Henry County Public Schools (HCPS) and Martinsville City Public Schools (MCPS) are participating in the Summer Food Service program, which provides free meals to children under the age of 18 and low-cost meals to those aged 18-years or older.
“We are excited to announce that Martinsville City Schools will be participating in the summer feeding program this summer, which provides free breakfast and lunch to children 18 and under in our community and those participating in our summer learning programs,” said MCPS Director of Early Childhood Services Sheilah Williams, who discussed the matter with the city school board at its regular Monday meeting.
The program’s protocols, eased during the years of the pandemic, have returned for this summer, said Williams.
“All meals must be consumed onsite, and parents are no longer able to come by and pick up a meal for their children nor will we be able to provide bulk meals,” Williams said, explaining that the division can no longer send multiple meals home at the same time.
She said that any student who wanted a meal should stop by the main office at any school site- all are open- to sign in.
Anyone over the age of 18, including adults who want to enjoy a meal with their child, can purchase one for $4.50, she said.
Williams pointed out that mealtimes vary across the open sites, but information is posted on school marquee boards, on the Martinsville City School web and Facebook pages, and on flyers which she encouraged board members to help distribute and post.
“Martinsville High School will remain open for the entire summer,” Williams said. “Their last feeding day will not be until July 22, so they’ll be open to provide breakfast and lunch for our community throughout the summer along with our partnering sites, Patrick & Henry Community College, the Boys and Girls Club, and First United Methodist Church.”
“You also serve people who just walk up too, right,” asked Schools Superintendent Dr. Zebedee Talley.
“We will,” Williams affirmed. “If they’re under 18, it’s free of charge. Over 18 is $4.50.”
She further clarified that parents do not have to be present for a child to claim a meal.
For a complete list of participating sites for MCPS, see inside or visit www.martinsville.k12.va.us and click on School Nutrition under the Departments dropdown menu.
For a complete list of participating sites for HCPS, see the spotlight section at www.henry.k12.va.us.
In other matters, the board:
*Heard an update on the MCPS band program from band directors Brian Joyce and Grayson Givens. Joyce reported that enrollment for band appears to be increasing.
*Heard from Dr. Heather Tolbut who was one of 25 people selected nationwide for the Lincoln Fellowship Program. Tolbut told the board that she recently earned her doctoral program and that her dissertation looked at the impact of diversity and diversity training on school systems.
“The focus of the Lincoln Fellows is to look at how to increase social justice, inequality, and diversity not only in school systems but in social policy as well. Through the program I will have the opportunity to meet and talk with policy makers in Washington, D.C. as well as spend a week at the Lincoln Presidential Library,” said Tolbut.
She said she was looking forward to bringing resources and knowledge from the fellowship back to the school division.
*Heard year-end reports from representatives of each of the division’s schools. Most speakers remarked on the challenges faced returning to school after the pandemic necessitated virtual learning and continued to necessitate other changes to the school routines once in-person learning resumed.
Williams, who also is the principal of Clearview Early Learning Center told the board that “the 2021-2022 school year began like no other with temperature checks, mask-wearing, social distancing, contact tracing, desks surrounded by plastic barriers and all the other uncertainty that we experienced due to COVID-19.”
However, she said, “our staff and students quickly adjusted to a new normal and our teachers hit the ground running.” She said the teachers were “very resilient and found new ways of getting things done.”
Other school representatives also credited their teachers for their work during a uniquely challenging school year.
*Approved the consent agenda.
*Authorized Talley to assign personnel for the upcoming school year.
*Appointed Assistant Superintendent of Instruction Dr. Angilee Downing, Executive Director of Special Education & Student Services Dr. Cynthia Tarpley, and Executive Director for Administrative Services Travis Clemons as authorized designees to act in the absence of the superintendent for the upcoming school year.
*Adopted the annual Virginia School Boards Association Policy Services Agreement for the upcoming school year.
*Recognized members of the Martinsville High School track and field team who recently competed at the state level.
*Approved a request to apply for federal funds in the amount of $1,514,077.92 under the Elementary Secondary Education Act Consolidated Application.
*Approved a request to apply for the Title III, Part A Language for English Learners and Immigrant Students grant funds in the amount of $13,071.69.
*Approved the annual Virginia Public School Authority technology reimbursement resolution.
Dates of interest:
*June 20: Juneteenth holiday, schools closed
*July 4: July 4 holiday, schools closed
*July 27-29: new teacher orientation
*August 1: all teachers and staff return
*August 4: open house, all schools
*August 5: convocation
*August 8: first day of school, next regular school board meeting