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Donwood School
River East Transcona School Division

Donwood Lunch Program

In 2007, the River East Transcona School Division board of trustees moved to develop a new policy regarding user-pay lunch supervision programs. This policy recognizes that the care and supervision of a child during the midday break is a parental responsibility. However, non-profit, user-pay, supervised lunch programs may be established and operated by parent groups, as we have done at Donwood, to assist parents in securing a supervised environment for their children during the lunch break.

According to this policy, all students who stay for lunch at a school with a user-pay lunch supervision program, except those the division is obligated to transport, will be charged a fee. According to The Public Schools Act, the school division is obligated to transport students in rural areas (East St. Paul and St. Clements municipalities) who live more than 1.6 km away from their designated school, and students with special needs (see Lunch supervision programs in our school: A guide for parents for more information on this policy).

Although we continue to encourage students to have lunch at home, if possible, as we have found children benefit from a short, midday break from the school environment and the walk to and from school, a supervised lunch program is available for students at Donwood School. This program is run in accordance with divisional policy and offers a combination of “user-pay” and/or “volunteer” options. The cost per student varies for annual, monthly, or casual users and parents have the option of volunteering to help defray costs. All students who stay for lunch at the Donwood School Lunch Program will be charged a fee with the exception of those students the division is obligated to transport. 

Expectations for the lunch room:

• Eat and remain seated until 12:00 p.m.
• 12:00–12:15 p.m. — Finish eating, clean your space, and play quiet games
• 12:15 p.m. — Dismissal to play outside
• 12:15–12:45 p.m. — Safe, respectful play on playground (or in class during inclement weather)

Adult lunch supervisors monitor two classrooms with Grade 5 and 6 lunch monitors assisting students in the primary classrooms during the eating time. When a student has been given reminders and cues to follow the guidelines but is unable to do so, parents are informed through a letter home indicating the concerns that have arisen during lunch. The first notice is for information, the second results in a student eating in the school office for two days, and the third notice in a term results in a parent having to arrange for their child to eat at home/out of school for two full weeks. Our experience tells us that when guidelines like these are in place and students know the expectations, they should be able to conduct themselves in an appropriate manner with very few students losing their privilege to have lunch at school. 

Allergies

Donwood School has several students with nut allergies that can be potentially life threatening, therefore we ask that all food items children bring to school be nut-free—in this way we can reduce the risk to these children. Please check labels on food products you send to school. We thank you for your understanding and support in making this a safe environment for all children.

If you have further questions, contact the director of the Donwood School Lunch Program, Mrs. Janice Garofalo, by calling the school at 204-668-9438.