TASK TEAM Work (1/24/19)
On January 24th, a group of approximately 15 people gathered to develop task forces for the main themes that were developed for the Nutrition Advisory Group. The group split into 4 different tables to discuss action steps to meet goals. The tables were:
-Farm to School/Waste and Food Insecurity
-Nutrition Education and the EWSD Wellness Policy
Below is a list of questions/topics of discussion that each task force addressed at the Nutrition Advisory Group meeting on 1/24.
Table of Contents
Farm to School
Nutrition Education/Wellness Policy
Farm to School
- They will need the knowledge of what to do
- EWSD Farm to School and CTE- can we team up to expand our reaches of FTS in our community
- What incentives can we give to CTE students to volunteer in our gardens over the summer time?
- Do HS students have volunteer requirements? If they do, can we find a way to advertise volunteering in the garden as an option
- If there are no volunteer requirements, can we give awards to students who do a certain amount of volunteering at graduation
- Can student volunteers also do mentoring with the younger students?
- Are we able to reach out to at-risk youth, youth who have mandated community service to volunteer in the garden?
- FTS-with such a large district and Essex community- it’s a matter of finding and linking up with the right people to take the program to the next level-finding the communication
- We should be advertising and marketing ourselves more so that we can get more attention and in turn-more volunteers
- Essex Reporter, Across the Fence
- The group reviewed the feedback from the Vermont Agency of Agriculture Child Nutrition and Farm to School Grant
- The grant was not awarded to EWSD but the feedback allowed us to see that we need to create a stronger FTS team with administrative support
- Can we present our Farm to School goals at an Admin meeting to gain support?
- Pressure administrators to get on board and support the program
- With administrative support-pressure, school staff will incorporate FTS into the classroom-utilize gardens more, etc.
- 4 Winds- can we link up with them during June and September and train parents to run an activity based around the gardens/gardening.
- Reach out to EWSD Families sooner so that we can get more interest in garden volunteers
- Develop and expand upon a how-to hand out to give to all volunteers on gardening tasks
- Meet with CTE staff to find new ways that we can team up and bring CTE students to other schools-full circle
- Can we purchase products with eco-friendly packaging?
- The cost is typically much higher for products that are compostable/eco-friendly
- Should we set up a fundraiser to support the program and allow us to purchase more eco-friendly packaging?
- Students at all EWSD schools are not recycling/composting properly
- Students don’t take the time to figure out what items go in what bin-especially for the schools that don’t have someone standing at the counter directing them where to put their waste
- Different colored bins-blue for recycling
- Have consistency throughout the district so students go through the school system knowing that all recyclable items go into the blue bin/ green for compostable items etc.
- How do we make students care about getting rid of their waste properly?
- Rhonda from CSWD-holds a recycle rally
- Can we set up a waste audit at our schools
- We need to start teaching our students at a young age
- Child Nutrition decided to get rid of plastic straws and students were complaining that they couldn’t get straws
- Only paper straws are available for people who require them
- The cultural mindset needs to shift away from needing straws-our students aren’t there yet but by taking away their straws, we are forcing them to change their mindsets
- Milk and juice cartons-are not disposed of properly- need to peel the foil off the juice cartons and recycle the bottom
- Do we need to serve juice?
- To limit waste- what are the guidelines/regulations around bulk milk machines
- Can we use bulk milk and have the kids serve themselves
- There are Federal regulations on how much milk needs to be served with a meal-can we use cups with a line on them so that kids know how much to fill their cups?
- Research prices of eco-friendly packaging
- Discuss fundraiser ideas for raising money to support purchasing eco-friendly packaging
- Summit Street School sends out a form for families to fill out before long breaks asking if they will need assistance with finding food during the break. When families send it back, they hold a food drive for families that will need support
- Can we send any leftovers from CNP to the families
- Can we get the letter template and send home to families at all of our schools?
- Reach out to PTO at Summit and get a copy of the letter
- Reach out to all schools to see if they would be interested in sending letters out to their families and holding a food drive for them.
Nutrition education/ Wellness Policy
- Does Wellness Policy Language (Nutrition Section) align with nutrition initiatives?
- This task team is ready to review the existing Nutrition and Wellness Policy (Policy Code: C9).They also would like to look at the Procedures document that CCSU had approved to accompany the Wellness Policy prior to our merger.
- The EWSD nurses have already had approved a new document entitled: 2018- 2019 Allergen Awareness Protocol for Essex Westford Schools. The primary objective might be described as trying to change the culture within our schools around food.
- The discussion centered on the reality that food is fuel. Students need to understand that their bodies require variety (access to all nutrient groups) in quantities based on their own energy expenditure. Food should not be reward, enticement or the focus of social interaction w/in the classroom.
- Does Wellness Policy Language reflect EWSD vision re: nutrition?
- Does EWSD have a vision or value statement guiding decisions and practice for CNS?
- Action Steps: Answer the question above.
- How do (when do) kindergarteners learn how to obtain food, build a plate, make food choices?
- The Task Team focused on this bulleted item expanding the question to include, “Should nutrition education be the primary focus of K, 1, Health education?”
- Investigate current practice re: the introduction and practice of skills required by K, 1 students to navigate the cafeteria (food service).
- *based on investigation results - revise or design a method to introduce K, 1 students to food selection and cafeteria use
- Explore parent education opportunity focused on Children Eating Well at School
- Explore teacher friendly activities to introduce students to making healthy food choices in addition to formal Health education
- Review the existing Policy
- Review the former CCSU Procedure document
- Review the USDA requirements for public schools
- Questions/Ideas not discussed:
- How do students acquire a healthy (diverse) palate?
- When do students learn to build a salad from the salad bar? Who teaches them?
- When do students learn about portion control and healthy food choices? Who teaches them?
- Meatless Mondays
- Advertise the vegetarian options more
- Served daily at all Schools
- Domino’s Pizza
- Survey Monkey-introduce
- Pulling ideas from the community and Students
- Highlighting/Introducing new vegetarian items to the k-8/High School Menu
- High School student voice Nutrition Advisory Group- Meeting set for February
- Creating a new web page for our Nutrition Advisory Group- Introducing surveys
- Look to find student voice at 6-8
- Educating community on the Domino's pizza-nutritional info
- Do students have enough time to eat lunch (The allotted times include getting to the cafeteria, standing in line, eating, cleanup)? What is enough time?
- Maybe we can speed service
- Pictures on menus
- Have screens in the lunch line so kids can see what is for lunch that day
- A lot of time is spent telling kids what is for lunch and screens can allow them to see ahead of time
- Balance choices- students take too long to choose
- Kids have too many options and take a long time to decide
- Can we limit choices while also providing safe alternatives
- Have extra snacks available
- Can they stagger their lunch times by 5 minutes to allow for the lines to move quickly?
- Are students able to pre-order?
- Can they use their Chromebooks and send in what they want that day-practical use of technology
- This can help limit waste and can help with ordering-can order a week ahead of time
- Coordinators can have a classroom roster and can input the meals into the system after the line is through
- What is an appropriate amount of time for a student to wait in line for food? What factors go into wait times?
- 20 minutes of sit down time
- Be careful not to schedule too much, the little ones tend to get out of control
- What is the best breakfast model in terms of approach and timing? Breakfast after the bell that is consumed in the classroom as part of the school day seems to be most successful.
- Breakfast after the bell, consumed in the classroom
- Delivery could be done to facilitate learning.
- Can teachers teach while the students eat?
- Coolers for dropping off?
- Planning a celebration at EES if we can get some buy-in.
- At what point should we stop trying to get buy-in and just decide that we are going to do things a certain way