One piece of paper with a few questions determines a student’s and a school’s income class. The Los Angeles Unified School District’s (LAUSD) 2015-2016 “Meal Application” for meal benefits, commonly known as the Lunch Meal Application, is that paper.
“From the submitted Meal Applications, the number of students that qualify for free or reduced price lunches get the school Title I funding which help determine budgets for next year,” said Mr. Duarte, the Title I Coordinator. So, this application not only provides nutrition for students, but also provides funding for the school.
“Primarily, it is so all students can be fed at school, so they can do well, but it helps everyone; it is not just about eating,” said Ms. Tinajero, Instructional Coach and WASC Coordinator. Classification as a Title I school provides fee waivers and reduced AP Test prices while also qualifying the school for funding such a those for certain teaching positions and technology.
“Turning it in is about caring for your school, not just yourself,” Tinajero said.
This school year, the importance of submitting the application was shown with phone calls to parents, letters home, summons, and even announcements all in efforts to make sure that everyone’s completed and turned in their form. Out of classroom personnel visited third period classrooms to collect the applications, and a workshop was even held to fill out the application during the parent conference; all of this was done to make completing and turning in the application convenient for all students.
“In total, 98% of students turned in the application this school year,” Duarte said.
Forms of submission used included hard copies turned in by mail or to the school and online applications. Duarte submitted all completed hard copy Meal Applications on Oct. 23 to LAUSD, but due to some applications turned in after, Duarte will be turning in additional applications this week.
— Maria Bojorquez