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Free breakfast, lunch on menu this year at RHS

RONAN — All Ronan High School students are getting free breakfasts and lunches this year if they choose, thanks to a federal Department of Agriculture program.

About two-thirds of RHS students are taking advantage of the program, Ronan Schools Superintendent Mark Johnston said during the Ronan Chamber of Commerce luncheon last week at the Ronan High School Library. 

K. William Harvey and Pablo Elementary Schools and Ronan Middle School are each in their third year of the program, according to Marsha Wartick, food service supervisor at Ronan Schools. She said 95 percent of the students in those schools are using the federal program, which allows individual schools and entire districts to qualify if at least 40 percent of the students are eligible for federal programs such as food stamps, welfare (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) or Head Start, for example. 

Wartick said she was recently approached by a 17-year-old high school student who said she is thankful for the food program. Without the program she said couldn’t be sure where her next meal might come from. 

Math coaching

Johnston also said the school district received a $150,000 grant from the state Office of Public Instruction for math coaches. 

Idaho teachers, Angie Godfrey and Rhonda Birnie, are spending one day a month at Ronan schools supporting teachers as they implement the district’s math curriculum, Johnston said. The Idaho teachers are assisting Ronan District teachers with best practices for teaching the curriculum and utilizing the math materials. 

All of the district’s elementary teachers are receiving help, he said, along with eight middle and high school math teachers. 

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