At Monday’s Melissa Independent School District board of trustees meeting, the board presented a food service focus group update. At the last board meeting it was decided that a group of board members and administrative staff would look into the possibility of leaving the National School Lunch Program, a federally assisted meal program, and bringing more food options to Melissa schools.

The focus group toured Prosper ISD and Lovejoy ISD, two campuses that are off the National School Lunch Program. Lance Rainey, the executive director of administrative services for Melissa schools, gave the update. He said Prosper ISD outsources their food service at the secondary level to another company, while Lovejoy ISD does all their food service in-house.

This means that in Prosper there are franchised food service business like Pizza Hut and Chick-Fil-A offered inside the cafeteria, while Lovejoy does not have franchises but has another pizza line offered to students without the brand name.

“I was very impressed at the things they’re doing at Prosper and Lovejoy,” board member Bruce Minchey said. “One thing just to keep in mind as far as free and reduced lunches, both schools are able to fund the free and reduced lunches and provide those to the students that qualify by the additional profits they make by being off the program.”

The board is looking into getting off the National School Lunch Program at the middle school and high school levels. Getting off the program would mean the school would be able to provide more food options to students. Current nutritional requirements on the program restrict what types of food can be served, such as soda and chips.

An update on construction of the new high school and baseball softball fields was given. Drone video footage over the site of the high school was presented. The first concrete is expected to be put down near the middle of May for the fire lanes. Dirt for the sports fields are being built up and a retaining wall is in the works.

Design for the new elementary school is underway. The new school will have five parking areas, two play areas, two parent drop off routes, and a bus drop off. Design for the school will mirror Harry McKillop in the backwards “E” style. The front building will be facing east, and the back will face Throckmorton Road. After the design phase is complete, bidding for construction will begin, and construction should take one year. The school is slated to open in the fall of 2018.

The board approved policy updates, and for two students to attend competition at the Tournament of Champions at the University of Kentucky. Justin Berkeland and Jacob Gallimore have qualified in Duo Interpretation at the event. They will compete in April, and are the first students from Melissa High School to qualify for the event. They performed their skit based on Young Frankenstein before the board meeting.

After closed session the board approved teacher and administrative contracts for several new employees to the district.