VIDEO: Lakewood District Employees meet, at BOE directive, to discuss innovative programs to further accommodate Latino students

On Tuesday, May 1, Superintendent of Schools, Ms. Laura Winters (who attended the district’s Spruce and Princeton Avenue schools); Guidance Counselor/Coach and member of La Vos Latina Oscar Orellana (graduated LHS 2005); Teacher/Coach Eugene Drumright; Attendance Officer/Coach LJ Clarke (graduated LHS 1999); Vice Principal Owen Bonner, Food Service Manager Cory Goldfarb; and General Counsel Michael Inzelbuch (graduated LHS 1983) met at the request of the Board of Education to discuss some of the concerns raised the night before at the Lakewood Board of Education meeting.

By the time they had met Tuesday morning, State Monitor David Shafter had already visited the Oak Street School to review the status of the District’s food service operations and reported to the Superintendent that Sodexho Food Services was on a daily basis providing fresh food, unlike the claims of the night before with only one instance of expired juice being confirmed. (Reportedly, the juice had been left in the classroom by a student for about 2 weeks.)

Nevertheless, after discussing the issues raised both amongst themselves and with students and members of the community, it was agreed, in part, that:

1- All menus will be available in English and Spanish commencing this Monday, May 7.

2- All menus, in addition to the current practice where they are already available on the district’s website, will be sent home on a monthly basis starting Monday, May 7.

3- All lunch meals, in addition to the Latino flavored offerings already in place, will have Latino side dishes such as rice, beans, tacos, corn, burritos, and/or tortillas.

4- A designated Spanish speaking community liaison (who will receive a stipend and district cell phone) will be available to respond within 24-48 hours to all questions, will keep a log on a daily basis (including weekends), and directly report to the Superintendent. According to General Counsel Inzelbuch, due to the large response of interested individuals, the Superintendent has decided to form a committee on Monday to review the responses and select an individual later this week .

5- Utilizing remaining grant monies received from the Township, the Clifton Avenue School will initiate a pilot program of intramural sports programming starting this coming week for elementary school children. This is available to students grades k-6. Busing will be provided. For more information, contact Clifton Avenue Principal Deb Long.

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  1. are ALL the food also kosher supervised?

    what district is legally required to serve “latino flavored offerings”

    this is getting out of hand. as it is they get free education documented or undocumented and required services to accommodate English even if they are 17 years old.

  2. What’s the difference between serving “Latino flavored offerings” in a district that’s 90% Latino, and serving ‘Kosher” foods in schools with Jewish students? There’s nothing wrong with respecting the students’ culture or religion. It’s comments like this that lead to school board meetings like Monday night’s. Let’s respect each other’s differences and live together as one diverse community.

  3. Buck,I believe the difference is pretty obvious. Latino flavored foods is not a requirement, it is a luxury. For people that observe Jewish law, Kosher is a requirement. It would be similiar to Jewish parents requesting bagels and lox, chopped liver, chicken soup, gefilte fish etc.

    I don’t care that the school district provides it if it is at no extra cost, however what people may take issue with is parents demanding it.

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