Last 8 schools set to dish out Breakfast in the Classroom
Mike Szymanski | July 30, 2015
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Overcoming lingering technical and logistical problems, eight remaining LAUSD schools will begin providing free breakfast in the classroom within the first two weeks of the coming school year, district officials said.
That will complete the largest school breakfast program in the nation after more than three years of planning, said Laura Benavidez, project manager for the LAUSD Breakfast in the Classroom program.
Breakfasts served in the first 10 minutes of class were to be completely rolled out by the end of last school year, but problems at the eight schools prevented them from happening, Benavidez said.
“We won’t be hitting all the eight schools with breakfasts on the first day because there’s always so much going on, but it will happen at all the sites during the month of August,” said Benavidez. School starts August 18.
The schools yet to roll out are: Encino Elementary, Van Gogh Elementary, Revere Middle School, Beckford Elementary, Brentwood Science Magnet, Hale Middle School, Vernon City Elementary and Esteban Torres High School.
Now, more than 350,000 breakfasts are being served, compared with the 100,000 breakfasts served district wide before the in-class program began.
At first, there was no opt-out method for the schools that did not want the Breakfast in the Classrooms program. Now, there are 32 LAUSD schools with less than 20 percent of children who fall below the poverty level, and those schools have elected to opt out of the program. Still, they all have a nutrition time later in the morning.
Also, the schools are making money from the federal government. Every school that gets 70 percent of the students to eat breakfast will earn 20 cents per day per student. Of the 630 schools that launched BiC over the past three years, 588 of them, or 93 percent, have reached the 70 percent threshold.
Despite some teacher complaints, and concerns for food waste, the district officials said they are trying to make the process more efficient and plan for some changes early in the school year.
Allowing students to pick what they want to eat, and in some cases saving the food for later, will prevent a lot of food from being thrown away. But, that will be yet another roll out.
“We are not going to overwhelm the teachers with new procedures right away,” Benavidez said.