By Conrad Dudderar
Eligible parents are urged to apply for free and reduced benefits for their children as Yukon Public Schools again starts charging for meals in the 2022-23 school year.
The YPS Board of Education at its July meeting was briefed about meal prices for the new school term that starts Thursday, Aug. 11.
The Yukon school district received federal COVID-19 funds that have provided free meals for all students.
“The waiver that’s been in place for over two years is now expiring,” YPS Assistant Superintendent Dr. Jason Brunk told board members. “Starting on the first day of the ’22-’23 school year, under federal guidelines, we are required to resume charging for meals.”
So, all students will no longer receive free meals.
“There will be ‘full pay’ students, and then students can still quality for free lunch and reduced lunch,” Brunk explained.
“We do have to go back to charging ‘on day one’” unless the student qualifies for free or reduced lunch.
Meal prices for the 2022-23 school year are the same prices that were going to be in place for the 2020-21 school year.
“We’re charging really close to the ‘bare minimum’ that we’re allowed to charge,” Brunk pointed out. “Our prices are a little bit lower than what another large district south of us is charging.”
Per-meal breakfast prices will be $1.30 (elementary and intermediate schools), $1.40 (middle school) and $1.70 (high school).
Per-meal lunch prices will be $2.70 (elementary and intermediate schools) and $2.95 (middle and high schools).
“I want to reiterate, these are the same prices we were going to charge in ’20-’21,” Brunk noted. “This covers a (required) 10 cents-per-year increase, but still keeps us as low as we can really go this next school year.”
GETTING THE WORD OUT
With these new meal prices taking effect soon, YPS officials have been informing parents of the district’s approximate 9,100 students through e-mails and social media posts.
“We’ve already updated parents to let them know they’re going to have to pay or fill out a free-and-reduced lunch form this year and qualify for that,” Dr. Brunk added.
“We’re going to continue to send out those notices because this is different, and we realize this is something that’s going to impact family budgets.”
The school district already has received more than 500 applications for free- and reduced- lunch benefits for the 2022-23 school year.
Applicants will be eligible to win prizes like hoverboards, Nintendo Switches and iPods.
As an aside, the new YPS meal prices do not impact a current summer feeding program that provides free meals to students.
ODDS ‘N ENDS
In other business at its July 11th regular meeting, YPS board members approved:
- Continuing contract with Compliance Resource Group to provide drug tests for bus drivers. Cost has increased $5 per test totaling about $300.
- Continuing contract with the Big 5 Head Start program for YPS students. Net cost increase is $2,613.45.
- Rental contract with the City of Yukon for the Season of the Season concert on Dec. 15 at the Yukon Fine Arts Center. The City of Yukon is not charged a rental fee or cleaning deposit.
- Renewing annual membership in the Oklahoma State School Boards Association. Membership fee increased $230.
- Individualized education program with Moore Public Schools for a deaf Yukon student. Cost increased from $10,156.99 to $11,078.49.
- Declaring surplus items for the Special Services’ department – three speech testing kits, seven iPads and nine Chromebooks. These items are too old to update.
The YPS Board will have a special work session meeting July 18 at Lingo Construction’s office, 1135 N Robinson Ave. in Oklahoma City.
The next regular board meeting will be Monday, Aug. 1 at the YPS administration office, 600 Maple.
Yukon’s annual New Teacher Luncheon is Wednesday, Aug. 3 and the YPS Back-To-School Breakfast will follow Monday, Aug. 8.
Students return to YPS school sites for the first day of the new year Aug. 11.