In accordance with New York State Education Department guidelines, the Great Neck Public Schools Board of Education is considering a new policy, the Policy On Charging of School Meals. At the school board’s May 12, public action meeting, Trustee Susan Healy, chair of the board’s policy committee, introduced the proposed new policy.
This proposed policy was written by the policy committee based on a recommendation made by the school district’s external auditor. This was written to inform parents and/or/guardians who take part in the district’s food and nutrition services of their obligation regarding payment for school meals.
The policy states that the school board does “recognize” that a student might forget to bring lunch money to school and, thus, to ensure that no child goes hungry, and to “promote responsible student behavior,” but yet to minimize any monetary burden on the district, there shall be guidelines set. Guidelines state: only regular meals, and only what is on the menu, maybe be charged; no snacks. A computer-based point of sale system will be used for identifying all charged meals, as well as for collecting payments.
The policy also states that if school authorities suspect that a student is abusing this policy, it must first give notice to the parent or guardian, and then the privilege may be refused.
The requirements of this policy are to be communicated to all parents on an annual basis, prior to the opening day of school.
And all of the schools in the district must maintain a system for accounting for charged meals, a system that follow state guidelines.
A question arose concerning students charging meals if a parent first registers a credit card with the district, Board President Barbara Berkowitz explained that the district does not want the responsibility of holding a credit card for a resident.
Before any policy may be written as new, revised or deleted, a minimum of three public readings is required. Since this was only a first reading, the policy must come back at least two more times before adoption.
This proposal will be read for a second time at the public action meeting on Monday, June 2, at Great Neck South High School. The United Parent-Teacher Council reports will be followed by the public action meeting at 8:30 p.m.