On September 15th, 2008 New Rochelle Community Pulse reported: Second Graders at Trinity Have a Long Wait Until Lunch. This story made parents aware that 4th and 5th graders only had 15 minutes of seat time to eat lunch. As a direct result, NRCP reported several follow up stories:
We understand that the issue of the 15 Minute Lunch has come to some resolution. We do not have the details on how this will affect other grades' seat time, overcrowding and the Full Day Kindergarten at Trinity Elementary School. We decided to repost this comment to create an awareness of what has been communicated to Trinity Parents to demonstrate yet another example of how people can mobilize the community and effect change. In addition, we are are creating a permanent, searchable record of the issue, so that all stakeholders may refer to as an example on how Citizen Media can work and hold the City School District of New Rochelle to account on this and any other issue the populous seeks to address.
Thankfully the district has finally granted additional time for the Trinity 4th and 5th graders lunch period. The 4th and 5th graders have had 15 minutes to buy and eat lunch for years.
This blog published the Trinity lunch schedule in another story. My son had been complaining that he did not have enough time to eat his lunch, but I had discredited his comments until I found out he really had a very limited amount of time.
After asking the Trinity admin for more time, being told that it was not enough for me to complain, starting a petition, collecting signatures, etc. The Trinity administration created a lunch committee.
We had one meeting, which was eye-opening experience, but seemed to me to have no direct result. The local administration and district still insisted that 15 minutes was enough. Dr. Weiss said again that she heard in med school that eating standing up was faster than eating sitting down.
Finally, I went to the school board budget meeting and meant to present my topic, but chickened out due to the tv cameras and crowd. I put a letter in the hands of Chrisanne Petrone, who promoted the topic to the school board. They pushed on the district and finally, I don't know how, the following was announced at the May 4th Trinity PTA meeting:
• The 2009/10 plan will give students adequate time to have 20 or more minutes eating time.
• The second art room will become the second cafeteria.
• Kindergarten recess will begin at 10:30am. Kindergarteners will eat lunch at 11:00am."
And that is that, I don't know if other grades are losing time or not. The 2nd art room becoming a 2nd cafeteria was necessary, I thought, because the occupancy of the Trinity cafeteria is 147 and some grade levels have that many children.
Thanks for reading! Thanks for the blog! Thanks to the petition signers and supporters.