WORCESTER, Mass. - Before Worcester students head back to class on Monday, a school committee member has a new item for the agenda on Thursday involving outdoor lunches.
Tracy O'Connell Novick says she's received a lot of questions and concerns from parents and guardians about lunch in schools. Since COVID-19 transmission is a big concern, she believes it's best to avoid piling students back into cafeterias.
The agenda item is about giving as much space and permission as possible for schools to use spaces for outdoor lunches.
While this will look very different at Worcester schools, outdoor lunches - when the weather allows - is a conversation she wants the school district to have.
"Part of what I put in the item was saying when weather isn't cooperative, let's be more imaginative about the space,” O’Connell Novick said in an interview on Wednesday. “Yes, it's super inconvenient to have kids say eating in the hallway or whatever. I went to a high school where that was standard. That's much better still though than having 300 kids piled into a single room with everybody having their mask off."
Novick added she does not have a permanent solution for winter, but she and many others are keeping their fingers crossed for the coronavirus vaccine to be approved for ages 12 and under by then.