April 13, 2016
Dear Parents, Staff, and Community Members;
The Estacada School District has been piloting a new meal program in three of our four schools for the last year and a half. The Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) was offered through USDA and the Oregon Department of Education to give schools with high percentages of low-income children the option to offer free school meals to all children without having to qualify families based on their income.
The District has operated under the CEP program at our elementary and middle schools. Although we served many more meals our governmental reimbursement has not covered our increased expenses. This shortfall requires substantial subsidies from the District’s general fund. To continue this program, the District would need to continue to reallocate dollars that are critically needed for instruction and instructional support services. Additionally, it is very likely that the District will no longer qualify for this program in the future due to the steady increase of the socio economic status of our residents. Therefore, we have decided to discontinue the program in the 2016-2017 school year.
The traditional school lunch program will return next year. School breakfast and lunch will be available to students for a fee. The Federal Free and Reduced meal program will still to be offered. Families that meet the USDA income requirements will still be eligible for Free and Reduced meals once they complete an application. The applications will be available at all school offices and via download on the District website at http://www.estacada.k12.or.us/ after May 1st. Applications will also be sent to parents along with all registration packets at the beginning of the school year. In addition, student meal accounts can be viewed and updated by parents on My School Bucks, found on our District web site.
The District will continue to seek the best solution, including development of alternative programs, to help those families who do not meet the Federal income guidelines but are still struggling with financing school meals for their children.
Yours in Education,