Reminders about the School Cafeteria Payment Authorization and State Requirement for the Flu Vaccine

September 7, 2020

Dear families,

Happy Labor Day! We hope you have been enjoying the beautiful weather this weekend. To follow up on our recent reminder regarding Milestones’ required fall paperwork for students, we also wanted to remind parents/guardians about (1) Massachusetts’ new school requirement regarding the annual flu shot and (2) our cafeteria plans for families who wish to have students purchase lunches beginning the second week of school.

• New Flu Immunization Requirement by 12/31/20: To support wellness within schools, as we shared before vacation, DESE/DPH announced a new requirement that students must receive a flu shot for this school year prior to 12/31/20. Families are encouraged to have your student receive an annual flu shot at the earliest opportunity that is available in your local community, and documentation must be submitted to our school nurse (Lyn Ross: lross@advancingmilestones.com) by this deadline. For families’ convenience, flu shots are already available in some local pharmacies (e.g., CVS, Walgreens, pharmacies within some major grocery stores etc.) in addition to pediatricians’ offices and urgent care facilities. If you have any related questions, you are invited to contact our school nurse regarding this requirement.

• Cafeteria Will Open For Students With Restrictions Beginning September 14th (2nd Week of Fall Programming): Milestones will be reopening our school cafeteria this fall with restrictions. The cafeteria will open to students starting on Monday, September 14, 2020 (second week of school); therefore, onsite students should please come to school with packed lunches and snacks for the first week of school. Students will not be permitted to purchase breakfast items but will have a variety of lunch options available. The only exception is students on the free or reduced breakfast/lunch program, in which case they will still be provided with daily breakfast and lunch. There will be several changes to the cafeteria to promote health and safety. Faculty will be previewing the following changes with students during our first week of school in September.

#1: Students will not be permitted in the cafeteria. Their lunch (if ordered through the cafeteria) will be brought to them by an adult in paper bags marked with their name and homeroom at lunchtime.

#2: Menus will be available and posted online one month at a time. However, click for the first menu for September and is also posted online (see www.AdvancingMilestones.com’s homepage, scroll to the bottom, and it’s on the right side under “find it fast”). If your family has difficulty accessing the computer, please let your case manager know and s/he will send a paper copy home with your child.

#3: If students want to purchase lunch, they must make selections each Wednesday for the entire following week. Students may opt to buy lunch only on certain days and bring lunch on others. They may also elect to purchase part of a lunch (e.g., a cookie, fruit, or juice, etc.). Each week students will have class time to fill out a paper menu for the following week. Please make sure to review with your child the food options you agree upon as Milestones staff is unable to make choices for your child. Please see a sample student selection form here.

#4: The cafeteria will no longer accept cash. The only form of acceptable payment is a credit card (Visa, MC, AMEX, or Discover). Please click to see this form to enter your credit card information if your child wants to purchase items from the cafeteria. Students who qualify for the free and/or reduced lunch program through your sending district do not need to provide a credit card. Based upon your child’s menu, your credit card will be charged on the Wednesday when his/her order is placed. If your child is absent any day that following week, Rita’s Café will still charge your student as their food is pre-accounted for when your child’s order is placed. We are pleased that the price of a school lunch will remain at $3.75 for the 2020-21 school year. * Credit card authorization forms may be returned by email to Brittany Asselin (Executive Assistant) at: basselin@advancingmilestones.com or turned in by your student. If you choose to send in a paper-based form with your student, we recommend that you notify your case manager so that we know to expect the completed form.*

#5: A school lunch consists of a choice of a hot or cold entrée, milk or juice, vegetable, a fruit, and sometimes a treat! Your child is always permitted to purchase an adult lunch at adult prices (which vary) and consists of “grab and go” sandwiches, salads, soup, yogurt cups, muffins, hard-boiled eggs, drinks, cookies, chips, and other snacks. In the past, some students have desired larger quantities and have ordered more than one item (e.g., 2 hotdogs instead of 1. They will still be able to do this on their weekly order form, however you will be billed for the extra items).

Even if your child is purchasing lunch from school, we strongly recommend bringing from home multiple drinks as our water fountains and Brita’s are closed for safety. Gluten-free, dairy-free, and nut-free options are always available. If your child has other allergies and would like to eat from the cafeteria, please contact Alex Smith-Michaels (COO) at: Alex@AdvancingMilestones.com.

#6: As always, students are permitted to bring snacks, lunch and multiple beverages from home each day. If a student accidentally forgets to bring lunch, Milestones has ready made lunches available such as cheese sandwiches a­­nd Lunchables. Thank you for your understanding and patience while we strive to bring back the cafeteria in a safe and thoughtful way. Should you have any questions regarding the cafeteria, please email Alex Smith-Michaels (COO): at Alex@AdvancingMilestones.com.

Thank you for consideration, and we look forward to welcoming our students back to school this week!

Kim