Breakfast After the Bell Begins

Breakfast After the Bell Begins
Posted on 12/20/2019
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Students who are hungry for food cannot be hungry for knowledge. In an effort to help solve this common barrier facing our nation’s schools, Washington State Legislature passed the Washington Kids Ready to Learn Act of 2018. This legislation requires all school districts across the state with 70% or more students eligible for free or reduced-price meals to implement a new Breakfast After the Bell program. Royal School District is among these districts.

Breakfast After the Bell (BAB) will begin when Royal students return to school after winter break on January 6, 2020. What is Breakfast After the Bell? An innovative program proven to increase participation and access to school breakfast, BAB gives all students the opportunity to eat a nutritious meal at the beginning of the day. By increasing availability, BAB programs have shown higher
participation rates and are linked to improved academic scores, as well as reductions in disruptive behavior, visits to the nurse/office, and absenteeism and tardiness.

The great news for Royal schools is that ALL students can receive breakfast at no charge each day at school! Since 2015, Royal School District has qualified for Community Eligible Provision (CEP) status. Under the USDA Food and Nutrition Service, CEP schools can serve breakfast and lunch at no cost to all enrolled students.

What will this look like at your child’s school?

There are three types of BAB models that demonstrate the most success: Breakfast In the Classroom, Grab and Go, and Second Chance Breakfast. In Royal we will be using the Grab and Go and Second Chance models. At each school building, “traditional breakfast” (served before school) will continue to be offered. For BAB, school nutrition staff will prepare breakfast meals each morning to be picked up by students either from the cafeteria or kiosks on the way to class. Students who have already eaten breakfast before school or who do not wish to participate in BAB can go to class. Students participating in BAB will be engaged in educational activities so that breakfast time can still count as instructional time under state law, and their participation in BAB does not impact attendance status. Red Rock Elementary and Royal Intermediate School will both use the Second Chance Breakfast model. After the bell rings at 8:20 AM, RRE and RIS students will have 15 minutes (between 8:20-8:35 AM) to eat in the cafeteria prior to their first class. Royal Middle and High School will both use the Grab & Go Breakfast model. Beginning at 8:15 AM when the warning bell rings, RMS and RHS students who do not receive a traditional breakfast before school have the opportunity to pick up a Grab and Go breakfast from the designated kiosk. Students can eat their Grab and Go breakfast on their way to class or at their desks until 8:35 AM. 

There are multiple barriers that often prevent students from getting traditional cafeteria breakfast before school starts: hectic morning schedules; bus arrival times; stigma that school breakfast is for “poor” kids; and the common reality that many students simply are not ready to eat that early. Whatever time a student eats, a nutritious breakfast helps give them the energy and focus needed to get through the school day. With this alternative breakfast program, Royal School District will be better able to meet the needs of more students on a regular basis, and we look forward to seeing similar improvements shown by many nearby schools that have already implemented the program.

Details about BAB and many other resources can be found on our 
district Breakfast After the Bell web page.