Let’s Eat!

     Although the lunch period is one of the shortest time slots on our schedule, it is the area that I receive the most questions from parents and an area that many children feel anxious about.  Below I explain the lunch procedures, provide links to the school menu, and outline payment options.  Please feel free to contact me if you have any further questions.LUNCH OPTIONS  

  • You may choose the school “hot lunch” with a drink.  All school lunches are free of charge. I will give your child a “hot lunch ticket” to bring to the cafeteria at our lunch time.  Children join the “hot lunch line”, hand the ticket to the cafeteria helper, select a tray,  and choose from the different menu items on display.  The cafeteria staff will assist your child in choosing a well-balanced lunch if needed.  Students are also given the choice of white or chocolate milk.
  • You may choose to pack a lunch and drink at home.  Send the lunch to school in an insulated lunchbox labeled with your child’s name.  These boxes are kept in our class cubbies and brought to the cafeteria at our lunch time.
  • You may choose to pack a lunch at home and choose milk at school.    Upon entering the cafeteria, students join the milk line to retrieve a carton of their choice.


  • Where can I find the school lunch and breakfast menus?    Click the picture below for current menus at the Chartwells site


  • What time is lunch?  Our class assigned lunch period is 12-12:30. It can be difficult for first graders to settle in and eat lunch in such a short period of time.  Please encourage your child to eat their sandwich first.  I will encourage the children to take home any unfinished food so that you can see just how much is being eaten at school.
  • Will you be in the lunchroom to help my child?  Reassure your child that a friendly adult will be there to help them and answer their questions.  During the first week of school I try to stay in the lunchroom until all of my students are settled at a table.  However, this is also the only time I have to eat lunch and prepare for afternoon activities too.  We are very lucky to have great cafeteria employees who are happy to help all students!
  • What is Disney Fine Dining? Each week 2 students will be chosen by the lunch-recess monitors to be our classroom “Fine Diners”.  These students will each choose a friend to join them at their specially decorated table to eat lunch.
  • How does our school keep children with food allergies safe?  If your child has a food allergy, please contact the main office to arrange a meeting with the school nurse and support team.  An individualized 504 PLAN will be written stating your child’s allergies, emergency procedures and precautions.  For the safety of all students we ask that children do not share food with friends.  Special cafeteria seating is available if needed.


Please Return Lunch Forms


Your child brought home information about school lunches in their folder earlier this week. One of these documents was either a lunch application or a lunch program acceptance letter. Our school will receive funds based on the number of RETURNED  lunch forms. (This includes the forms from families choosing not to participate in the hot lunch program.)  Every dollar counts!  Please help us provide great learning opportunities by returning these signed forms as soon as possible. If you do not want to provide personal information, please write only your child’s name at the top of the form and your signature at the bottom.

What is the free lunch program? Will our family qualify?

From the CPS Department of Communications Press Release 2015:

Chicago Public Schools (CPS) will provide free breakfast and lunch to all CPS students, regardless of their economic eligibility, for the first time beginning this school year due to the district’s expansion of the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP).“This program will allow all CPS students to focus on their studies without being distracted by hunger or worry about the stigma of free or reduced lunch,” said Barbara Byrd-Bennett, Chief Executive Officer of CPS.

Formerly known as the Community Eligibility Option (CEO), the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, allows qualifying high-need school districts to offer free breakfast and lunch to all students, providing the nutrition and energy children need to be healthy and ready to learn.  CEP is a powerful tool that will assist in removing the stigma of the Free and Reduced Price meal program of the past.

Participating in the CEP program, allows Chicago Public Schools Nutrition Support Services to receive full federal reimbursement for up to 100 percent of meals served. CEP has already been successfully implemented in 456 pilot schools across the district and has experienced positive results since its launch in 2012.  CEP Program reimbursements for the 2013-14 school year increased by $6 million.  As a result of this, Nutrition Support Services was able to give over $10 million in administrative costs back to the General Fund, which went directly back into the classroom.  This transition also allows CPS to redirect these funds to lunchroom infrastructure improvements and to increase the quality of food served to students.

For the first time since the program’s launch, all schools for which CPS serves as the School Food Authority (SFA) will be participating in CEP. Charter schools for which CPS does not serve as the School Food Authority will need to apply to ISBE directly and be approved to participate in CEP.

Chicago Public Schools serves 400,000 students in 664 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school district.