RPS Direct Update - September 14, 2021
Dear #RPSStrong Family, One of the issues that came up during public comment at last night's School Board meeting was our school lunches. We heard concerns about the amount/quality of the food provided and the lack of hot meals. Before I address both of these issues, I want to thank everyone who shared feedback. Thoughtful, constructive dialogue about what's working – and what's not – is critical to our collective success and I'm deeply grateful for it. For the start of the school year, we decided against hot lunches and instead went with "grab and go" meals, as we were concerned about students bunching up in the lunch line for as much as 5 minutes, increasing the risk of transmission. We also had logistical concerns about hot lunches given that many of our schools use multiple locations for lunch (not just the lunch room) to ensure 6 feet of distancing. All that said, we do hope to eventually transition to hot meals once everyone has become accustomed to our mitigation strategies and we feel more confident in our ability to execute on the logistics. I'll also note that we have a significant number of vacancies on our food and nutrition team, which will make it difficult to provide hot meals right now. Fortunately, last night, the Board approved an increase in the hourly rate for our food and nutrition employees to help with recruitment and retention.