A $1,000 stipend was awarded to the food service managers in the Bell County School District at a recent school board meeting. The stipend will be paid for using money from the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Grant, which states 10 percent of the grant can be used for administrative cost.
The Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program allows schools to distribute fruit and vegetables to students during snack times.
“This (program) makes sure our children who don’t have concession money has something (to eat),” said Doris Cooper, food service director. “Nobody is left out.”
Though the program is great for children, it can add additional work for the food service managers. Along with providing breakfast and lunch, the managers also deal with pre-school and tutor snacks.
“These ladies work very hard,” said Cooper. “They are working harder this year than they have in a long time.”
Cooper said the managers are working at least an extra hour each day because of the additional work. The managers have also had to accommodate for several menu changes made by the federal government.
Cooper wants the stipend to be awarded in a separate check and delivered by November so the managers can have it before Christmas.
“I feel like they well deserve (the stipend),” said Cooper.
The board of education also changed a qualification for school guidance counselors in the district as well. The board passed a motion that will require guidance counselors to have an Individual Intellectual Assessment (IIA) endorsement.
According to Bell County Superintendent Yvonne Gilliam, this certification will allow guidance counselors to do special education evaluation and assessments. It will also allow the counselor to interpret data.
Gilliam stated the school psychologist , 90 percent of the time, is doing special education evaluations. If the guidance counselors are required to have the IIA endorsement, it will free up the psychologist to work with students who have serious needs, according to Gilliam.
The guidance counselors who currently do not have the endorsement will be given two years to receive it.
Anthony Cloud is a staff writer for the Middlesboro Daily News. He can be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 606-302-3643, ext. 208.