WJCC School Board: Tuition, lunch increases and high school banking

The Virginia Gazette

Students in Williamsburg-James City County schools will pay more for school lunches this year, and those who pay to attend to the district’s schools will also pay more in tuition.

At a work session of the district’s school board Tuesday night, officials agreed on a 10-cents increase to school lunches. This will make the lunch prices: $2.50 for elementary, $2.60 for middle, and $2.75 to $3.50 for high school students, who have the option of using a salad bar for lunch.

The increase stems from a section in the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, which requires schools participating in the National School Lunch Program to provide the same level of support for lunches served to students paying for lunch as for students eligible for free lunch.

Per the law, if the paid lunch price is less than the federal reimbursement for the free lunch, the school district has to increase the school lunch prices. 

This is the third year in a row school lunch prices have increased. “Ten cents doesn’t seem like a lot, but when you multiply it by meals a week and a number of children, it can be a lot, so I remain concerned,” school board member Heather Cordasco said.

Students from outside the district who pay tuition to attend schools in Williamsburg and James City County will also see an increase in their costs.

Families of special needs students will see the largest increase, 2.6% or $448 a year. The regular education rate is increasing less than 1%, or $32. The rates would be $9,471 and the special education rate is $17,681 a year.

School officials also approved a plan that would bring banking to all of the county's high school. Warhill High School students already can bank with BayPort Credit Union during lunch, but with a new agreement, students and Jamestown and Lafeyette, will as well. 

The student credit unions are manned by students as tellers with faculty advisors overseeing them. Credit union members can make deposits and withdrawls from the bank. 

The program, which is already available to York High School students in neigboring York County, will begin this year at Williamsburg and James City County high schools. 

The school board also recognized district students for their outstanding sports achievements, including Lafayette’s boys and girls track and field teams who won the Group 3A Conference 25 championship in May, Lafayette High School baseball team, who won the state championship, Jamestown High School’s boys soccer team, who also won a state championship and several all-star soccer, baseball and tennis players.

Reach Michele Canty at (757) 345-2341.

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