2021-22 Back to School Plan

Child Nutrition

Meals at school will be provided while maintaining appropriate social distancing between students. Students do not need to wear face coverings when seated and eating so long as they are appropriately socially distanced.

The district will ensure social distancing between individuals while eating in the school cafeteria. If not feasible, meals may be served in alternate areas (e.g., classrooms) or in staggered meal periods to ensure social distancing and proper cleaning and disinfection between students.

The sharing of food and beverages (e.g., buffet style meals, snacks) is prohibited, unless individuals are members of the same household. Adequate space will be reserved for students, faculty, and staff to observe social distancing while eating meals.


Primary level considerations (Pre-K-Grade 5)

  • Breakfast service “grab and go” style to the classroom for grades 1-5
  • Breakfast after the bell, classroom delivery for prekindergarten, kindergarten and self-contained classrooms (if desired)
  • Lunch classroom service/classroom dining with staggered meal times and support for classroom-specific ordering/delivery
  • Cycle menu with alternate entrées available, all items pre-packaged, all students receive all required components

Secondary level considerations (Grades 6-12)

  • Breakfast “grab and go” style to the classroom upon entry
  • Multiple points of service feasible
  • Breakfast after the bell, classroom delivery for self-contained classrooms (if desired)
  • Lunch traditional service and dining may be available to small groups daily or in a rotation with adequate time for cleaning and disinfecting
  • Lunch classroom service/classroom dining with staggered meal times
  • Cycle menu with alternate entrées available, all items pre-packaged, all students receive all required components

For “grab and go” breakfast, students will be required to wait 3 feet apart in line. However, we anticipate multiple serving lines to reduce or eliminate a line forming. Students will not touch any food items in the line. Servers will wear PPE and maintain proper social distancing. Staffing and employee duties will be kept consistent to ensure contact tracing is possible if necessary.

Nurses will send a food allergy report to the kitchen in each building. A food allergy report will be available at “grab and go” stations, food allergies will be noted for each student by classroom in the point-of-sale system that will generate the rosters for classroom feeding.
The district will train students, faculty and staff on proper hand and respiratory hygiene, and such information will be provided to parents and guardians on ways to reinforce this at home. 

Students will receive all required meal components. Perishable items the student does not want will be collected by a single adult that is supervising the students during their meal period. Students can keep non-perishable items (i.e., bagged animal crackers) for consumption off-site.

Students will be socially distanced and not permitted to share food items. All food will be cleared away and stored at the end of the meal period to discourage eating outside of scheduled meal times, and all remnants and trash will be disposed of in an appropriate receptacle.

In the classroom, meals will be consumed at desks 3 feet apart. 

In central dining locations, if used, students will sit at tables and adhere to social distancing guidelines. Physical barriers will be put in place if students cannot socially distance. All dining areas will be cleared after students exit. Maintenance and food service staff will work together to clear the area of trash, clean floors as needed and disinfect tables, benches and serving lines with effective disinfectants following all guidelines for proper use. 

Each school will provide adequate time between serving periods to ensure thorough and effective disinfecting will occur. 

All menus and meal service models will continue to be in compliance with the rules and regulations of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the New York State departments of health and education. All areas of meal service will be monitored by both district and Whitson’s directors. 

The district will provide applicable training for all staff involved in meal service. The district will properly apply for and implement waivers where needed, and the district will take corrective action measures immediately if needed.

The City School District of Albany continues to work in collaboration with our state and local health and education partners and medical professionals to review the latest COVID-19 guidance and recommendations. As new information is provided to us, we will update this document accordingly.