The Howard County school board raised next year's school lunch prices yesterday and learned of sweeping changes among the administrators of the county's high schools.
The board also was told of a softening of the school system's new anti-smoking policy and narrowly approved permitting Junior ROTC students to practice drills with inoperable military rifles.
The increase in the school meal prices for next year is a direct result of the more than $4 million in cuts that the board was required to make last week to balance its operating budget for next school year.
As part of its cuts, the board eliminated a $450,000 subsidy to the food service program to help pay for workers' benefits. To make up the cut, the food service program had to raise prices, said Robert S. Lazarewicz, the school system's director of operations.
Elementary school lunch prices will increase 25 percent, from $1 to $1.25; and middle and high school lunches will increase 15 cents each, from $1.35 to $1.50. The school system serves an average of 13,560 lunches a day.
"I think our students are getting quality lunches and breakfasts for what I consider a very reasonable price, including this slight increase," said board member Linda Johnston.
But the prices may have to be raised again midway through next year if Congress makes larger-than-expected cuts in the federal subsidies for school lunch programs, Mr. Lazarewicz warned.
In the administration of the county's high schools, Superintendent Michael E. Hickey announced the much-anticipated transfers and appointments of principals. The changes include:
* Eugene Streagle, the long-time principal of Howard High School, was named instructional director of high schools. He replaces Daniel Jett, who will leave the county at the end of the year to become the superintendent of a school system in Minnesota.
* Mary Day, the principal of the School of Technology, will become the principal of Howard High.
* Veronica Bohn, the assistant principal of the School of Technology, will become the acting principal of the school. She will be the only administrator at the school during what will be the school's final year of operation.
* Adrian Kaufman, the assistant principal of Glenelg High School, will become the principal of Mount Hebron High School.
* Sylvia Pattillo, the principal of Mount Hebron, will become the principal of Hammond High School. Dr. Pattillo had been transferred to Mount Hebron from Centennial High School just two years ago.
* Marshall Peterson, the principal of Hammond, will become the principal of Oakland Mills High School.
* David Bruzga, the principal of Oakland Mills, will become the associate principal of Howard High for the first semester of next year. He then will become the principal of Long Reach High School, which is scheduled to open in the fall of 1996.
* R. Scott Pfeifer, the school system's principal on special assignment, will become the associate principal of Wilde Lake High School for the first semester of next year. He then will become the principal of River Hill High School, which is scheduled to open in the fall of 1996.
The school board approved the appointments of Mr. Streagle, Ms. Bohn and Ms. Kaufman, but was not required to act on the transfers of the five current principals.
Both associate principal positions were created temporarily by Dr. Hickey to accommodate the two men who will become the principals of the two new high schools. The appointments and transfers of assistant principals will not be announced until the board's next meeting because the interviews are not completed, Dr. Hickey said.
The shake-up of the high school principals comes only two years after Dr. Hickey shifted more than 50 administrators and teachers to different schools. The move sparked wide
spread opposition from many parents and students, and it led to the creation of a school system policy requiring more advance notification of administrators and teachers who are to be transferred.
In other business, the board learned that school administrators no longer will be required to notify the police of a student's first and second violations of the policy prohibiting pupils under age 18 from possessing tobacco or cigarette paper on school grounds.
The policy, which took effect Feb. 1, had required school principals to call police on a nonemergency number whenever a student was caught smoking. It had been passed in response to a new state law making it a crime for students under age 18 to possess tobacco on school grounds.
But county law enforcement officials say they have been overwhelmed by the number of cases. In the first 2 1/2 months of the policy, police had issued 105 citations to students for smoking violations, and neither the department of juvenile services nor the state's attorney's office had enough resources to handle the students being referred to them.
Although the board does not need to act on the change because it is procedural, it nevertheless scheduled a hearing to gather public input at its July 13 meeting.
The board also approved by a 3-2 vote a request by the county's three Junior ROTC programs to use inoperable rifles for drills in classes and competition.
The decision will require the board to change the school system's weapons policy, which prohibits the possession of any weapons on school grounds.
Dr. Hickey promised to bring the necessary policy changes before the board at its next meeting.
SCHOOL MEAL PRICES
.......... ....... ........ ........ Meal Prices
MEAL TYPE ........ ........ ..... 1994-95 .. 1995-96
Elementary school lunch ... ....... $1.00 .... $1.25
Middle school lunch ....... ....... $1.35 .... $1.50
High school lunch ......... ....... $1.35 .... $1.50
Super lunch and "Coach's Corner" .. $2.00 .... $2.25
Student breakfast ......... ....... $0.70 .... $0.90
Adult breakfast ........... ....... $0.95 .... $1.50
Adult lunch (regular) ..... ....... $1.80 .... $2.65
.......... ........ ...... without .... with
....... .......... ........ ..... beverage .. beverage
Adult Super lunch and "Coach's Corner" $2.00 .. $3.00
SOURCE: Howard County schools