It is important that CICS students maintain a healthy body and mind during the school year. CICS recognizes that meals contribute to our physical, social and mental well-being.
Our Food Services team plays an essential role to all our CICS schools. They are an important part of improving the health and well-being of our students. We would like to share the story of what our food service program does every school day in order to keep students healthy and fed.
A Change in Meals
CICS knows that what a child eats plays a role in their level of creativity, engagement and academic performance. Our food program ensures that students and families have nutritious meal options. Due to the pandemic, the last in-school meals were served to CICS students on Friday, March 13.
With only the weekend to plan, CICS began to offer meals for pickup to our students and their families on the following Monday, March 16. While those first few meals consisted of sandwiches and wraps, CICS quickly realized that families needed items that could be heated at home.
All fourteen CICS school campuses have on-site prep kitchens where food can be prepared and served to students from steam table serving lines, as well as self-serve salad bars. The current curbside pick-up breakfast menu offers shelf stable items along with occasional fresh fruit or juice. Lunch and supper options include ready-to-heat items such as hamburgers, chicken and burritos and there are new items such as chicken legs and other plated entrees being added. Pizza and chicken tenders/nuggets are still a favorite, just as they were when meals were served on campuses. The menus also acknowledge that families may have dietary restrictions so there are always no-meat protein items available. Milk is included with every meal and healthy snacks such as granola bars and raisins are also provided.
Curbside food pickup has been important while students are remote learning. CICS has accommodated most families who drive up to one the campuses; some families walk up to the table if they live close by. Every day, our families have been grateful for their childrens’ meals and for the opportunity to see the food staff, even if they are socially distanced or in their cars. Students are always excited to see their “lunch lady” from the car.
The CICS food service staff are rarely recognized for the important role they play in the lives of our students. At one campus, a mother occasionally cooks lunch for the food service staff and brings it to them on Fridays. This is just an example of how close this community is. They have served 500,000 meals since the middle of March. It is their mission, especially during remote learning, to create high quality meals that students want to eat and to get those meals to every family. Many parents realize that, without food service staff, their children would not have the meals they usually receive while in school. It shows how important they are!
As a school community, our priority is to keep every student fed. Even when school schedules change or holidays come and go, distribution times are adjusted. CICS has also added an additional morning pick-up time to accommodate family schedules.
If you are a parent/guardian who has a question about your child during remote learning, please click on this link.
Based on the evolving nature of protest activity across the city, CICS will be suspending meal pickup today, 6/1. We will provide an update for Wednesday’s (6/3) scheduled meal pickup.
Dear CICS families,
Hopefully, the recent warm weather has allowed many of us to spend more time outdoors. Even while social distancing and wearing a mask, being out in the sunshine does great things for my mood – and I hope it does the same for you.
The weather is a reminder that summer is right around the corner. With less than three more weeks of school, I hope our students are finishing the year strong and celebrating their successes. It may look different than in years past, but ensuring that our students feel recognized for all of their hard work this school year is an important way to help them stay motivated and energized as they head into the summer break.
Meal Pickup Schedule Resumes – Starting next Monday 6/1, we will resume our regular Monday, Wednesday, Friday meal pickup schedule at all CICS elementary schools.
Resource for Summer Activities – Camp Kinda, a free virtual summer experience for kids in grades K-8, will launch on June 1. Each weekday in the summer, families will get 3-4 hours’ worth of daily activities for kids in grades K-8, connected to a weekly theme and curated by experts. Visit their website to sign up to receive free activities.
Planning for School Year 2020-2021 – CICS has convened a working group to research and plan for the beginning of the next school year. While we await guidance from public health officials, CICS is developing a variety of scenarios by which our students are able to return to our buildings for in-person learning. The safety of our educators, students and staff will remain paramount in how we make decisions and set policies for our campuses and we will follow the guidance of the Mayor, the Governor, CPS, the Centers for Disease Control and the Illinois Department of Public Health. We look forward to updating you as our preparations progress.
Thank you, and stay safe.
Chicago International Charter School
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