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Santee School Board Meeting Kicks Off the First Day of School

Discussions were all over the board- from student menus, to the first day of school, last year's attendance, and more.

• The board announced that the longtime and beloved teacher Kathy Davis had passed away in the last couple weeks. The meeting was adjourned in her memory and the board members shared a few stories about her and the students she was so good at teaching. See clips of those memories in the video in the media box

Superintendent Report

• According to Superintendent Patrick Shaw, it was the first time in District history that the first day of school was also a rain day.

• Principal Stephanie Southcott had the biggest smile of the day, he said, as she basked in the glow of the new construction at PRIDE Academy. It was noted that about 20 skateboarders were already outside skating in the new parking lot and on the new red benches out front.

• Shaw said he visited all 9 schools and it seemed that had the smoothest first day and the roughest start was , which has about doubled the size of it’s parking lot, which caused a jam, and they are in the process of installing skylights, which caused some dripping due to the rain.

• “Things were running well and in great shape at all sites,” said Shaw.

School Foundation

•The presented a check for $27,000 to the Santee School District. $15,000 will go to help fund Arts Attack, the program that brought Santee school art programs back to life. The rest will help support technology funding at schools.

•The Foundation, which gives $30,000 to $40,000 annually to the district, will be working on a "Feed the Turkey" program next, the proceeds of which will go to get books for the schools. Look for more info on that program soon.

Superintendent Discussion

• This year the district is looking at providing more info to parents regarding student nutrition, said Shaw.

• Cathy Abel, director of Child Nutrition Services at the Santee School District, gave a presentation. Here's the key points:

•Santee uses nutrient standard menu planning when determining what to feed students throughout the day. It is more flexible, which offers more variety.

• Each day there is a variety of 5 entrees to choose from.

• No more than 30 percent of the calories in a school lunch can come from fat, and no more than 10 percent saturated fat.

• See the nutritional standards chart that outlines specifics for each grade level.

• Since student nutrition was on the menu, parent and Wellness Committee member Joe Spencer spoke out against chocolate milk again. See video in media box.

 • The board wants to let parents know that you can let your child's school know what you want your kid eating. Call the school and a note gets tagged in the computer system so your kid cannot get chocolate milk, or can't eat at all without cash, or can't eat the peanut butter they're allergic to.

• The district will be sending out an information sheet about school nutrition to parents in the next few weeks.

Student Attendance

• The Santee School District achieved 96.43 percent attendance in the last school year. All nine schools improved attendance in 2010-11 compared to 2009-10. See the photos of the presentation in the media box to see individual school increases in attendance.

• According to the district, incentives played a big role in this improvement.

• Because of this, 18,024 more hours of study were completed, with  $106,104 more revenue generated for the school district as a result

• 686 students (11 percent of the SSD) had perfect attendance last year!

Joe Spencer September 07, 2011 at 06:19 PM
The one thing that didnt sit well with me about the meeting last night is the Board's inconsistancy in handling the chocolate milk issue versus the cupcake issue. The Board wanted to limit the cupcake celebrations to once per month. I assure you kids will be getting MULTIPLE cupcakes on that day. Yet, for chocolate milk the Board decided to "let the parents decide". They want parents to call in and "flag" the childs account to prevent chocolate milk. C'mon....REALLY? I can respect any decision....if you are consistant. When you are inconsistant....I will take you to task. Blog Pending..... :)
Joe Spencer September 07, 2011 at 10:42 PM
Very cute....love the humor :) While I support having cupcakes on birthdays (after all what child wants to celebrate their birthday 2 weeks after the fact and not on their special day) I am ok with the one per month--so long as the school district shows the same care and concern for everything else. The fact is chocolate milk is about MONEY. Plain and simple. That is why everyone involved with Dairy/Milk is pushing so hard to KEEP milk. Chocolate Milk is a HUGE percentage of their sales to schools....they certainly do not want to lose it! The school district does not want to get rid of chocolate milk for fear of the loss of lunch sales and the almighty dollars they might lose. I would certainly like to know if the schools get a financial "kick back" for keeping milk in the schools. It seems like that might be a possibility. So my fight is about walking the walk of the talk you bring to the table. If the school district wants to be healthy...then be healthy.....across the board... But you are right.....those damn juice pouch straws....... :)
Christal Ferris September 07, 2011 at 11:58 PM
Jeni, I would still say that if you are a parent and you don't want your kid to have a cupcake, then let the teacher know. I like the chocolate milk compromise. If I can tell the school not to serve my child that, then I'm good with it. Same with cupcakes or other sugary treats. Many parents don't care what their children eat. For example, this morning when I was dropping of my daughter, a girl was having a handi-snacks, fruit roll-up and fruit juice for breakfast. Would I feed my kid that for breakfast? Heck no! But, it is that parents right to serve their kid whatever they please. However, banning any kind of food, takes away that parent's right.
K.H September 09, 2011 at 03:19 PM
My child was taking money from her piggy bank last her for "snack bar" where she could buy cookies ice cream chips ect. How is that ok but she can't celebrate her birthday with a cupcake. These cheetos they serve them have msg which causes migraines, allergies and in severe cases seizures. I think the schools needs to dig deeper into nutritional labels. Are the chicken nuggets even real meat and a big petzel filled with tube cheese is not healthy!
Joe Spencer September 09, 2011 at 09:28 PM
I'm a little confused because I've never seen this stuff at our schools for sale. Sure Ive seen plenty of it at class parties...but never for sale. Who is serving Cheetos? I fully agree that the food quality needs to be looked at. They say the Pretzel with a Cheese Cup serves to meet two food groups. The problem is they are right as far as government standards go. After the last Board Meeting I am beginning to think the fight at the District level is pointless...it needs to be taken to at least State Officials who can draft a bill to raise California standards ABOVE Federal standards.

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