William Floyd School District has brought the college food court concept into the high school and the students are thrilled.
The juniors and seniors no longer have to sit at the old-style collapsible tables and uncomfortable chairs. Now their thoughts are on whether to sit at the bar height type tables with stools or a regular lower table. Groups of students enjoy sitting on the u-shaped sofa’s which the cafeteria has two in each eating area. The round booths that fit 10 kids fill up very quickly and the students enjoy their lunchtime sitting as a group and talking while eating their lunch. There are also two televisions in each cafeteria and they will be installing WiFi service for the students.
David Beggins, Assistant Superintendent for Business at the William Floyd School District stated, “It’s going to be a little bit more of an open concept where the 11th and 12th grade students can go to either side of the café and sit and eat. There will be different offerings in each area. One might have a pizza station while the other will have a Mexican food station. The kids can go buy tacos or burritos, pizzas or homemade panini’s, or fresh made soup. They have a lot of choices. One thing that we have to recognize is that these students have other options and the goal is to keep them in the cafeteria and offer them food that they would want to eat elsewhere and to provide a product that they would really enjoy.”
The new cafeteria has a mall food court concept which along with having Starbucks type coffee kiosk, it is going to have different types of pastries, grab and go sandwiches and beverages. It will be open from the beginning of the school day until the end of the school day. Not all students have lunch periods due to having full academic schedules and this will give them an opportunity to walk into the cafeteria, grab something and off they go to class. It’s also an opportunity to help out some of the people who work at the high school. The food is a la carte and all regular school pricing.
The food service workers are feeling pride in the new work environment and are happy with the food that they are serving. Instead of the standard commodity products that are just opened up and served, they are making chicken for the burrito’s. “The food is as fresh as it can possibly get,” stated Mr. Beggins.
Students enjoyed talking about their new cafeteria. Kristina said, “I love the new cafeteria and the variety of food.” Sierra added, “I think the new cafeteria is really awesome,” and Alyssa explained that it’s a lot bigger. Nick stated, “This cafeteria looks better than the other one’s. Everyone’s out of the dungeon and we have natural light in here.” Jamie added, “I think the new cafeteria is really nice.” “It’s a lot better and I like the fact that the 11th and 12th graders are together that way you’re not just with the people that you see every day, you have other people to talk to,” Erika exclaimed. Sarina said that she thinks it’s very nice and a lot more spacious. “There’s a lot of room for everyone. No one is falling off of the chairs.” Valerie added, “I like it a lot because it’s a lot bigger and roomier, lot’s of windows and better than the old cafeteria.” “The new cafeteria is a lot better looking than the old one” Nick stated. “The couch theme is really good.” Kayla stated, “It’s actually very nice. I like the way that they have it set up and I like all of the light. It’s too bad that I’m a senior and this will be the only year that I get to enjoy this.”
“This type of setting offers an opportunity for everyone to get involved with what’s happening in the cafeteria hoping to draw, teachers, custodians, administrators which will bring them into the normal aspect of talking to the kids,” Mr. Beggins stated. “Sitting at a table with the students, having a cup of coffee, talking about what’s happening in their day. They might ask, ‘how are your classes going?’ It’s developing relationships, that’s really important and food does a great job bringing people together. We’re looking at this as a wonderful opportunity for everybody.”