ST. ALBANS – For the 2020-2021 school year St Albans City School is looking to start a new tradition of monthly family luncheons. These would occur on different days of the week each month, in the hopes that over the year many of our families can join their student(s) for one of these events.

Traditionally, St. Albans City School offers a School Thanksgiving Dinner the Thursday before Thanksgiving, and welcomes families and community members to join. This year we held our annual dinner, shared the event in our Daily Announcements, but did not advertise it widely. This advertising change was designed to help reduce the stress on the system when hundreds of parents join us for lunch, all at the same time. We hoped to avoid long lines, parking problems and students devastated because they felt like they were the only child without an adult attending.

Unfortunately, because of the change, many parents missed the annual luncheon. We had about 25% of the traditional number of attendees. For the school, it worked really well. The parking was tight, but still safe. There were parents in nearly every one of the early grade classrooms, yet lines were not too long. Most critically, students that did not have a parent attend were not upset, because only some parents were there, not most parents. Many teachers commented that it was the smoothest Thanksgiving Dinner they could remember. However, not all of our family members were happy with the change.

Hearing this feedback from our families, the City School Food Committee (comprised of students, staff and parent/commlunity members) set out to find a solution that could work for everyone. We discussed the many meals we proviode that could be offered as family meals and decided that if we had a family meal each month that was well advertised and planned at the start of the year, and asked parents to attend only one, maybe we could create a new tradition that was sustainable and offered more special moments for our students and families.

This February, and again in May, we will be running a pilot of the Family Luncheon Program that will begin monthly next year. The first Family Luncheon will be held Thursday, February 20, 2020. It is during our Local Beef (Choiniere Farms) Harvest of the Month and will feature Homemade Shepard’s Pie — a definite student favorite. Local beef will actually be featured twice each week throughout February, in many favorite dishes. Our Harvest of the Month will be part of each Family Meal. The cost for adult family members who attend is $3.75. Megan Lavalley, our School Chef, wanted to make sure we let our families know that, “parents are always welcome,” and all adult meals are always $3.75. In May we are planning to offer the mixed greens Harvest of the Month with a spaghetti dinner as our family luncheon.

For a list of our luncheon offerings, please subscribe to our Daily Announcements. Here you will find a treasure trove of information about our school events, daily activities, and our daily menus. In addition, we are always looking for community members to join our Food Committee, which traditionally meets once a month. Contact Mitch Craib, the Committee Chair, at mcraib@maplerun.org or by calling 527-0565, ext. 3719, for more information.

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