Saturday, September 10, 2016

Helping Improve Food and Security

Food, Glorious Food
The food served at Champlain Elementary School by Burlington's Food Service is delicious, nutritious, and popular. The Parent-Teacher Organization Cafeteria Committee has organized a volunteer crew to help serve food and support students nearly every day. Their contributions have proven indispensable and deserve our gratitude. Not only does their volunteerism help save money for education, but their relationship building with students strengthens our community bonds. 
Students start lining up for lunch first with the salad bar. A meal must include a fruit or vegetable, according to federal guidelines. This week community member Kristin Boehm began helping each student receive the right-sized portion and enjoy a positive dining experience. 
Chef Kaye Douglas slices hot baked potatoes, one of the many unprocessed meal choices. When one of our three hundred and eighteen students make special requests, she really listens and considers what they're asking and what they need, which, speaking as a novice lunch monitor, isn't as simple as it seems.

School-sized Security
Last Friday members of Champlain's Incident Command Team met with Burlington Police School Resource Officer Bailey Emilo to finalize procedures for building evacuation and lockdown drills. The State of Vermont requires both in September, followed by alternating practices every month. For the first lockdown drill, we anticipate three officers will escort Incident Command Team members throughout the building to ensure that everyone is in adherence. While schools are among the safest places for children and the chance of a dangerous incident within a school building is very low, practicing drills, especially in tandem with law enforcement, prepare us for the more likely emergencies faced in Vermont, such as a power outage and weather event. 
The Incident Command System refers to the standardized response system to emergencies instituted by U.S. federal and state agencies. The unified approach allows multiple organizations to easily coordinate efforts through improved coordination and common terminology. 
Champlain's Incident Command Team includes William Boos, Janet Breen, Tammy Charbonneau, Ashley Franke, Kendre Guinane, Greg Kriger, Nancy Pruitt, Terry Ryan, Carl Terry, Jessica Villani, Lindsay Wilcox, and myself. Pictured on the left are Kendre, Terry, Greg, me, Officer Elimo, and Richard Amato. Formerly assistant principal at Hunt Middle School, Rich supports and coordinates emergency response efforts for the Burlington School District. On the right, Officer Elimo smiles as she informs us that SROs were once formally called, "Officer Friendly."

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