GOWANDA - Short staffing may be a problem in Gowanda's cafeteria. Cafeteria Manager Jason Whipple discussed the situation at a board meeting.
Currently there are two monitors during each lunch period. In the past, teachers have served as monitors for lunch during their free periods. Due to budget constraints, teachers are no longer available to monitor.
"With declining staff over the last couple years, I don't have enough coverage any longer to ... put people in the cafeteria," High School Principal Robert Anderson said.
The final few months of the school year last year, Whipple said he would help out the monitor during one period or the school resource officer would help out as well.
"It became a problem over a long period of time as my staff ran out. ... I ran out of people as well," Whipple said.
Whipple said sickness and injuries caused many vacancies in the department. Whipple has gotten substitutes to help fill the vacancies and all substitutes are cross trained for monitoring and in the kitchen work. Each monitor works 2.5 hours per day and there are currently five monitors. He is asking for an additional monitor.
This school year, the lunch periods are being reduced from four to three periods, with about 120 kids per lunch period.
"We actually went from four lunch periods to three periods. ... We're losing the first lunch period and combining the (students) in to other periods," Whipple said.
The additional monitor will be a "wash," according to District Clerk Joelle Woodward.
"It's really just going to be a wash. You're reducing everybody else by 2.5 hours per day and now we're asking to back fill that with another person," Woodward said.
The board will put the request on the agenda at the next meeting. The board also approved the tax warrant for the amount of $4,702,947, which is an increase of $92,215 over last year. Superintendent Charles Rinaldi updated the board that the damage caused in a car accident to a school-owned building on Prospect Road and Indian Hill Road will be fixed and the school will not have to pay.
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