I would like to take a few moments to discuss some upcoming changes to our food service program. This is our first year with our new food service company, OPAA. We are very excited to have them join us and look forward to some of the upcoming changes they have in store for us. According to Oklahoma Child Nutrition regulations they have been prohibited from implementing their changes until now. But, this Thursday, September 20th will be the first day they are able to implement their program. So I wanted to discuss some of the upcoming changes here.
First of all, the biggest change you will notice is that the students will be offered choices when it comes to breakfast and lunch. Teachers will take a lunch count each morning (weekly at the elementary) in order to get an idea on how much food to prepare. Students will not be locked in to their original choice. If they get in line and change their mind they are free to switch provided the other options are still available. Typically, there will be a main entrée, a second entrée, and an entrée salad to choose from. In addition, students will also have access to a side garden salad and fruit options. Students will also have the option for “seconds” on a cash basis. Seconds are limited to the entrée options only; for example, if a student wants seconds on a cheeseburger they will be given a cheeseburger but not the side items that come with it, fries, salad, fruit, etc. The cost for seconds is $1 that must be purchased with cash at the time of sale. If your child receives either free or reduced lunch prices they will still be charged the $1 for each extra item purchased and it must be paid in cash at the time of sale.
If you would like to take a look at upcoming menus, download the “Nutrislice” app from your app store and search and select Amber-Pocasset Schools. Most menus will include a picture of the items to be served to aide with decision making.
Another change I am very excited about involves the opportunity to offer a second breakfast to our 7th-12th grade students. We have been able to build a time slot in our bell schedule between first and second hour during which students will have the opportunity to go to the cafeteria and select from various grab and go options even if they previously ate breakfast prior to school. As mentioned earlier, if a student is still hungry and wishes to purchase extra items they can for $1 per item, payable in cash at the time of sale. Please understand this second breakfast is not a sit down and linger type of meal, the expectation is that students “grab and go”, eat their items, dispose of trash and proceed to second hour. We are hopeful this will allow an opportunity for more of our students to eat a nutritious meal to help get them through the day.
As these changes are made and implemented I would appreciate any feedback you would like to offer, both positive and negative. Of all the things a school does on a daily basis child nutrition can be one of those things that get overlooked. But we believe it is a vital part of the education process and want to make sure we are offering our students healthy and filling options so they are able to perform at their very best.
Finally, just a reminder that all lunch account balances need to be maintained and paid in a timely manner. According to district policy, once an account goes over $50 it is considered delinquent. Once delinquent, a student is no longer allowed to make additional charges. We will send notices home as accounts reach the $50 threshold and you can also check your student’s lunch balance through the TeacherEase website.
Jerime Parker, Superintendent