Change served for lunch at PCY

Some changes are being served up for lunch at Paradise Canyon Elementary.

A new lunch-seating policy has been installed at the school. Students sit at a table with their own class for about 15 minutes while they eat lunch. Tables are dismissed for recess once the majority of the students are finished eating and the surrounding area is clear of food or trash.

In the beginning of the year, Paradise Canyon's administrators examined the school's strengths and where they could improve.

"We talked about how students do a great job inside their classroom following our 'Super-Six' rules, taking care of their things and being respectful of others. We wanted to encourage more of these good behaviors at lunch," said Debra Cradduck, a first-year principal at Paradise Canyon.

Paradise Canyon's fourth rule of the "Super-Six" reads, "Take care of the school. Take care of your belongings and the belongings of others. Treat the school like you would treat your home."

The lunch changes coincide with what has been in place at the other two district elementary schools. La Cañada Elementary requires students to sit with their classes the whole week, while there is free-choice seating on Fridays at Palm Crest.

"We felt as a school community that we could bolster the students' positive choices by moving to a structure like the one at Palm Crest," Cradduck said.

During lunch, noon supervisors pass out Cougar Coupons and Cougar Cash to students and classrooms demonstrating good choices.

Cradduck has been providing updates on the progress of the new policy to students and parents and it will be reviewed in January.

"The students have responded well to the new lunch structure," Cradduck said. "Students are spending less time trying to decide where and with whom to sit and more time actually eating. Students share a collective responsibility for taking care of their tables and each other."

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