B.N. asks from Aurora, CO on November 01, 2011
Lunch at School- Need Help!!
I need to have your opinion about the timing of the lunch break at my kids school. Each grade go separate from the others. They do lunch AFTER recess. The kids don’t even have time to wash their hands. They wait in line for about half of the time, because each student need to enter their code to see what the status of the account. By the time, the last ones get to sit (and my kids are always with the last ones), they have about 5 minutes to finish lunch. I was always wondering why my kids come back home so hungry after school and when I went there once I knew the answer. They never get a chance to finish their plates. They like playing at recess and they lined up last, so that gives them less time to eat. I don’t know what the other schools do. Do they do recess before or after lunch? My kids get 45 minutes between recess and lunch, can’t tell you exactly how long for the lunch by itself. Any feedback or ideas to share would be greatly appreciated. I really want to talk to the staff, but I need to know first if this is common and I need some ideas!! Thanks
L.O. answers from Denver on November 03, 2011
I just thought of something that my son's school does in the morning to help ease lunch time. When the students get to school they tell their teacher (btw this may just be kindergarten but it could help lunch time for everyone) a- hot lunch/cold lunch b- either what they want for hot lunch or if they need milk with their cold lunch c- who's picking them up at the end of the day. The teacher marks on a list who's having what for lunch and then puts it on a clipboard. After that I have no idea what happens all I know is what they say they are having for lunch is the end of story they don't change their mind. They don't have punch in codes or anything either. I don't know if they have to carry their tray's back to their table or not. My son told me that if you ask to have a sandwich for lunch (a choice that is their daily) it comes in a brown bag. This might be easier to implement then changing when recess is. That was just an idea. Hope you get some answers.
R.J. answers from Seattle on November 01, 2011
My son's school did something similar (lunch by grade). They also only had 30 minutes for both lunch AND recess. And it was their only recess of the day.
Their lunch/recess was at 1030 am!!! (school from 8-420)
He was staaaaaaaaaarving by the time he came come because it had been more than six hours since he'd eaten!
((The past tense is that we homeschool now. Not because of lunch, although the paltry recess was a part of it))
M.C. answers from Washington DC on November 01, 2011
My son has recess for 15min and then lunch for 30 min. I like it better because last year recess was always after lunch and he'd get belly aches.
As for buying lunch. All of our kids have cards. like credit cards, that have their name and pictures on them. They pick them up as they go through the line and lunch lady at the end checks them out and swipes/collects the card. If they don't have enough money, they are allowed to go under by $2. and a letter comes home that day.
We also have an online website - mylunchmoney.com -where we as parents can monitor what our kids are buying, add money to their cards, etc.
T.W. answers from Denver on November 02, 2011
Sadly, I think this is more common. At my son's last school, they did lunch and then recess with the entering of the code as well. The kids would sit down and eat as fast as possible so they could run out to recess. In short they would eat three bites throw the rest away then run outside to play. I always thought the better plan would be to have a 30 minute lunch and two small recesses during the day and not have them tied with lunch. It just never made sense to me.
Ultimately, his school ended up taking out recess all together with the exception of the Kindies and 1st graders. I lost it and fought all the way to the District Director. It was all for not, they simply would not bring recess back all in the name of more time for academics. I was disgusted. That was the last year he was at that school.
If I were you I would bring it up with the school, I am not sure it will go anywhere, but give it a try. In reality, you are the only one who has your kids' best interest at heart. Do what you gotta do. My sons both go to a school now that has two extra classes, an extra recess, 30 minutes for lunch AND snack time throughout the day and the school scores in the top 10 to 15% in the nation on standardized tests, they even hit the to 4% this last year. I have never looked back.
G.L. answers from Salt Lake City on November 02, 2011
At my son's school, the kids get a total of 20 minutes for lunch, including the time they spend in the lunch line. As soon as they are done, they head out for recess.
What this means in reality is that kids at the back of the lunch line have to choose between eating and getting any fresh air or exercise.
My son is a "contemplative eater," so he needs all 20 minutes. There is no way that getting school lunch would work - I don't want to short him his recess, and I don't want him to waste food or not get time to eat. So I pack his lunch, and fill it with lots of easy-to-eat, nutritious finger foods that can be eaten quickly, such as carrots or peppers and dressing, cheese, fresh fruit, nuts, or granola. This way he gets the full twenty minutes, and he can bring home any leftovers or eat them after school.
As an added bonus, we've found that packing lunch is cheaper, and I can feed him better quality food than that which is available in the school lunch.
S.K. answers from Denver on November 01, 2011
I knew my son had the same system where you punch in a code and their lunch is right after recess as well. I finally got a chance to go eat with him and by the time we got through the lines because other kids took forever to be able to handle their trays and get situated in line to punch their numbers in we were already half way through lunch. Other kids were laughing and messing around, my son just sat and ate (which Im sure was totally out of the norm since I was there) he managed to eat half his burger then it was time to clean up. And that was with him behaving so i dont know how much he would have gotten down if i wasn't there. Although on pizza day he manages to get a second entree so i know he finishes his first piece so who really knows. I wish they had a person who marked what they actually ate. They list what they put on their plate but it would be nice to know if it was completed or 50% gone etc.... My sons friend didnt eat any of his burger that day just the fries and a TON of ketsup by the spoon kinda gross but that was his lunch for the day.
K.D. answers from Provo on November 02, 2011
We don't have a cafeteria at our school -- it's strictly a pack your lunch from home policy. (Small charter school) And it works fantastic. They have microwaves in the classroom so they can have a hot lunch if they want. Lunch comes first, then is recess. They also have another recess partway through the morning -- so they get time to play and let off steam. First recess is 15 mins. Lunch is 20 mins, and lunch recess is 20 mins.
If they are spending so much time in line, then it seems like rather than try to change the order or recess and lunch, that you should see if there is a more efficient way to have the kids get lunch. Or have YOUR kids get lunch more efficiently. The idea of packing their lunch would ensure that they get the full lunch time to eat.
Good luck on this!
R.L. answers from Denver on November 02, 2011
WELCOME TO ELEMENTARY SCHOOL---STUDENTS HAVE BEEN DEALING WITH THIS CONTROVERSIAL ISSUE FOR AGES.
So if you would prefer time to wash hands and sit and eat---pack your kids a healthful lunch. Most likely it will cost the same or possibly less than that prepared by the school, it may taste better and your child will have a longer time to eat for they will nto be standing in line.
IF you choose not to do so, then deal with the school's schedule as many many moms have before ye! Keep in mind that SCHOOL IS NOT THE HOME and your children may have to adjust accordingly and if you don't lke it then make their lunch for them to take with them to school.
END OF SUBJECT!
M.A. answers from Denver on November 02, 2011
My boy just started K this year. I was HORRIFIED to find that they have 35 minutes for lunch and recess! They eat first (supposedly) then go outside - I think they get 15-20 minutes total in the lunchroom. I don't think Z has eaten his whole lunch - ever!
We do make his lunch - with things he loves - so I know it's not that he's being forced to eat something new/something he doesn't like. Honestly, I thought about talking to the school to see if trying recess first would work better - but it doesn't sound like that works either.
Wish I had some advice that would help.... Sounds like the grass isn't greener on either side of this fence! ;)