This week, I had the opportunity to work with our Student Nutrition Services staff at Logan Elementary School. On this particular day, a Thanksgiving meal was on the menu. It included turkey with all of the trimmings, as well as ham! Students also had other options from which to choose.
When I arrived, I was shown around the kitchen and briefed on all of the food safety protocols and the serving instructions. The staff checked temperatures and serving sizes and showed me all of the ropes. They were very professional and intense as they prepared for the first lunch. I think they were nervous about me being in the kitchen area, but I was even more nervous than they were! It takes a lot of coordination to ensure that students are served within the time limits and given the options that make their dining experience a good one.
As students arrived and the line started moving, the cafeteria staff members were very kind as they worked with me on serving instructions and providing the meals for students. Students also were surprised to see me and said hello, but it certainly was clear that they were there for their lunch and intent on making the correct selections.
This was a great experience for me to get to work side-by-side with our Student Nutrition Services staff, including Director Tracy Dixon and the Logan cafeteria manager, Ms. Thereasteen Cannon. Kudos to our Student Nutrition Services staff for what they do for the 24,000 students we serve in Richland One!
As with our Student Transportation Services staff and other departments, the employees of Richland One do an excellent job supporting our students and the district as a whole.
Richland One schools and administrative offices will be closed November 23-25 for the Thanksgiving Break. Regular schedules will resume Monday, November 28. Happy Thanksgiving to all!
Richland One has many partnerships that support the work that we do in our schools. One such partnership is that of our school resource officers or SROs. Whether it is forming bonds and relationships with students, conducting DARE programs or providing support and assistance in afterschool and mentoring programs, the SROs from the Richland County Sheriff’s Department and the Columbia Police Department are considered to be a part of our team of support.
Last month, Pine Grove Elementary School held a community parade in support of DARE. Resource offers from neighboring schools joined in the festivities as well. In addition, I had the opportunity to scoop and serve ice cream with Sheriff Lott at their DAREscream event that brought together schools, law enforcement and the community. Many other such events happen on a continuous basis.
We all can appreciate the positive influence of caring adults that support and work with our students alongside our administrators and teachers in working to transform our students’ lives through education, so they can realize their potential and dreams. The “resource” provided by our SROs helps to make that happen.
This week (November 3, 2016), Richland One held its annual Principal for a Day program. As a part of this event, business leaders, local politicians, faith-based leaders, university administrators and the like spend the day in one of our schools to experience a “day in the life” of one of our principals. Some experienced carpool lines, cafeteria duty, classes as well as class changes – and many other of the various activities that occur in our schools every day.
At the reception held at the end of the day, some of the participants shared their reflections on their experiences as Principals for a Day. Those reflections included problem-solving with students, reading to classes, even being on a swing during recess! Most also reflected on the number of steps they covered during the day.
All in all, the participants, whether returning participants or first-timers, were complimentary of their experience and the opportunity to shadow our principals in Richland One. Certainly the entirety of the job cannot be experienced in this snapshot experience, but it does provide an opportunity for community members to see the instructional and operational management that is provided in order for students to be successful when they are in our care.
Thank you again to the participants and, more importantly, thank you to the principals and administrators of Richland One for your work every day for the students we serve!