District 117 school board discusses mumps, school lunch prices and weather

By Ryne Turke on March 20 at 7:06am

The mumps virus was one of the major topics of discussion at last night’s District 117 school board meeting.

There were 12 confirmed cases of the mumps in Morgan County as of Monday. District 117 Superintendent Steve Ptacek says it got to the point where Jacksonville High School was almost forced to close their doors completely by the state health department.

“We would have to have excluded everyone until we got proof that they had an injection,” says Ptacek.

“There is no way from Friday afternoon to Monday morning that we could have gotten that proof. There was not any tone that the school is in danger or a precarious position, it was just that they were giving us such short notice to have the proof of non susceptibility amongst our staff.”

But Ptacek says the problem has been resolved.

“Coach, assistant coaches and everyone involved in the school 100% have shown some form of proof of non susceptibility,” says Ptacek.

In other action at last night’s meeting, the school board approved the request for an “Act of God” day on February 6th. To be classified as an “Act of God” day, conditions must pose a hazardous threat to the health and safety of students.

Starting next school year, school lunches will increase. The school board voted to up lunch prices to $2.40 while the elementary and junior high levels will charge $1.90. Ptacek tells us why the prices are being raised.

“The federal government has determined that school districts must charge the same amount for paying customers for lunches as the federal government reimburses us for free lunches,” says Ptacek.

“School districts across the country are having to face this fact that they are having to increase their school lunches prices every year until they meet that federal reimbursement dollar amount.  There is a formula sheet that they calculate for us that tells us how much we have to raise our lunch prices every year.”

The Vision 117 committee will hold the 3rd of 4 community engagement meetings with the purpose of developing a facilities improvement master plan for the Jacksonville School District. Ptacek tells us what to expect.

“We have narrowed the plans for future development down to 11 options,” says Ptacek.

”At the next community engagement night we will ask the community members there to look at the 11 options and provide their input and  from that input we are going to finalize the final four options that we will bring the the fourth community engagement night on April 30th.  So March 26th, next Wednesday, please show up and give your input.”

The meeting will be held at the JHS cafeteria at 6:30.