WATERLOO — Students at all Waterloo public schools could receive meals for free starting this fall through a federal program.

The Board of Education on Monday will consider enrolling the remaining four Waterloo Community Schools’ buildings in the community eligibility provision of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act. The board meets at 5 p.m. in the Education Service Center, 1516 Washington St.

Currently, 15 district schools participate in the program. The remaining buildings proposed to be added include Kingsley and Orange elementaries, Hoover Middle School and West High School.

Schools qualify based on the number of students eligible for free meals by direct state certification or categorical eligibility instead of by income applications. In order to have sufficient federal reimbursement to fully fund the program, a combined identified student percentage of 62.5 is needed. According to a board memo, that amount comes to 59 percent with all buildings, but participation in the meal program is expected to grow once the provision is implemented.

If approved, the schools will qualify through the the 2022-23 school year.

In other business, the board will consider approving:

  • A 12-month extension of the lease with Central Rivers Area Education Agency for its former conference center and special education buildings at 3706 and 3712 Cedar Heights Drive in Cedar Falls. Lowell Elementary School relocated there in February after the partial collapse of the building’s roof. Monthly rent of $10,000 plus utilities and grounds maintenance costs represent a drop of $5,000 from the current lease.
  • A three-year contract extension with Durham School Services to provide student bus transportation. Projected increases are 4.2 percent for 2019-20, 4 percent for 2020-21 and 3 percent for 2021-22. Annual costs are expected to rise from $4.49 million currently to $5.02 million in 2021-22.
  • A $1.18 million 2019-20 nursing agreement with Unity Point Health, a 9 percent increase over the current year.
  • Appointments of two administrators. Alex Hansen will be principal at Fred Becker Elementary School, replacing Melissa Steggall. Lori Netty will be Hoover Middle School assistant principal and athletic director, replacing Larry Martin.

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