Due to Covid-19, the new GCDS high school has been forced to remove the breakfast option in our dining hall. Although this decision makes sense considering the outbreak, many students have been struggling to adjust to this change. Dr. Winters has shared insights on the reasoning behind this decision and an idea of what the future looks like for this option in our cafeteria.
In our previous year at GCDS, the school introduced the option to have breakfast in the mornings. This allowed students to come to campus early before their classes to eat. Along with this, the high school offered coffee for their students. Despite the restrictions for this in the state of Connecticut, Greenwich Country Day was able to offer this since it is not a public school. Having both breakfast and coffee available in the mornings was incredibly beneficial for many students. Throughout the beginning of this year, many have had difficulty adjusting to the removal of these two features they loved so much.
Multiple factors went into the decision to remove breakfast from the cafeteria. One was the workload for the Dining Hall staff. Dr. Winters explained that, “Our Dining Hall staff has to both prepare and serve all food now–we cannot have a buffet-style meal because of COVID-19. There are also additional cleaning requirements throughout lunch and the day. It was decided that it was not feasible for our Dining Hall staff to prepare, serve, and clean breakfast and still have time for lunch preparations, serving and cleaning.” Despite the inconvenience to our faculty and students, GCDS’ decision to remove breakfast has taken away the unnecessary strain put on the Cafeteria staff.
Along with this, other COVID-19 restrictions have made breakfast an impossible privilege for us this year. Winters shared, “we did not feel it was safe to have students hanging out in the Dining Hall in the morning as they did last year. All of our teachers are in meetings in the morning, so our ability to safely manage the space and the number of students in the Dining Hall was greatly challenged.”
The removal of coffee in particular has affected many students this year. Unfortunately, Dr. Winters made it clear that returning this to our students is simply impossible during the pandemic. He said, “we will not be serving coffee in the Dining Hall. Our current safety protocols have adults serving all food. We have turned off the self-serve drink machines and frozen yogurt. Students who drink coffee need to find other ways to consume it: purchase it on the way to school or bring it in a thermal mug from home.” Although disappointing, this decision is consistent with the current COVID-19 protocols and does make sense given the unusual circumstances.
Winters shared that there is hope for one food option COVID has taken from us: the frozen yogurt machine. Dr. Winter shared, “we are looking into ways to serve frozen yogurt. I think we’ll be able to do that safely.” Unfortunately, breakfast and coffee will remain off the table until further notice. Still, the return of frozen yogurt during our lunches will lift the spirits of many of the GCDS high school students.