APS is committed to ensuring the health and safety of our staff and students throughout the entire school day. This includes during lunch, when students will not be able to wear masks while actively eating or drinking. We have developed a plan to protect student health and safety during meals, in accordance with CDC and VDH guidelines for schools.
Lunchtime Health and Safety Procedures
Every school will consistently implement the following health and safety measures during lunch:
- Masks are required in the cafeteria or other designated dining space when students are not actively eating or drinking.
- Masks must be worn, regardless of vaccination status, during arrival to the lunch area, as well as in the serving line and when finished eating or when departing or traveling within the dining space.
- Cafeteria or other dining spaces and frequently touched surfaces will be regularly and thoroughly cleaned by custodial staff between mealtimes.
- Students will be required to wash their hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer before and after eating. Time will be provided for hand-washing and sanitizer will be readily available for student use.
- Mealtime will be monitored to ensure adherence to the safety measures in place and to enforce distancing to the extent possible.
MPSA Dining Protocols
At MPSA, we are committed to providing both indoor and outdoor spaces for students to eat lunch, and to distance as much as possible while eating. The following outlines our dining protocols.
- Partial Outside Lunch Plan: Our school will make use of multiple spaces – indoors and outdoors – and implement student rotations to maximize distancing and ensure student health and safety.
- These plans include eating in cafeteria/classrooms, use of shields, and rotating students for outdoor and indoor lunches.
- Inside Dining: During inclement weather or when dining inside, students will eat in the following locations:
- Students will wear masks at all times except when eating or drinking.
- Our cafeteria and other larger spaces have higher filtration levels than classrooms and have dedicated HVAC (heating, ventilation and cooling) systems that allow maximum outside air ventilation.
- We will use shields when eating inside the classroom or in the cafeteria.
- Outside Dining Protocol for Colder Weather: Students can dine outside, weather permitting. This includes during the winter months, as long as temperatures are above freezing or 32 degrees Fahrenheit, exercising caution related to wind chill, precipitation or other factors. There are a number of factors that require consideration before a decision is made as to whether students are allowed to dine outside. These factors include but are not limited to: temperature, wind chill, frozen ground, sunshine, heat index, humidity, how prepared are the children (coats, hats, gloves/mittens) to maintain a comfortable and safe body temperature. All students are encouraged to have warm coats, gloves and hats in preparation for outside lunch and recess in colder weather.