By Conrad Dudderar
Yukon parents are being urged to apply for free and reduced lunch benefits because the school district will soon start charging for meals.
Yukon Public Schools’ Board of Education, at its Aug. 1st meeting, unanimously approved student meal prices for the 2022-23 school year.
Lunch prices will be $2.70 for elementary and intermediate schools and $2.95 for middle and high schools.
Breakfast prices will be $1.30 for elementary and intermediate schools, $1.40 for middle school and $1.70 for high school.
After two years of free meals amid the COVID-19 pandemic, YPS patrons must pay unless they meet federal guidelines to qualify for the free or reduced lunch program.
“Everybody needs to fill out the form, whether they think they’re eligible or not,” YPS Board Member Suzanne Cannon said after the meeting. “Some of those qualifications have changed and people who didn’t qualify in the past may qualify now.”
Unless he or she has been approved for benefits, each YPS student will be expected to pay for meals when Yukon’s 2022-23 school year starts next Thursday, Aug. 11.
Student meal prices were developed after consultation with YPS food service director Pamela Watson of the food service contractor Sodexo and guidance from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Yukon’s prices for the 2022-23 school year are the “minimum recommended” by the Oklahoma State Department of Education, YPS Assistant Superintendent Dr. Jason Brunk wrote in a memo to board members.
YPS meal prices for 2022-23 are the same prices that were going to be in place in the 2020-21 school year.
“We have to start charging for meals again,” YPS Superintendent Dr. Jason Simeroth said at the August board meeting. “There’s no longer full free meals.
“We need to make sure all our students participate in the free-and-reduced application forms. We need everybody to fill one out, even if you don’t think you can qualify, because it’s important to the district.”
Parents may apply for free and reduced lunch benefits through the YPS district website, http://www.yukonps.com.
ODDS ‘N ENDS
Among other business at their August meeting, YPS board members approved:
- A new board policy titled “Disciplinary Action for Misuse of School Bathrooms and Changing Facilities.”
- A 62-page 2022-23 YPS Student Parent Handbook.
- Sanctioning applications for the 2022-23 school year: Yukon Special Olympics Booster Club, Yukon Sports Medicine Booster Club, Yukon Swim Team Booster Club, Yukon Middle School Posse, Yukon Aces Tennis Booster Club, Central Elementary PSO, Yukon Cheer Booster Club, Cross Country and Track, Yukon Fastpitch Club, Yukon Boys and Girls Golf Booster Club, Yukon Home Run Club, Lakeview Intermediate PTO, Parkland Elementary PSO, Yukon Rebound Club, Redstone Intermediate PTO, Skyview Elementary PTO, and YHS Soccer Booster Club.
Meanwhile, Superintendent Simeroth said Yukon Schools is “almost fully staffed – which not a lot of districts can say.”
“We are 99.9% staffed, after this afternoon,” he told YPS board members Monday night.
Under the personnel docket, the school board approved hiring 14 certified and 38 support personnel.
YPS is Yukon’s largest employer, with some 1,200 certified and support employees.
District employees will be honored at an annual back-to-school breakfast next Monday, Aug. 8 inside the Yukon High School Gym, 1777 S Yukon Parkway.
Representatives of dozens of Yukon-area businesses and organizations will attend to show their appreciation.