through an a la carte line and they don't have enough money to pay for what they picked up, and it's fresh food, it gets thrown away rather than the student getting to eat the food.

There is a tray line, three a la carte lines, and a salad line with some a la carte items available.

There was also discussion about installing a kiosk where students could check their balance on their card before getting in line.

Assistant Superintendent Jason Fox reminded the Board that their handbook reads that students won't be allowed to charge up a negative balance. Fox said, "If we let them charge themselves into the hole, we have broken our own policy."

Board members didn't set a length of time that they would try the experiment, but did discuss limits on how much a student would be allowed to go into the hole before they would be shut off from the a la carte lines and have to eat the tray meal.

Also Thursday, the Unit 40 Board expelled two students through the end of the 2020-2021 school year and expelled one student through the first semester of the 2020-2021 school year with the option to petition for reinstatement at the start of the 2020-2021 year if they have met all requirements. All three students will have the option of going to alternative school.

In personnel moves, the Unit 40 board transferred Sharon Macklin to an eight-hour position as secretary at Central rather than a 7-1/2 hour position; accepted the retirement of Debra Spence as a teacher at the end of the 2022-2023 school year; accepted resignations from Danielle Peyton as an interventionist at South Side at the end of the current school year, from Amy Merritt as a nurse paraprofessional, from Dennis Birch as a high school custodian, and from Jason Huber as a maintenance worker; and approved leaves for Liz Budde and Jessica Mathis with Mathis' an extension of a current leave.