The cost of a school lunch in Unit 5 is going up 5 cents beginning this fall. Lunches will increase from $2.00 to $2.05 for students. The instructional supply fee is also being hiked. Unit 5 Business Manager Marty Hickman said rising costs are to blame.
"All the increases, the causes, is increased costs. So for school lunches, for the instructional supply fees, we're increasing those this year because of increased costs in those areas. We haven;t raised fees actually for two years" said Hickman.
Students who receive lunches through free and reduced costs programs will not be affected by the increase. Hickman said Unit 5 schools rank relatively low o price per lunch compared to other local districts. Unit 5 high schools will also offer Tier 1 and Tier 2 lunch options. Teri 2 will contain more food than Tier 1 and will cost 65 cents more than a Tier 1 lunch after the increase. This option was added after student athletes complained they were still hungry after their regular school lunch.
New school bus technology has been worked into the fee cost for Unit 5 school buses next year. The Z-Pass is a scanning device that will be in each Unit 5 bus, and will monitor where students get on or off. A log will be kept for school officials to see and track. Hickman said this technology will help keep students safe.
"First and foremost, it's great for safety, so now we know if there's ever an incident, or even just a parent question of where' my student, now we can go to the system and know, yes, that student did get on the bus. And we can do that while the bus is actually in motion" said Hickman.
Hickman said this will help Unit 5 know their actual day-by-day ridership on their buses. By knowing which stops students are actually going to, they can adjust routes for more cost effective trips. Hickman said he hopes this will help reduce transportation fund deficits in the future.