District Communications Director Jer Bates said the district will eliminate the designation of “reduced” meals effective Jan. 16. Students who formerly were charged the reduced price will get meals for free. Students who don’t qualify will still pay the full price for meals.
The decision to expand the program was made after “the district discovered that we have the opportunity to take advantage of additional state funds,” Bates said.
Eight schools will benefit from this change in service pricing.
The remaining schools in the district will not be affected as they are designated for free meals for every student in the school.
Last year, 68,342 meals were served in the first eight schools designated for universal free meals, said Lunch Application Specialist Melanie Miller.
In August, the school district added four elementary schools to the free meals program.
Students with a balance in their account may ask the school for a refund.
The case of Highland Junior High is unique as the school will become the first secondary school in the district offering free breakfast to every student.
The school principal, Stacey Briggs, reached out to the school district after Thanksgiving and asked for the possibility of having free in-classroom breakfast for every student.
“We have students who are hungry,” Briggs said. “This is an opportunity to see if they can learn better if they have an extra chance to eat in the morning.”
Briggs said more than 800 students could potentially benefit from the free universal breakfast.
“We’ve always kept granola bars in the front office but this will be much better,” Briggs said.
Breakfast in Highland Junior High will be served at 8 a.m.