Leader Blues

Friday, August 18, 2006

TOP STORY >>Cabot prepares for start of class

IN SHORT: Close to 9,000 students get ready to hit the books in Cabot when classes resume Monday, although Cabot Junior High North students don’t start for another week, except the ninth graders, who will meet at the high school.

By HEATHER HARTSELL
Leader staff writer

Cabot Public School District students head back to school Monday, and Supt. Frank Holman has hopes of a safe and productive school year.

“Take your time, slow down,” Holman said, setting goals for the new school year. “Continue to work together to build a learning community.”

The 1,250 students of Cabot Junior High North, which burned down Aug. 10, will start classes Monday, Aug. 28. Ninth graders’ classes will be held at the high school campus, where they’ll also have their lunch, but on a different lunch schedule. Seventh- and eighth-grade students will have class at the trailer campus, with hot lunches being brought in for them.

Holman told The Leader that students will be served their lunch cafeteria style from the gym.

Weather permitting, the students will get to eat outside in the bleachers until further provisions can be made.

Lunch for all 9,000-plus students attending Cabot schools will reflect Gov. Mike Huckabee’s initiative for a healthy Arkansas.
“We voluntarily moved to a lower percentage of high-calorie beverages a year ago,” Holman said. “I’m pleased with the number of healthy meals we serve that the students will eat.”

Working with child nutritionists, Cabot schools moved to serving more nutritious meals and more water and juices. A typical lunch menu includes a serving of fruit and a low-fat milk of the student’s choice, along with offerings such as hamburgers, chicken nuggets, pizza and steak fingers.

Cabot High School students can still use the vending machines on campus, but only for a limited time during the school day. “There are some machines still at the high school,” Dr. Holman said, “only because we still have a year or so left on contract with the vendors.”

The cost of lunch for the 2006-2007 school year is $1.50 for elementary and middle school students, and $1.75 for junior and senior high students. The cost of breakfast for all students is $1. Students qualifying for reduced priced lunches will pay 40 cents.

Parents of Cabot students do not have to purchase school uniforms, but will be expected to purchase items not usually seen on school supply lists. Second graders at Southside Elementary must supply Mr. Clean Magic erasers; kindergarten students at Southside must bring a canister of Clorox wipes. Students of Magness Creek Ele-mentary are only asked to bring two items the first day of school: a backpack and $30 to $40 supply fee, depending on the students’ grade level.

The teachers have done the school-supply shopping for parents to ensure that every student has the same supplies.
Supply fees are $40 for kindergarten, $30 for first, second and third graders, and $35 for fourth graders.