CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - School districts across South Carolina are finalizing their plans for the upcoming school year.
With some students opting for virtual learning, these districts are changing up the way they prepare their meals.
The Charleston County School District is working on protocols for students that will attend school in-person.
For anyone working with the food, the team will be getting their temperature taken and have to wear face coverings. The students in line will see signs for social distancing and will be utilizing touchless system for payment.
Items like fruits or vegetables that they would typically pick up in line will be pre-packaged.
Walter Campbell, the Executive Director of Nutritional Services for CCSD, says they have been working on making sure the meals have the best quality ingredients and have them in a container specifically made to keep the food hot.
“A lot of meals we put together back in March was a lot of pre-packaged items, but we want to move towards more of the items the kids are used to getting,” Campbell said. “Our goal is to reach as many children as we possibly can.”
For students that want a meal but have chosen a virtual learning option, the school district is working on curbside pick up for these items. Ideally, a parent that has children at multiple schools will be able to pick up all meals at one location.
The school district is still working on a process to figure out the best way to get these students pre-registered for meals.
A spokesperson for the Berkeley County School District says meals will be provided to students, but the way to pick them up will differ depending on what learning model the student has chosen.
"Our folks are working to fine-tune how they're going to feed the students that need to come to the school to pick up meals that are on those virtual pathways," district spokesman Brian Troutman said. "The details may vary by school. What is possible for one rural school may not be possible at a very large school with a very large population."
At the end of the last school year the district was able to feed students at no cost, but this school year will operate as normal.
Students who have free or reduced lunch will still be able to have that option even if they opt for virtual learning. Parents will have to come to the schools to pick up the meals.
Right now, the school district is working on figuring out if there is a possibility to extend their summer feeding program closer to September 8th. As of now, it is set to end tomorrow. Those details are still in the works.
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Right now, the Colleton County School District is planning out the school year with a fully virtual start. The school district’s office of student nutrition has been working on putting together a grab-and-go menu, as well as traditional school meals with instructions for heating at home.
In the spring, the school district was able to implement "emergency feeding" which allowed them to feed all children under the age of 18 regardless of whether or not they were enrolled in school.
Going forward, they will only be feeding students enrolled in the school district.
“They will have to pre-order or request from us now that we’re going virtual, so we’ll have to get a registration,” said Ellen Fitch, the director for Student Nutrition Services.” Then we will ask who wants the [food] delivered or offer pick-up services at the school as well.”
The school district is hoping to send out surveys to parents soon, to get their children registered. They will have more information on their website once that is ready.
Dorchester School District 2 is still trying to finalize the meal plans for the upcoming year.
A spokesperson for the district says meals will be available, but those details are in the process of being worked out.
We have also reached out to Dorchester District 4 and are waiting to hear back.