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School lunch offers whole grains, fruits, veggies

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POLSON — “Lunch dude” Jim Steiner reported on changes in the school lunch program for the Polson school board at the Sept. 13 meeting.

“If you don’t know it, I have a great food service staff,” Steiner said. “They work very hard every day.”

Steiner and his crew have introduced a new grab and go lunch menu at Polson High School featuring five different menu items. Students at PHS can also enjoy an enhanced salad bar. 

“We offer five different fresh vegetables and fresh fruit at least twice a week,” Steiner said.

Throughout the district, the hot lunch program offers more whole grain products, such as whole wheat bread and tortillas. Kids can choose from one percent or skim milk. Fruit is available daily with fresh fruit twice a week. 

As far as the breakfast program goes, Steiner tries in include protein-rich foods daily and fresh fruit twice a week. 

Cherry Valley Principal Elaine Meeks applauded Steiner for responding to the staff in terms of what they want for lunch. Steiner made it possible for staff members to order either a chef salad or a chicken Caesar salad a day in advance, Meeks said, and the salads are great and inexpensive.

During the superintendent’s report, David Whitesell said the Board of Governors at PHS came up with the idea of having some new furniture and a big screen TV in part of the commons. Whitesell reported the old lockers are gone, and replacements should arrive in the middle of October. In the meantime, the carpet is down and the leather furniture is in place.

Whitesell also talked about replacing the PHS roof. A low- or zero-interest loan or a general obligation bond are the choices Whitesell came up with since no grants were available. 

A Montana Board of Investments INTERCAP loan at 1.10 percent interest was one option. Whitesell also mentioned an impact aid program, just like a general obligation bond but with no interest, that is secured with a district’s impact aid money.  

“One option we do not have to continue with is this roof,” Whitesell said.

Administrators Brian Adams, Bill Appleton, Tom DiGiallonardo, Rob Hankins, Shawn Hendrickson, Heather Jones and Meeks walked the board through teacher evaluation. Then Whitesell explained the administrative evaluation form.

In other business, the board approved:

• One out-of-district enrollment

• Claims

• Elementary personnel report

• A letter of reprimand for Lynn Kelly

Meetings will be moved to 5:30 p.m. after the next regularly scheduled meeting on Oct. 11.

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