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Health orders will determine summer meal locations

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The Roswell Independent School District’s Grab and Go free meals will continue with pick-ups at the schools through the end of the school closure period ordered by the governor, but locations for the summer program are yet to be determined, the RISD superintendent said Monday.

The district is now handing out between 8,500 to 9,000 free breakfasts and lunches daily, Superintendent Mike Gottlieb said.

One free breakfast and one lunch per child 18 and younger are available in the parking lots of all RISD schools. Children do not have to be RISD students or be present in the vehicle to receive meals.

The summer meal program, which starts June 1, could have different locations than previous years, depending on the status of the state’s health orders, Gottlieb said.

“In the past, our summer lunch programs, breakfast programs were in the (city) parks. We’re going to have some changes on that depending upon the closures,” he said.

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“We’re waiting to see and following the governor’s and president’s guidelines very closely and trying to make sure we’re following the safety protocols,” he said.

Kindergarten roundup is also in the process of being revamped to comply with health orders.

Dates for enrollment will be posted on the RISD website and Facebook page when available. Registration packets will be made available online for parents to fill out prior to those dates. Gottlieb said the district is waiting to make sure translated packets are accurate before posting.

Making sure the enrollment sessions will comply with health orders is proving to be a complicating factor, however, Gottlieb said.

“For example, when you do 3-year-old or 4-year-old round-up and kindergarten round-up, you have to have secretaries, you have to have a nurse, you have to have a principal, you have to have some teachers and before you know it, you have reached the limit,” for public gatherings, he said.

“We’re preparing for it because usually when parents come in with little kids they’re also bringing older children with them, so pretty quick, you’re over your numbers.”

Being able to supply enough masks has also been a problem, Gottlieb said.

“We were able to find gloves, cleaning supplies and hand sanitizer. The masks are a real issue,” he said.

Gottlieb also reported the district’s Continuous Learning Plan was going well, although staff is working to track down some students whose families have not yet been in contact with their schools.

“We have a team of teachers and other staff that are looking for kids that they are not getting answers back from, and try to track them down and provide them all the opportunities to pick up packets or provide online information,” he said.

In some cases, students who have been contacted were from single-parent homes in which the parent was an essential worker. For child care, they turned to their own parents, some of whom live outside Roswell. Many of those cases have been able to access material online, Gottlieb said.

“It’s just making that personal connection where we haven’t been able to before,” he said.

Gottlieb said he has sat in on a few teachers’ webinar teaching sessions.

“I was very impressed with how I see the teachers handle the classes and the questioning from the students,” he said.

“I just wanted to see where we could improve, how could we make it better for kids, and the interaction between the staff and the students was quite remarkable,” he said.

To keep up with local coverage of the coronavirus, go to rdrnews.com/category/news/covid-19-situation/.

City/RISD reporter Juno Ogle can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 205, or reporter04@rdrnews.com.

 

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