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  • Writer's pictureJournal Staff Report

Pleasanton school officials weighing free lunch program

Journal staff report based on submitted information


PLEASANTON – Officials with the Pleasanton USD 344 school district have until the end of the month to decide whether to participate in the 2024-25 Community Lunch Eligibility program. The program could provide free breakfasts and lunches to all students in the district if it met program guidelines. 


However, Superintendent Don Epps said that the district does not have high enough direct certifications of free lunch to qualify the district for 100% reimbursement. Epps told the board of education that the district staff was trying to determine how much non-federal funds the district would need to contribute to participate in the program.


Following an audit of the district’s food service for the past year, the state is recommending the following increases:

• Milk increases from 50 cents to 60 cents per serving

• Adult breakfast increases to $2.50, and adult lunches increase to $4.50


The board approved those recommendations.


Epps also discussed the process of starting a district strategic plan with the support of the Kansas Association of School Boards (KASB). He told them KASB has established a strategic plan model with proven implementation steps that has been successful for many school districts.


The superintendent told the board that if the district decided to move forward with the strategic plan process, it would include connecting with the district’s Strategic Focus the district established during the 2023-24 school year. A strategic plan would guide the district over the next five years as it worked to combine the current Kansas Education System Accreditation and Building Needs Assessment into a single strategic plan.


In other business, the board:

  • Learned that the district staff was working on a uniform attendance policy that would be consistent across all grade levels. The board will review that policy at its July meeting.

  • Approved hiring Seth Gabbert as the grades 7–12 math teacher and the head high school basketball coach.

  • Approved hiring Kasen McKee and Brian Hutchinson as assistant football coaches.

  • Accepted the resignations of Kim Brown as head cross country coach, Tanner Edwards as junior high head football coach, and Chip More as assistant high school football coach.

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