Be Informed!

The First Class Breakfast Program is being implemented in schools all over Houston. I am a very involved parent, but I have only one experience to share and one point of view. In an effort to share information and inform parents, I welcome comments and guest posts!

Forward this to all who might be interested. You need to be informed and aware of what is happening in your schools.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Breakfast Service at Herod Elementary

There was a very good description of the program implementation at Roberts Elementary a few days ago.  Some people have requested a similar description of the progam at Herod.  It is quite different.

Herod chose to implement the program in its purest form.  Delivery of breakfast to the classroom.  This is the "Guaranteed Delivery Method" that was proposed by Aramark and is said to be the "fastest" way to deliver the meal in order to provide the least classroom disruption. 

Most classes at Herod are finished with all breakfast service and cleanup by 8:15.  20 minutes after the school day begins.  Kindergarten classes take longer.  My son's class was finished and ready to start the day this morning at 8:30.

Here is a description of the morning delivery in a typical Kindergarten class:
The layout of the Herod Campus is such that two grade levels occupy a single wing of the building, K and 1st together, 2nd and 3rd, and the two upper grades are housed in temporary buildings.  Each hallway is served by two food service carts that serve from 5-6 classrooms.  Each cart has a warm and cold compartment to keep food at the proper temperature.  Before service begins, teachers receive supplies of a trash bag, napkins and straws, as well as the cards for each student.  Carts begin serving at 7:55 and move from room to room so some classes are served later than others.  Those that have opted to not eat go to their desks first and either read or begin an activity that has been placed at their desk. The remaining children (about 2/3 -1/2 of the class) then get in line for their food as breakfast cards are passed out.  When the cart arrives, they drop the card into a bag hanging from the cart and are handed a meal.  This service takes from 3-5 minutes per classroom.  They eat at their desk and are given assistance with opening packages, etc. as needed. When all the children have been given their meal and are seated, I set a timer for 10 minutes. Quiet eating time is encouraged so that they are actually eating instead of visiting. If there is an item that they do not want, they place it at the top of their desk and it is collected and set aside. When the ten minutes is up the I go around and collect trash and we clean up any spills that occur. All total we spend 25-30 minutes on the breakfast process before starting the day's studies.

I hope you find this description helpful.  If your school has implemented the program, please leave a comment or email and let us know how it is working in your school.  The more information we have, the better our chances of making the program work in our schools.


  1. I don't understand how you or any parent could support taking 30 minutes out of the instructional day this. Most schools have free breakfast available BEFORE school, to anyone who wants it. It's not that hard to get to school 10 minutes early to eat the free breakfast in the cafeteria. Why force everyone to be subjected to this program and the unhealthy Aramark food?

  2. Agreed. I have no problem with the free breakfast but it should not cut into instructional time.

  3. As a teacher who has been doing this for 2 years, I hate losing out on 30 minutes of instruction time to serve breakfast. I am sorry but this is NOT acceptable. I still wonder what TEA has to say about this.
    On top of that, EVERY child is supposed to get a breakfast whether or not they want it. You are breaking the rules.