Schools
Unpaid Meal Charges Draining Your Budget?
Roxanne Moore
Roxanne Moore
National Director of Wellness Brand Management Team Sodexo School Services, North America

Student breakfast or lunch charges left unpaid, accruing over time, can impact a school’s financial budget, becoming “delinquent debt” as defined by state or local policies. (more…)

Is CEP the right choice for one or more of your schools? Deadline to elect is June 30 (state agencies may differ)
Roxanne Moore
Roxanne Moore
National Director of Wellness Brand Management Team Sodexo School Services, North America

Why CEP?

The Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) is a meal reimbursement option allowing individual schools or school districts with high student eligibility for free or reduced price meals to serve breakfast and lunch to all enrolled students at no charge, regardless of economic status. (more…)

Giving Time Back to Principals
B.J. Mandelstam
B.J. Mandelstam
Vice President, Business Development for Schools EPA-trained Master of Indoor Air Quality Sodexo

On average, public school principals spend over 30% of a 60-hour+ work week on general administrative tasks such as building maintenance, managing behaviors, buses and school budgets. This means less time for developing teachers, interacting with their students and reaching out to their communities. According to Gail Connelly, the executive director of the National Association of Elementary School Principals, “We’ve entered the era of high-stakes accountability…We know the principal’s role is more complex and multifaceted than it’s ever been.” She states the increasing workload on principals has caused a sharp increase in principal turnover, with the average principal staying three years in a school compared to 10 years or more a decade ago. (more…)

How can Schools Improve Indoor Air Quality to Reduce Absenteeism?
Bart Lane
Bart Lane
Vice President, Facilities Management Business Development Sodexo

Absenteeism results in lost learning opportunities for students and teachers. For students, a missed day can mean missing out on learning something new and falling behind. For teachers, a missed day means lost chances to educate or inspire many young minds. Illness due to colds, flu and respiratory conditions are common reasons students and teachers miss school. Respiratory sensitivities such as asthma, which is the number one childhood health disparity, account for a significant portion of absenteeism in students (10 million school days annually according to the American Lung Association). (more…)

Afterschool Meal Programs Yield Real Returns
Roxanne Moore
Roxanne Moore
National Director of Wellness Brand Management Team Sodexo School Services, North America

School administrators know all too well the nutritional challenges many students face in and out of the classroom, whether it’s students rushing off to busy afterschool activities or those returning home to care for siblings. In many cases, students are waiting on family members to arrive after a long day of work. Why is this significant after the school day ends? Ensuring students have access to that evening meal can make a difference in their academic achievement. For example, an evening meal can give students the energy to complete their homework or have a better night’s rest to prepare for the next day of learning. (more…)

Three Quality of Lifehacks to Teach Your Child(ren) to Cook
Quality of Lifehacks
Quality of Lifehacks

Today is National Kids Take Over the Kitchen Day. In most cultures, learning to cook from your parents is a natural part of growing up. It may be connected to a holiday or religious tradition or simply a weekly dinner for a big family with deep ties to its heritage. But for many of us, that tradition sadly takes a back seat to the rigors of our daily existence. Cooking with the kids would be nice, but on a busy school night, dinner is just another chore to check off the list. (more…)

Back to School: The ABC’s of Changes to School Meals
Richard Hill
Richard Hill
VP Marketing
Schools, Sodexo North America

With over 30 million students eating at least one meal at school each day, schools not only offer an opportunity for children to enjoy nourishing food but also a chance to learn healthy eating habits and important social skills.  Meals served through the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program are required to be healthy and nutritious, and they got even healthier in 2012 when new guidelines were implemented as part of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, requiring cafeterias limit calories, sodium and unhealthy fats, and offer more whole grains, fruits and vegetables in every meal. (more…)

How to decrease sodium and increase flavor in school breakfasts and lunches
Chef Michael Morris
Chef Michael Morris
Executive Chef, Sodexo
Putnam City Schools

Five years ago, the U.S. Department of Agriculture enacted new, science-based nutrition standards for the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program. These standards were the first major changes to school lunches in 15 years, and they do much to improve the nutrition of the meals served to children all over the country.

For those of us who create and serve meals at schools, this offered a new opportunity. We were challenged to come up with new ways to create healthy food that would still appeal to the palates of all kinds of children, including those with allergies or special dietary requirements. (more…)

Kids in the Kitchen
Steve Dunmore
Steve Dunmore
CEO, K-12 Schools
Sodexo North America

Did you know that what your children eat today can have a lasting impact on their health and well-being for a lifetime? Eating healthy, nutritious food is not only important for a child’s normal growth and development, but can also help them maintain a healthy weight and lead to a better quality of life. (more…)

Driving Gender Equality by Advocating for Women Leaders
Steve Dunmore
Steve Dunmore
CEO, K-12 Schools
Sodexo North America

Gender equality in the workplace isn’t just a women’s issue. Male leaders can drive gender equality in executive leadership roles by proactively advocating for female leaders in their organizations.  As recently noted in Sodexo’s 2016 Diversity report , women comprise 45 percent of the S&P 500 labor force, yet still only represent about 25 percent of executive or senior-level managers, and only 4 percent of CEOs.  Here’s another important statistic: McKinsey & Company compared the financial performance of companies with a significant number of women in top management to those without women in top roles. The companies with the highest number of women leaders had the best performance, averaging 41 percent higher return on equity. (more…)

QoL Solutions Can Help Retain Teachers
Richard Hill
Richard Hill
VP Marketing
Schools, Sodexo North America

Every year, about 13 percent of the nation’s 3.4 million teachers transfer to different schools or leave the profession altogether, according to the Alliance for Excellence in Education in collaboration with the New Teacher Center. It’s estimated that over 1 million teachers move in and out of schools annually, with 40 to 50 percent of teachers quitting within five years.

This issue doesn’t just impact schools, it impacts the entire community, including parents, local companies, and other stakeholder groups. Teacher attrition costs state governments between $1 billion and $2.2 billion annually. (more…)

A Healthier America Starts with Healthier Kids
Lorna Donatone
Lorna Donatone
CEO, Sodexo Schools Worldwide President, Sodexo North America

The Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) fulfills a critical mission: ending the childhood obesity crisis. After increasing steadily for decades, the national childhood obesity rate has leveled off, but it is still alarmingly high compared to a generation ago. The CDC reports that childhood obesity has more than doubled in children (defined as those under 10 years of age) and quadrupled in adolescents (10 to 19 years of age) in the past 30 years. Among young children 2 to 5, rates more than doubled between the mid-1970s and 2000s before beginning a decline.  If we don’t address this epidemic now, we are sending millions of children down a perilous path towards a lifetime of chronic diseases. PHA is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to work with the private sector to help end this crisis. (more…)

Marketing and Ethics and Kids, Oh My!
Richard Hill
Richard Hill
VP Marketing
Schools, Sodexo North America

Marketing and ethics are two words that some may think are too often at opposing sides of the same spectrum, especially where kids are concerned. Kids are a unique demographic to market to, but a vital one that we must be careful with if we hope to make sustainable behavioral changes that will drive positive, healthier life choices. (more…)

It’s Not the Pollen Count That’s Making You Miserable
Joseph Albright
Joseph Albright
Vice President, Technical Services,
K12 Schools, Sodexo North America

Do you blame the pollen count for your coughing, sneezing and stuffy nose? Do you track the pollen count and stay indoors on heavy pollen days? I hate to tell you, but the quality of air inside of buildings, where people spend about 90 percent of their time, is even more important to your health. Ironically, according to the EPA, indoor air can be two to five times more polluted—and in some cases up to 100 times more polluted—than outdoor air. This is a significant issue in schools, where exposure to allergens, such as dust mites, pests and molds can trigger asthma symptoms. (more…)

Making a Positive Impact: Inspiring Young People to Get Involved in Their Community
Shondra Jenkins
Shondra Jenkins
Executive Director,
Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation

Actively engaging young people in their community can result in positive and meaningful social change. Learn more about how to engage young people by reading Six Steps to Engage Millennials in Social Change and utilizing the complimentary Youth Engagement Toolkit.

“This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind, a temper of the will, a quality of imagination, a predominance of courage over timidity, of the appetite for adventure over the love of ease.” – Robert Kennedy

Growing up, I lived in a middle-class neighborhood with a financially stable family. My childhood memories consist mainly of playing hide-and-go-seek with neighborhood friends and getting called in at 6PM for dinner.  I’d gather around the table with my family, where we would indulge in the delicious feast my father had prepared. (more…)

What Can “Hamilton” Teach Us About Leadership?
Steve Dunmore
Steve Dunmore
CEO, K-12 Schools
Sodexo North America

Tickets are hard to come by for the Broadway show “Hamilton,” which won the Tony Award for Best New Musical Sunday night. But that hasn’t stopped it from becoming a sensation across the country, with many people listening to its soundtrack on repeat. Much of its popularity comes from the innovative way it blends American history with a hip-hop-meets-show-tunes soundtrack. (It’s not every day you hear cabinet meetings imagined as rap battles.) Yet part of what makes the story so compelling is its real-life hero, Alexander Hamilton, who was talented and flawed in equal parts. (more…)

Apply Three Easy Practices to Accelerate Employee Engagement
Mia Mends
Mia Mends
CEO,
Benefits & Rewards Services
Sodexo USA

This is the fifth in a continuing blog series based on insights and findings from the Sodexo 2016 Workplace Trends Report. The Report examines nine key trends affecting business outcomes and the quality of life of employees and consumers. To learn more, access the full article: Redefining Employee Engagement through Recognition.

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