BRAZOS COUNTY, TX — As schools prepare for the upcoming school year, one area that will look different this year will be lunchtime, as school districts prepare their cafeterias for the return of students.
The school districts in Brazos County have been planning for the upcoming school year, including how students will be safely fed.
“In our "Return to Learn" plan which is posted online at bryanisd.org, parents can go on and see that we are looking at for lunches, socially distancing our students and then moving them to the cafeteria,” said Matthew LaBlanc, the Executive Director of Communications and Public Affairs for Bryan ISD.
From sanitization stations to social distancing during lunchtimes, the districts are working to cut much of the interaction with lunchroom staff and students.
“Where they will not touch their tray at all until all the food has been put on by the cafeteria worker and then socially distancing in the cafeteria,” said LaBlanc.
In College Station, they are even going with touch-less payment to avoid cross-contamination.
“No child in College Station ISD will use a pen pad. You know they are used to at the elementary, intermediate, and possibly middle to type in their lunch code, which accesses their account and then their meal is charged for either breakfast or lunch,” said CSISD’s Child Nutrition Director Bridget Goodlett.
Currently, both school districts are collecting final numbers for in-person versus virtual learning students so they will be able to get accurate lunch counts.
“We will be providing a lunch for students learning both on campus and for students learning at home too. There will be some form of a grab-and-go lunch system,” said LeBlanc.
College Station ISD says it’s important for parents to know that on the first day of school, the Seamless Summer Food Program will end, which means students will be charged as if they were in school.
“If you are virtual and you come curbside or you are in school and you come through the line, you are now charged based on your eligibility just like a regular school year- free, reduced and paid,” said Goodlett.
College Station ISD says they haven’t decided on the curbside meal locations for the school yet but they will be handing out meals daily for their virtual students.