As concerned parents we wanted to take a moment to share with you our feelings about the combined lunches (6th, 7th, and 8th graders together at lunch and brunch) held at OIS the last few weeks of the 2013 academic year. We have started this petition so that as a community, we could share our thoughts without filling your inbox and voicemail to the brim with our concerns and suggestions.
We feel that the combined lunches are a disservice to children at OIS. While we understand that it may be administratively more convenient, we think the disadvantages for the children outweigh the advantages for the staff and administration.
For one, research has shown that children who eat nutritious, well-balanced snacks and lunches are more alert in the classroom. Unfortunately, many parents are finding that their children are not eating during the combined lunch and brunch period. The current size of the Kennel cannot accommodate the number of children waiting in line – it simply does not have the number of windows needed and the lines are much too long in both the Bow Wow Chow and Kennel. Since success in school is very important to parents, children and the administration, we hope that making sure the children are able to get food in a timely manner and have adequate time to consume it each day is a priority.
The second reason is financial. Next year, combined lunches / brunches could create a significant impact on the Kennels ability to make money for OIS. Parents whose children are not willing to wait in the long lines, may choose to send lunches and snacks with them to school, rather than risk their child foregoing a meal. The Kennel raises approximately $240,000 dollars per year for OIS, which is significant. We can’t afford to lose any of that fundraising source.
Thirdly, parents who worked in the Kennel at the end of the year noted that logistically, there are not enough tables to accommodate all of the children when they are out of the classrooms at one time, nor is there adequate shaded areas available for them to sit and eat. Many children are sitting in the hallways to avoid the crowds. This is not an environment conducive to growing healthy children.
The last reason is that the difference between a 6th grader and an 8th grader is enormous, both socially and physically. The 6th graders at OIS need time to get to know each other and the school, before having to mix with the older / bigger kids. Also, the administrators need a chance to get to know the new 6th graders in a meaningful way. The transition to middle school is difficult for many children, and knowing that they were somewhat isolated from the older kids for their first year of middle school has always been something parents appreciated about OIS.
For these reasons, we are asking that you please put the children of OIS first when deciding the schedule for next year, and do not combine brunch and lunch for the 6th, 7th and 8th grades Thank you for your careful consideration.