Madison Metropolitan School District
Madison, Wisconsin

Art Rainwater, Superintendent
Minutes for Long Range Planning
January 27, 2003
Doyle Administration Building
545 West Dayton Street, Room 103
Madison, Wisconsin

The Long Range Planning Committee meeting was called to order by Chair Ruth Robarts at 7:15 p.m.

MEMBERS PRESENT: Carol Carstensen, Juan José López, Ruth Robarts



STAFF PRESENT: Rita Applebaum, Jane Belmore, Mary Gulbrandsen, Frank Kelly, Roger Price, Art Rainwater, Ken Syke, Ann Wilson - Recording Secretary

  1. Approval of Minutes

    It was moved by Carol Carstensen and seconded by Juan José López to approve the minutes of the Long Range Planning Committee meeting dated October 14, 2002. Motion unanimously carried.

  2. Public Appearances

    Michelle Vassalio spoke in support of change to the quality of food offered in the school lunch program and the duration of the lunch period. She was in support of the Farm to School program.

    Margaret Whiting spoke in support of a longer lunch period and recess. These should be meaningful social experiences; children have no time or space to develop socially. In favor of the Farm to School program.

    Ralph Holmes - Time needs to be added to provide an adequate and comfortable lunch. Passing time needs to be added between lunch and recess to allow children to have the full recess. Younger children wear coats. Would like the district to sign up for the USDA and DPI Teen Nutrition program.

    Dena Peterson - Why are hot lunch kids segregated from children who bring cold lunch? Why do kids have to take their coats with them? Why is untouched food thrown away instead of donated to an organization like Second Harvest? Is the board aware of the appalling waste of the school lunch program?

    Lionel Martin - Read a list of problems caused by too much sugar (document provided). Nutrition and not enough time are concerns.

    Vicki Bier - Read an e-mail message that she had sent to Frank Kelly regarding lunch at Franklin. Servings are not following recommendations in the food pyramid, more fruits and vegetables are needed. Concern about nutrition students are receiving from meals.

    Kris Grutzner - Concerned about the values that are being instilled in the lunch room. Kindergarten students wear their recess clothes in art class. No time for recycling, no time to eat. Concern about quality of food. Verbally shared survey results.

    Andrea Leffingwell - Physical education teacher and playground supervisor at Franklin. Concerned about time and nutrition. Also the issue of sharing areas - moving in and out of her instructional space before and after lunch cuts into instructional time.

    Bill Kaplan - Lunch times are too short and food is of poor quality. Both hurt the learning experience. Asked why the district is subsidizing Pizza Hut? In support of Farm to School program.

    Mary Battaglia - Survey of Crestwood parents overwhelmingly requested increase of time for lunch without taking from recess time. District is reinforcing terrible health habits - poor eating and little activity. More time for recess and lunch would decrease behavior problems. Suggested taking time from REACH, teacher breaks, Monday early release time. Will e-mail survey results to Board members.

    Sonja Penner - Time allowed is not conducive to a healthy lunch environment. Not enough time, no hand washing, outside apparel is not appropriate in the lunchroom, quality of the food is poor, sharing the lunch room with middle school is problematic. Expect schools to support efforts to teach children social skills and provide a healthy environment for lunch. Lunch scheduled after recess would be better.

    Miriam Grunes - Support any efforts to improve the culture and content of school lunchrooms. Lunch is part of the educational experience; respect in the lunchroom for food and staff and culture is nonexistent. Takes away from the good that happens in classrooms. Support Farm to School program.

    Janice Ferguson - Support longer lunch period so that students get better nutrition and have more time to eat, time to dress and undress for recess, and support the option for children who live close to school to walk home for lunch.

    Sara Tedeschi - Coordinator for the Wisconsin Homegrown Lunch project - read a statement (provided) about the project and its goals. Working with Food Service on three pilot programs. Next step is selecting the pilot schools.

    Becky Rosenberg - If students had more choice about which food to select, there would be less waste. Children enjoy healthy foods and are curious about trying different/new foods. Would be happy to be part of a change movement. Noted interesting seating patterns in the lunch room.

    Clare Seguin - Supports Wisconsin Homegrown Lunch project. Farmers visited classrooms and students were interested. Lunch scheduled before recess might alleviate some waste. Represent ethnicities in food served. No recycling sets a bad example.

    Doug Wubben - Vegetable grower who visited schools. Support Farm to School program. Children will respond positively if they have time and space to enjoy food.

    Jack Kloppenburg - REAP and Farm to School Program - provided written information - Working with food service staff and acknowledge many constraints - time, space, budget. Important that lunch room is a vehicle for learning and refueling. Can be an opportunity to look for different ways to do things.

    Susan Robertson - Shared responses to survey by Huegel students. Students do not have enough time, they need choices, will not sacrifice recess time so end up hungry and not ready to learn in the afternoon.

    There were nine written registrations in support of changes to the lunch program that included recommendations for more time and better nutrition. One person registered in opposition to an extended lunch time at the elementary level.

  3. Announcements

    There were no announcements.

  4. School Lunch Program

    Jane Belmore distributed and explained an estimate of what it would cost to add ten minutes to the time scheduled for lunch in elementary schools. (A copy of an analysis done by the Labor Relations staff on the impact of lengthening the elementary school lunch period was also distributed and is attached to the original of these minutes.)

    Discussion: Monday early release, transportation, reductions in recess times at some schools, SAGE complications for recess and staffing, budget outlook.

    The following questions were posed and will be discussed at the next meeting on this topic. Jane Belmore will survey schools and principals for responses.

    • How many children in elementary schools are seated for twenty minutes for lunch?
    • What is the status of the Food for Farms program? When will it be implemented and what will be the fiscal impact? Will less Food Service meals affect our ability to afford that program? How does this affect agreements with other food providers?
    • How many children wear coats while they are eating?
    • What is the waiting time in line for children to receive their lunch?
    • How many teachers are giving out snacks in the afternoon because students didn't eat their lunch and are hungry?
    • What do PTOs know about what kids are eating?
    • Are teachers getting their 30-minute duty free lunch?
    • What can be done about waste? What about recycling? Do we recycle?
    • Do principals have suggestions about finding extra time for lunch?
    • Number of schools that serve lunch in the gymnasium?
    • Number of schools where students eating hot and cold lunch do not sit together.

    Ruth Robarts asked that any additional questions be sent to her. She distributed copies of an article from Mother Jones magazine entitled "Unhappy Meals" from the Jan/Feb 2003 issue; and two articles from Education Week "Number of Children Taking Psychiatric Drugs Rising" dated 1/23/03 and "Lunchtime Can Teach Appetizing Lessons, Scholar Says" dated 1/15/03 (copies are attached to the original of these minutes). This topic will be discussed again on February 24.

  5. Reassignment of an Attendance Area

    A written report was provided on Future Elvehjem/Kennedy Attendance Boundary and Capacities (attached to the original of these minutes).

    It was moved by Juan José López and seconded by Carol Carstensen to assign Grandview Commons to the Elvehjem attendance area. Motion unanimously carried.

    Making this assignment prior to development will avoid disruption after families have moved in.

  6. Other Business

    There was no other business.

  7. Adjournment

    It was moved by Juan José López and seconded by Carol Carstensen to adjourn the meeting at 9:40 p.m. Motion unanimously carried.