Columbia Schools to Discuss Off-Campus Lunch

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COLUMBIA - The Columbia School Board is set to discuss possible changes to its off-campus lunch policy at Monday night's meeting. Right now, high school students in Columbia Public Schools are allowed to eat at restaurants and food sellers outside school cafeterias. Since the district issued an online survey to secondary school students and parents, CPS Community Relations Coordinator Michelle Baumstark said the district has received a "mixed bag" of opinions.

"Students' opinions are obviously going to be different than those of the parents," Baumstark said. Based on survey responses and public input gathered in the past few months, the board and members of the public could disucss doing away with off-campus lunch or offering the option to high school juniors and seniors only.

Baumstark said the district could face future challenges with off-campus lunch privileges when Battle High School opens in August. The area may not have many close restaurant options for students in the next few years. "You look at what Rock Bridge was like when it first opened... there was nothing out in that area. It's just part of the growth pattern that happens," Baumstark said.

Baumstark said this issue will not be up for a vote Monday, and the school district does not have a timeline of when that will happen. Discussion of possible changes to school start times is also set in Monday's agenda. That issue is also not up for a vote.