The emotionally charged climates following the tragic attack in Parkland, Florida are understandable, but making knee-jerk decisions with a “do something, do anything, do it now” mantra can lead to high-risk, high-liability actions.
Only a handful of superintendents have launched a brand-new district. Even fewer have done it only months after being involved in a large-scale merger. Meet David Stephens, superintendent of Bartlett City Schools.
Across the country, thousands of school districts are building and publicizing summer meal programs, components of a 48-year-old, federally funded effort to keep low-income children from suffering the health and cognitive effects of summer hunger.
Janet Poppendieck, author of Free for All: Fixing School Food in America, says more must be done to end stigmatizing students who receive free lunches in school because it’s not a problem that will change anytime soon.
More than five years after Congress required schools to serve healthier food, districts are using social media, technology tools and old-fashioned personal outreach to connect with parents. The goal: persuading them that today’s school meals are nothing like the sometimes unhealthy foods they remember from their own childhoods.
Students will likely choose healthier meals if provided with more comfortable places to eat. Modern lighting and food-court style designs can draw students to dining areas while school gardens can provide learning experiences and also supply cafeterias with fresh, less expensive produce.
A widespread belief that it’s illegal to give away extra or uneaten school food no longer has any basis in reality. The federal Good Samaritan Act allows schools to donate crackers, milk, fruits, vegetables and other items that would otherwise go to waste.