56 board

For the next 4 years, at least, District 56 will be able to offer breakfast and lunch to all schools free of charge - an estimated $730/annual savings to the families who send their kids to public schools in Clinton and Joanna.

Child Nutrition Director Cindy Jacobs made the announcement at last week’s regular meeting of the D56 Board of Trustees.

Child Nutrition has been coordinating in-school meals and meals-pickup for virtual students throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, with the help of volunteers. The District has free breakfast and lunch now, but this new federal approval solidifies the program for 4 years. It is part of a nationwide effort to ensure that all children get at least one healthy meal each day, even through the summer.

“This definitely is something deserving of some press,” Superintendent Dr. David O’Shields said. 

As the school year winds down, the board was made aware of some upcoming dates:

May 15, Clinton High outdoor prom; May 18, Clinton Middle most improved and May 21 top students programs; May 21, CHS senior cookout and May 25 outdoor band concert; the Senior Parade at CHS and CMS campuses; June 17, CHS senior awards in Wilder Stadium at 8 p.m. and City of Clinton firework at 9:30; and June 18, CHS graduation - May 11, school board budget workshop, and May 24, next Board of Trustees meeting (both at CHS).

O’Shields urged principals to calendar their events with the district office, as board members will want to attend and represent the Board of Trustees.

The board also authorized the submission to the State Department of Education, meeting an April 30 deadline, of the district and schools strategic plans. Normally, school send in the good and bad aspects of their facilities; this year, the board was told, the State wants only a list of deficiencies, and how these will be improved. 

The strategic plans will come into play again during a Fall 2021-22 accreditation renewal visit.

The “Big Issue,” said O’Shields, is teaching parents how to their kids’ teachers at home. That’s why schools hold literacy nights and math nights, the board was told.

The board also heard a Clinton Elementary update from Principal Melodie Edwards (and received T-shirts), recognized the State Champion Clinton High School Academic Bowl and Science Olympiad Teams, and honored the School Nurses for their work during the global pandemic. The board was told IT Director Lance Taylor has been named to an important position on a state committee working to ensure cyber-security.​