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Second Graders at Trinity Have a Long Wait Until Lunch

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Second Graders at Trinity Have a Long Wait Until Lunch

September 16, 2008 - 02:26
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Second graders at Trinity Elementary School have to wait until 1:00 PM before they can eat lunch. This is extremely late time for 6 and 7 year olds to eat lunch regardless of the time they have a snack. It takes Trinity 2 full hours to feed their approximately 867 children. This points to a serious overcrowding situation. We suspect that the reason they eat lunch at such a late time is due to lunchroom limitations.

To put it in perspective, it is our understanding that the largest elementary school in New Rochelle, Ward Elementary School with over 1,100 students, is done with lunch at 12:55 PM. Second graders at Ward are back in class before the second graders at Trinity have even started to head to the cafeteria for their lunch period. Although Ward has more students, its building is able to better accommodate them and is able to feed all the children in little over an hour. Trinity, on the other hand, finds itself spreading its lunchtime over a two-hour period. This is clearly a capacity issue. One can conclude that, physically, Ward may be as large as either middle school in New Rochelle. Lunches at middle schools are usually done by 1:00 PM. As a matter of fact, most people are done with lunch before the Trinity second graders eat lunch. Academic performance is directly linked to nutrition. We can’t imagine what the second graders feel like before they go to lunch. We do not know what is worse, to have to wait until 1:00PM to eat lunch or have to rush through lunch in 15 minutes. Neither can be healthy. What is going to happen next year (September 2009) when the City School District attempts to implements a full day kindergarten in all of the elementary schools?

Trinity/Ward Lunch Comparison
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Sometimes, inequity is hidden in plain sight.

See Ward Elementary School’s Lunch Schedule below (This document is available in the main office at Ward School).
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There are 3 Comments

yes it is a plain fact that the majority of the district schools are overcrowded. It is surprising, no more like shocking that you do not hear a peep from the district and nothing from the city administration who, for some unfathomable reason, feel that they are divorced from school matters given, I suppose, the system used to vote for board members and, then, appoint the superintendent. Perhaps the city fathers ought to factor in that the absence of a first class school system (results and appropriate faciities) is a requirement of city planning.

several years ago we learned that the superintendent was going to contract for what he euphemistically labeled a "demographic study." Surprisingly to anyone knowledgable about key planning matters he chose some BOCES group in his old stomping grounds in Suffolk County. What they delivered was apparently some form of power point presentation that suggested that projected growth rates did not seem to pose an issue. I believe (hard to say for sure as information was not made public)that they used some nonsensical extrapolation from birth years at certain trines, junctions, moon phases, Lord knows what to justify their conclusions. What they apparently did not do is to look at current occupancy rates and space; if they did they would have noticed things like Ward is bursting at the seams, NRHS is the only high school in New Roc; given our size this is incredible and yes, that Trinity has its issues on space utilization (I remember an art classroom doubling during certain hours as a lunchroom. AT that point it should have been clear that the Superintendent was, as Eugene Jennings labeled it at Michingan State some years earlier, "maze dull." He hadn't a clue on how to perform a business resource planning study and apparently, either the admiinistration didn't either, or they stuck to their quaint notion that the school district was an independent entity. We felt it then, we feel it now, and the annual levy we spent to suppor them and their abject absense of business common sense is appalling.

Maybe if people in New Roc would go beyond the knee jerk reaction of "its for the kids" everytime someone like Sanchez challenges the status quo things will turn around. Maybe if the City Council would look at the big picture, they would demand, not ask for accountability in this critical business proposition that consumes two thirds of our taxes.

Let me suggest you stand up and be counted and demand performance and results. And, look at the work Amy Paulin is trying to do regarding an alternative to a tax cap. She has the right idea and you should educate yourselves. You owe it to your children to get the best we have to offer and be in a better position to compete for college space, yourselves for the years you worked and struggled to provide a better life for you family, and to your neighbors in the community to ensure that we have an administrative team in the district and a board that is at least an equal to the excellent teachers we have throughout the District.

How can a 4th grader buy his lunch and eat it in 15 minutes? Isn't there some kind of mininum standard on length of lunch? Don't you think that when they spent a fortune on the new addition that they would have figured out how many children the school could hold and incorporate a lunchroom to accommodate?

How many PHDs does it take? Where is the board of ed on this? Who is looking out for the practicalities here? Where is common sense?

After we read the blog, we asked our 4th grader about lunch, he said that it takes 7 minutes to purchase the lunch and he does not have time to finish it. When they announce lunch is over, he said he regularly throws it out. We wondered why he was always coming home starving!

About three years ago NRHS implemented a schedule in which students were given 25 minutes to eat lunch. With four lunch periods (the earliest at 11 and the latest at 2) and 3,500 students that's about 800 students per lunch period waiting on long lines to get their food and find a table in the largely overcrowded cafeterias.

On nice days, students enjoyed eating lunch outside, however purchased food was not allowed to be brought out - only bagged lunches. Which seems completely arbitrary and illogical.

After graffitti was found outside the building where students eat lunch, there was a new rule implemented in which student were no longer allowed to eat outside at all, therefore stuffing the cafeterias even more.

In the High School, a lot of students use their lunch period to talk to teachers, make up quizzes, or print papers when they don't have the time to do so after school, so more often than not students are forced to skip lunch altogether.

If they try to eat at a time that is not their scheduled lunch, they will be turned away from the cafeteria by a security guard even if they have a free period. This causes some students to borrow friend's IDs in order to get into the cafeteria. My question is since when did getting into the cafeteria to eat get as difficult as getting into a bar underage?

I understand that the 4th grade lunch situation is a bit more extreme given their age, however school lunch schedules is obviously a district-wide problem not limited to Trinity Elementary School and it needs to be addressed.

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