Lunchtime at SLA: Time For a Change?

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Students at South Lancaster Academy have a wide range of opinions on life at SLA. In a recent poll, students were asked to share their desires for possible school improvements. Topics such as the school uniform policy, the lack of certain sports and the desire for more off-campus activities were at the top of the list. Students would also like to have Wi-fi available and access to Atlantic Union College campus gyms and pool.

Students have stated their desire to have more class electives offered, as well as AP options and actual college class opportunities to start building college credits.

SLA has made an agreement with Mount Wachusett Community College to allow high school students to take college classes at their campuses for only $30 a class. These credits will be transferable to any college in Massachusetts or any university. As for the AP classes, Mr. Lambert has added two AP history classes to the curriculum; AP Government and AP European History. Many students are eager to take these two new classes next year.

So since students are always complaing and asking for something new, SLA Pioneer decided to investigate what wishes are possible and n0t possible for the SLA students.

Many students would like to have the opportunity to buy lunch at school instead of packing it at home or going without. The Pioneer sat down with SLA treasurer Mrs. Daum to ask her a couple of questions on whether or not having an actual cafeteria would be possible or if students could bring back hot lunches. The answers were very straightforward. The two main reasons are because the school does not have a current food service license and the second is because of money.

For SLA to get a food service license, it would be at least $100 just for the permit. There are multiple steps for the school to take if they would like to get a food service permit. The first is to submit a copy of the Certificate of Occupancy (C.O.) for intended use. The next would be to provide a floor plan and request an appointment for plan review. The final step would be to submit a food service application to the Health Division, pay the proper fees and schedule an initial inspection. The school would have to renew it’s food service permit every year and there would be regular and impromptu inspections.

Another reason the school is not going to have a cafeteria anytime soon is because of cost. For the school to even think about getting a food service permit, the school would have to purchase standardized equipment to operate. To have our equipment become standardized it would cost somewhere between $50,000 and $60,000. Also, if the school got a cafeteria they would have to add extra personal, which would cost more money. The equipment would have to be sterilized after every use as well.

The school used to do hot lunches; the Sivers were in charge of the program a few years ago, with their own food service permit. They could serve food at the school because they prepared it at their restaurant. Classes can only service hot lunch now if the food is prepared and pre-packaged before it gets to school. Taco Bell was an excellent fundraiser for the Eighth Grade class, but it is now shut down. Pizza is also another good example of food that is prepared and pre-packaged before it gets to school. Hot lunch used to be a good fundraiser for classes but now it’s a much tougher option to provide to raise funds. A cafeteria at SLA would be nice, but in reality it is way too expensive for SLA to even think about right now. Students will just have to continue on for now as they have been for the past few years.

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Posted on May 10, 2012, in News and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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