Health and Safety During Meal Times
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Summary: This school year, meals may look different across the district in order to follow health and safety protocols.
During the 2021-22 school year, breakfast and lunch will be provided at no cost for all students at all SPS schools.
Meals may look different across the district in order to follow health and safety protocols. Each school layout is unique, and so each has developed their own meal plan including use of: classrooms, outdoor covered areas and tents, gyms, and common spaces.
The school meal plans:
- Maximize physical distancing
- Ensure students aren’t facing each other directly by either staggering seats or having them all face the same direction.
- Maximize airflow to meet DOH guidelines. If the system doesn’t meet DOH guidelines, we will add HEPA filters as needed to ensure high-quality ventilation.
At lunchtime, students will be asked to:
- Wash their hands before and after eating.
- Limit time when their mask is off – only temporarily removing their mask when eating and drinking and then putting their mask back on.
- Use quiet, indoor voices and limit talking to times when their mask is on.
SPS can safely implement lunch plans that allow all students to eat inside. We are taking additional precautions as COVID-19 Delta variant transmission rises in our broader community.
To support healthy school communities, we have asked school leaders to review their lunch plans and consider taking additional steps, including:
- Increasing the number of lunch periods
- Adding additional indoor lunch spaces
- Assign set groups of students to spaces or zones. Keeping set groups of students together will support contact tracing and help reduce the need to quarantine larger groups of students
- Adding extra time to the lunch/eating window to support supervision of a safe lunch for students.
- Having their Building Safety Team support lunch, including reviewing and monitoring lunch plans – what is working, what is challenging, and determining solutions.
We have also asked school leaders to consider providing more outdoor spaces for meals. However, this is not a permanent solution for many schools. Not all schools have a safe, appropriate space to hold outdoor lunches.
We will continue to update and refine our approach in response to state and local health guidance.