Students have approximately 20 minutes for their lunch period at the elementary and middle school levels, followed by an inside or outside recess period. High school students have approximately 45 minutes for their lunch block.
There is no district-wide policy against nut products, including peanut butter, in Region 15 schools, however the Food Service department does not serve any peanut products due to the increased number of students with nut-related food allergies. Please check with your child’s principal for additional guidance on this matter.
Students may not leave or enter the cafeteria without passes except during passing times. No student is allowed to leave the building during the lunch period.
In the 2010-11 school year, Region 15 implemented a District-wide practice of using non-food items for incentives, rewards, and celebrations during the school day in order to maintain a safe and healthy environment for all students. At the end of the school year, the Administrators and the Superintendent reviewed the practice and were pleased with the outcome.
Over the years, more children were identified with various food allergies. Prepared foods, as well as home-cooked foods, may provide ingredients that could be indirectly or directly harmful to some children. In recent years, we have had a growing number of students with serious and even life threatening food allergies. In addition, with concerns about childhood obesity and the increased frequency of juvenile diabetes, the administrative team and the Superintendent's Office feel the use of non-food rewards is a safer and healthier alternative for our students. To protect children and alleviate the oversight from teachers' growing instructional responsibilities, Region 15 decided to maintain the practice this school year. As always, our main concern is the well being of all students.
Celebrations are an important part of school culture, especially at the elementary level. Region 15 will continue to recognize student birthdays, holidays, and other significant learning landmarks, however, food will not be part of those celebrations.
Lunch prices are set by the Region 15 Board of Education and are adjusted occasionally to reflect the fluctuating costs of food, labor, and medical benefits. The Region 15 lunch program is self-supporting and does not receive any money from the school budget. Federal and state reimbursements along with government commodities help offset the cost of lunches for students.
Americans should eat more fruits and vegetables and less sugar, and limit salt intake. The federal government updated Americans’ nutrition and exercise needs, which supersedes the Food Pyramid, to help Americans make wise health and exercise decisions. The Dietary Guidelines are designed to help Americans choose diets that will meet nutrient requirements, promote health, support active lives and reduce risks of chronic disease.
In 2004, President Bush signed the Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization of 2004 into law, making it mandatory that every school district produces a wellness policy to promote health and reduce childhood obesity. Region 15 established a district wellness policy to encourage healthy eating and physical activity.
Cafeteria rules, online and/or cash payments, and other policies are detailed in the Region 15 Cafeteria Policy document.