Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Today's School Lunch

Enjoy, kids!

"Boston school food contractor plans new facility to whip up fresh entrees" by James Vaznis Globe Staff  March 13, 2017

The food service contractor for Boston’s public school system announced Monday that it plans to open a facility next month in Dorchester where it can make fresh hot meals, a move that should delight students who hate eating the previously frozen entrees served up in most schools.

Whitsons Culinary Group currently makes about 165,000 meals per week for Boston students at its facility in Islip, N.Y., where individual servings are flash-frozen and then trucked to Boston.

Whitsons said it plans to lease the former Katsiroubas Produce property at 40 Newmarket Square, where it will employ 75 people. It plans to make most entrees fresh, although items like pizza would be pre-frozen.

“We are really excited about being able to offer fresh meals to Boston school students,” Karen Dittrich, director of marketing for Whitsons, said in an interview.

More than half of Boston’s public schools now serve the previously frozen meals because they lack full-service kitchens — the buildings were constructed decades ago when most students would bring their own lunch. Cafeteria workers warm up the meals in large convection ovens.

A growing number of students, parents, educators, and elected officials have pushed for more fresh food in schools, saying the frozen meals symbolize everything wrong with the city’s lunch program.

Monday’s announcement prompted a tepid response from the school system and city leaders.

Whitsons made its announcement as its three-year contract with the school system is about to expire. The school system is in the process of soliciting bids for a new vendor. Whitsons is expected to submit a proposal.

The school system initially reacted with a guarded statement, saying the Boston public school system “anticipates further conversation with Whitsons to better understand how the company’s new location will impact the quality of meals for our students.”

Pressed for more details, district spokesman Daniel O’Brien elaborated later in the day.

“It appears to be a wonderful opportunity, but right now we have had no formal discussions on implementing changes to our food service program,” O’Brien said.

“The Boston Public Schools are always open to new ways to increase access to healthy fresh and locally produced meals for our students.”

The company said Monday night that it had no formal discussions with the district about the new facility before making its announcement.

City Councilor Ayanna Pressley, who has been pushing for more fresh school lunches, said the timing of the announcement was odd, given that the school system is seeking bids for a new food-service contract.

She said she learned about the announcement in Monday’s press release.

“I don’t know if it is a step in the right direction,” Pressley said of Whitsons’ decision to open a food production facility in the city. “We are still trying to figure out who the best vendor will be.”

The company says it intends to prepare hot entrees, sandwiches, and salads using “wholesome, natural and organic ingredients, including many items that are sourced from local food vendors and farmers.”

“Our new facility will enable us to deliver freshly prepared breakfast, lunch, and after-school snack options for Greater Boston,” said Paul Whitcomb, president and chief executive officer of Whitsons.

The new location means that Whitsons will relocate a smaller operation on Quincy Street in Dorchester, where it had assembled sandwiches and snack packs, to the new facility. About 30 people work there.

Although Boston is the only school system in Massachusetts for which Whitsons provides prepackaged meals, the company is hoping to add other school systems in the state as customers, pointing out that other school systems also have schools without kitchens.

The company said it hopes to start producing some meals by June and be in full operation by the fall.


Just don't drink the water, kids.

I'm glad you ate first because this will cause you to lose your appetite:

"St. Paul’s School admits 13 staffers engaged in ‘sexual misconduct’" by Michael Levenson, Jonathan Saltzman and John R. Ellement Globe Staff  May 22, 2017

Thirteen former faculty and staff members at St. Paul’s School in Concord, N.H., engaged in sexual misconduct with students over four decades, according to a report released Monday that faulted administrators for ignoring and even concealing the widespread abuse.

In the sheer numbers of teachers implicated, the abuse at St. Paul’s, a prestigious boarding school, ranked as among the most pervasive that has been substantiated at a New England private school.

Isn't that where Labrie went to school?

The report faulted administrators who it said were often more interested in preserving the school’s reputation than protecting students from assaults and, in some cases, rape by respected faculty members. The report was particularly critical of an investigation the school commissioned in 2000 that failed to address multiple claims of abuse that alumni had brought to school leaders.

School leaders on Monday apologized to the school community and credited survivors for pushing St. Paul’s to acknowledge the misconduct, which occurred between 1948 and 1988.

“We offer our most sincere apology to survivors for the wrongs that were done to them at St. Paul’s School,” Rector Michael G. Hirschfeld and Archibald Cox Jr., president of the board of trustees, wrote in a letter to the St. Paul’s community. “The failures uncovered in this report have hurt every member of our school community, none more so than the survivors of these abuses.”

St. Paul’s is the latest prep school to investigate claims of misconduct following a 2016 Boston Globe Spotlight story that reported on allegations of abuse by more than 200 victims at 67 private schools in New England.

That movie in the works?

The investigation, which was led by former Massachusetts attorney general Scott Harshbarger, did not receive or review any allegations of misconduct by teachers after 1988. School leaders said, however, that more victims may come forward.

“If they do, the situations will be investigated,” said Cox, son of the famous Watergate prosecutor, also a St. Paul’s graduate. “This doesn’t stop now.”

It does for me. Ick!


Related: A Peekel at Phillips Exeter

You don't have to be a geniu$:

"In a significant advance in the study of mental ability, a team of European and American scientists announced Monday that they had identified 52 genes linked to intelligence in nearly 80,000 people. These genes do not determine intelligence, however. Their combined influence is minuscule, the researchers said, suggesting that thousands more are likely to be involved and still await discovery. Just as important, intelligence is profoundly shaped by the environment. Still, the findings could make it possible to begin new experiments into the biological basis of reasoning and problem-solving, experts said. They could even help researchers determine which interventions would be most effective for children struggling to learn...." 

I can't imagine why!

Also see:

Barnard chooses a leader whose research focuses on women
Texas mulls transgender bathroom bill

I'm wrestling with which door to use.

Body found in Franklin identified as Michael Doherty
It’s a wet and waterlogged commencement at BC
Malden school defends controversial hair policy it suspended

Isn't that racism?

Related: Marching Backward Briefly

I'm going to have my own lunch now.