Pizza is Primo; French Class Is Toast
Business Administrator Martha Kew struck two positive notes for the Wallingford-Swarthmore School Board at its meeting on Monday, March 25. She first noted that student participation in breakfasts and lunches was up 3% across the district this school year — an average increase of nine breakfasts and 104 lunches per day —mm coinciding with the beginning of WSSD’s contract with Nutrition Group, the district’s food service provider, whose contract is due for renewal. She takes this to signify student approval of the new food, and has additionally heard positive feedback from both students and staff. In particular, she has received “Numerous compliments regarding the [new] pizza.”
Nutrition Group is charged not only to increase participation but to keep it high, and to this end, they will be deploying a chef to work half-time at WSSD and at the Wissahickon School District. The chef will report to both school districts, working primarily to train staff to ensure quality and consistency. The chef will also work to educate students about nutrition and healthy eating with the help of Nutrislice, a program that lets students, staff, and family members view menu items and learn about their nutritional values. The district will soon begin piloting a Nutrislice Order Ahead program in Swarthmore-Rutledge School and hopes to implement it district-wide by the 2019-2020 school year.
Paneling the Panther Pit
Ms. Kew also provided an update regarding Panthers for Panels, a Foundation for Wallingford-Swarthmore Schools Sustainability Committee project aimed at installing solar panels on top of the Panther Pit, the George King Field concession stand. Panthers for Panels has now raised the necessary funds and recently met to discuss structural and insurance requirements, warrantees, and logistics, including damage concerns. In particular, there is concern that an object thrown onto the Pit’s low roof could damage the panels. Panthers for Panels is now looking into higher-durability damage-resistant panels. There is also discussion of placing a few demonstration panels on top of the Panther Pit and installing the bulk of them on the Strath Haven Middle School roof, which is further removed from wayward stones and soda cans. Board members Marylin Huff and Damon Orsetti both expressed their gratitude to Panthers for Panels for their dedication and hard work toward this project.
Speaking out for Advanced French
Throughout the Board meeting, a small group of high school juniors waited anxiously for the second Audience Recognition session, dedicated to community comments on issues not included in the agenda. When it finally came around, their spokesperson, after a bit of nudging from her friends, rose to introduce herself as Rebecca Friedman. She is one of ten juniors who had planned her schedule so that she might be able to take Advanced French Studies, a post-AP class with Madame Stadnicki, only to learn last Friday that the class had been cancelled in order to accommodate an additional French 1 class.
Ms. Friedman described the efforts that she and each of her classmates had made to take Advanced French Studies — all of them doubled up in French this year so that they would be able to take the advanced class next fall — and asked the board to consider their “demonstrated commitment to French.” She noted that the decision was announced after the elective portal (with which students designed their schedules) had been closed, and that it would therefore not be possible for many of them to rearrange their schedule to accommodate, for instance, a Swarthmore College class or an independent study. Ms. Friedman implored the board to rectify this injustice, and then returned to the company of her supporters.