DIXFIELD — Regional School Unit 10 Nutrition Director Jeanne LaPointe told board members Tuesday night that students at Mountain Valley High School in Rumford are now offered coffee.

Other new menu offerings include dried fruit and low-fat beef jerky at all three high schools in Rumford, Dixfield and Buckfield, she said.

The foods are included in the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act signed into federal law in 2010. The bill funds child nutrition programs and free lunch programs in schools for five years, and sets nutrition standards for schools.

Board member Barbara Chow of Dixfield said she didn’t like having coffee offered, but Richard Russell, student representative on the school board, said he believes few students will drink it.

LaPointe also told the board that more students are now eligible for free or reduced-priced lunches at Mountain Valley High School, Mountain Valley Middle School in Mexico, Rumford Elementary School, Pennacook Learning Center in Rumford and Meroby Elementary School in Mexico. That’s because the income threshold in those towns has been met.

Schools in Buckfield, Dixfield, Peru and Sumner are close to eligibility for free or reduced-price lunches, she said. When a certain level of eligibility is reached, all students will be eligible for free or reduced-price lunches.

In other matters before the board, Special Services Director Clarissa Fish said 540 students have been identified as requiring special services. That’s about 20 percent of district students.

Also, she said, speech and language students from the University of Maine at Farmington are partnering with RSU 10 students who require such services. That group of students is the second-highest number of those requiring special education services.

She said just over 50 percent of special needs students are educated in regular classrooms. The Pennacook Learning Center educates most of the others, while six are educated outside the district.

Instructor Phil Mills said nearly 30 Mountain Valley middle and high school students are participating in a life skills program that takes them into the community.

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