Chartwells Food Service Provider Updates Board on First Year's Performance
Chartwells Food Service Provider Updates Board on First Year’s Performance
At Booker T. Washington Elementary, Chartwells food specialists teach children a lesson about spices.
Chartwells Regional Director Michael Leonard attended the April 10, 2018 noon work session of the Wichita Falls ISD board members to give a report on the food service’s performance for the 2017-2018 school year.
This was the first year that Chartwells served as WFISD’s food service company.
Mr. Leonard reported to board members on the company’s efforts to link its activities with community businesses, specifically local growers like Moraths, Blaze Star Urban Farms and Steve Young.
The company also featured a Prom Promotion at two high schools that encouraged students to buy more lunches to increase punches to their punch cards. The company also lured in new business by letting high school students build their own breakfast burritos and win prizes throughout the school year, said Mr. Leonard.
Chartwells’ records show the company is increasing its business among high school students, “ticking up” among the elementary crowd, and “trending up” in the middle schools. Catering jobs have been popular, as has been the company’s food truck. However, revenue is down, possibly because of five lost days of revenue.
The company lost two days in February because schools were shut down for inclement weather.
The solution to the current revenue downturn is to watch expenses, reduce labor costs if possible and use up the company’s $900,000 of food in storage, said Mr. Leonard.
The company will also pursue more catering opportunities, hopefully with sports programs for their special events. The company is 90 percent booked in April; 60 percent booked for May. “We want to push graduation and back to school events,” he said. He can use chefs in the local area and bring some in from Dallas.
The company is working on its summer feeding program to identify local needs and partner with local agencies. The Food Truck may be a key way to get food to needy children. “We will be aggressive with the summer program,” he said.
At the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year, WFISD Superintendent Mike Kuhrt got a first look at the new Food Truck that the District's food service provider, Chartwells, would use throughout the school year at many events.
Superintendent Mike Kuhrt reminded board members that WFISD’s Summer Feeding Program provides free meals for any child under the age of 18, even for students who do not attend WFISD. “Anyone under age 18 can eat for free,” he said. “We need to educate the community.” This is a federal government program that provides reimbursement to WFISD for all costs.
Community members are used to turning to the Boys and Girls Club or Food Bank for free meals. “Kids are eating there,” said Mr. Kuhrt, who sits on the boards of both children’s agencies. “But thousands more don’t.” The need is huge, he said. “Even the Food Bank doesn’t get the participation they want.”
WFISD will also start a new Supper Program through Chartwells in May at a targeted group of seven schools. Children will eat supper for free. “We want them to get three hot meals a day,” said Mr. Leonard. “Any student under age 18 can eat for free. They don’t have to go to that school.”
2018-2019 Hiring Teacher Salary Schedule
The proposed Hiring Teacher Salary Schedule for the 2018-2019 school year will remain the same as the 2017-2018 hiring schedule, according to a proposal made by WFISD Chief Financial Officer Tim Sherrod.
This is not the District’s teacher salary schedule that determines teacher wages or pay increases but a special 20-step hiring schedule used specifically by the WFISD Human Resources Department at its hiring events.
“We are not saying no raises,” clarified Mr. Kuhrt.
A new teacher with no experience hired according to this schedule will work 187 days and receive a starting pay of $43,200, just as last year’s hires did. WFISD librarians are hired on the same schedule. They work 192 days; a new librarian with no experience starts out at $44,350. This is the same as the previous year.
Join The Interlocal Purchasing System (TIPS)
Mr. Sherrod asked board members to consider a resolution to join The Interlocal Purchasing System (TIPS). There is no cost to joining.
By joining TIPS, WFISD will have additional options to procure products and services at additional discounts. Initially, WFISD accessed TIPS through the Region 9 ESC agreement. But since there is no cost to becoming a member, WFISD is open to submitting its own interlocal agreement.
WFISD currently uses TIPS for its electricity contract, said Mr. Sherrod.
Purchasing more Chromebooks, Software and Cases
Shad McGaha, chief technology officer, asked board members to approve an expenditure for the purchase of Chromebooks, software and cases. The RFP #18-14 expense will be funded through budgeted IMA funds.
This purchase will allow WFISD to fully implement its one-to-one initiative throughout secondary schools.
In an RFP #18-15 Mr. McGaha urged board members to also consider the leasing of Chromebooks, software and cases to help fully implement the District’s one-to-one initiative across the remaining grade levels, while minimizing the financial impact to the District. This option allows WFISD to engage all secondary students across the district in its technological programs.
The two RFPs are part of a $700,000, four-year budget to provide technology to students. “All the bids are looking very nice,” said Mr. Kuhrt.
Instructional Materials Allotment and TEKS Certification
Associate Superintendent Peter Griffiths asked board members to approve the District’s annual certification form that confirms the District has properly purchased instructional materials covering all elements of the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (excluding physical education) for each grade level.
Senate Bill 6, which became effective in the 2011-2012 fiscal year, changed the textbook allotment for school districts to an Instructional Materials Allotment, allowing the District to include technological equipment and technology-related services along with its textbook purchases.
This certification confirms that WFISD is using the IMA allotment of about $2.5 million per biennium to meet its obligation to cover TEKS.
Resale bids on property located within WFISD
Mr. Sherrod asked board members to approve the resale bid for 305 Polk St. It is excess real property acquired through delinquent tax suits. The property originally had a structure on it, now demolished, and was valued at $10,929.53. An interested party submitted a written offer to purchase the property for $800. Current tax appraisal for the property is $1,000.
Financial report for first half of the fiscal year
Mr. Sherrod reported the revenue and expenditure position of WFISD through February 28, 2018, for all its funds. It represents six months of operations, or 50 percent of the fiscal year.
As of February last year, the District had collected 65.16 percent of projected revenues, as compared to 70.14 percent for 2017-2018. Expenditures for 2016-2017 were 48.57 percent of budget, as compared to 53.72 percent for 2017-2018.
General Fund revenues were 67.89 percent last year compared to 70.42 percent this year. Expenditures were 48.48 percent last year as compared to 50.87 percent this year.
Food Service Fund revenues were 57.35 percent last year compared with 46.42 percent this year. Expenditures were 48.80 percent last year compared to 57.72 percent this year.
The Debt Service Fund revenues were 96.68 percent last year as compared to 95.97 percent this year. Expenditures were 78.38 percent last year as compared to 79.01 percent this year.
March 2018 budget amendments
In a 6-0 vote, board members accepted the District’s budget amendments to the 2017-2018 budgets as requested by Mr. Sherrod.
Board members also approved the budget revision of $947,870 for the purchase of buses.