RCSS receives two child nutrition grants

ASHEBORO – The Randolph County School System’s board of education met last Thursday for a wrap-up at the end of the school year and the acceptance of several grants related to child nutrition.

The first was The Dairy Alliance Youth Wellness Program Grant from The Dairy Alliance for cafeteria equipment.

The grant provides a refrigerated milk merchandiser for Providence Grove High School and a refrigerated milk dispenser for Uwharrie Ridge Six-Twelve in order to “maximize student access and consumption of cold milk.”

The total value of the equipment provided by the grant is just under $8,000

The second grant, at just above $8,500, includes additional funding through the Local Food for Schools grant.

In February 2023, RCSS was initially awarded nearly $58,000 from the Local Food for Schools grant.

The LFS grant is a USDA grant that aims to build a resilient local food chain by supporting “food assistance purchases of domestic local foods for distribution to schools.”

In non-food-related business, the RCSS board was presented with the quarterly student assignment report.

The report showed that RCSS had a net negative of 42 students, meaning they were releasing more students than had been enrolled. However, Superintendent Stephen Gainey pointed out that this was an area of growth for the school system.

“When we started down this road in the first quarter of 2014-15, that number was negative 153, meaning that we were releasing 153 more students than were coming in on admissions,” Gainey said. “So there’s been a lot of work over the last 11 years.”

The report also showed the Virtual Academy, whose enrollment the board had emphasized was an important focus point, with enrollment of 97.

“By now, there’s a good chance it’s over 100,” Gainey said. “We’re ahead of where we were at this time last year.”

In addition, the board also recognized the Southwestern Randolph High School varsity softball team which won the 2-A state championship in June.

“When you’re 50 years old, you’ll still be a state champion. When you’re 80 years old, you’ll still be a state champion,” Gainey said. “There’s a lot of athletes in the state that wish they could themselves be state champions and they’re proud of you for what you’ve done to continue to promote high school sports.”

The Randolph County Schools Board of Education will next meet July 15.

By Ryan Henkel