Standish-Sterling, Pinconning agree to joint swim team

SSC adopts new meal charge policy


STANDISH — The Standish-Sterling school board unanimously agreed to form a joint swim team with Pinconning at its meeting May 13, which will see Pinconning boys and girls swimming under the SSC flag in the 2013-2014 school year.

Pinconning was unable to get enough students together to field a swim team last season, and as the SSC coaches already coached the Pinconning teams, they proposed merging the teams to form more competitive squads, Pinconning Athletic Director Jennifer Thunberg said.

“We’ve had low numbers, they’ve had low numbers, so the hope is that combined, we have enough for a competitive swim team,” Thunberg said.

She said the joint team would continue to be known as the Standish-Sterling Panthers, and practices and meets would continue to take place at SSC. Pinconning does not have its own pool, so its team had been practicing at SSC already.

The Pinconning school district already approved the measure in April and was waiting on the SSC board’s decision before moving forward, Thunberg said. While SSC board member Ron Bartlett had brought up the possibility, during the district’s April meeting, of checking for interest from Arenac Eastern and Au Gres-Sims to see if those districts would like to be included, Thunberg said the timetable would have made that impossible.

“The deadline for girls’ swimming is coming up because it’s in the fall,” she said. “So I don’t think it’s possible to add another school at this point due to the timing. It could happen down the road with other schools — that would be on Standish — but there are deadlines on that.”

Co-op agreements between school districts typically run for two years, at which point the school districts can re-evaluate the agreement and re-approve, amend, or end it. At that time, she said it would be possible to gauge interest from other area schools.

The Standish-Sterling school board also approved a new district-wide meal charge policy. According to Superintendent Darren Kroczaleski, the Food Services enterprise fund had been facing problems with students not paying for meals. Since it does not receive funds from the district, it gets money from meal sales, snack sales, and reimbursements from the state and federal governments. If left unaddressed, he told the school board it could result in higher lunch prices to make up the difference.

Under the new policy, students will get up to three meals “charged” to them, to be paid back at a later date, if they are unable to pay for their lunch. Students who have used up those charges can still get a meal, but is limited in their selection.

According to the policy, those students can either receive a meal that cannot be reimbursed by the government, such as a cheese sandwich and milk, or one that meets all of the meal pattern requirements — the example given is a cheese sandwich, milk, apple and carrot sticks. The choice is up to the schools. If the student is lactose intolerante, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich can be provided as an alternate if “medically appropriate.”

Accounts must be paid off by the end of the school year in order to receive a report card.


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