A lot has changed since the last school year. The biggest change for us was deciding to take our daughter out of the public school system and put her in a brand-spanking-new dual language charter school. The school is small; 132 students and 6 classrooms, two per grade (K, 1st and 2nd).
I love the concept of a small school that allows for lots of parent involvement with the added bonus of learning 2 languages. And that's exactly why we are attending ¡HoLa! | Hoboken Dual Language Charter School.
The school has an almost radical approach towards health and nutrition. For one they chose Revolution Foods as their food service provider. While popular on the west coast, Rev Foods is trying to break into the market on the east coast and so is fairly 'new' in the area. With school lunches coming in at $3.45 per meal compared to the $2.75 (Hoboken public schools) it can get pricey. But as we've already seen, cheap food comes with a price far more devastating on our kids and the environment. Rev Foods began delivering October 1st and is going strong. So far I like what I see on the menu- more beans and more vegetarian options. I will start recording the meals next week.
The school is also encouraging healthy snacks not only for everyday, but also for birthday parties and other celebrations. I like the concept of less cupcakes and more fruit! However, I think a healthy balance between the 2 is necessary: how about banana, blueberry chocolate cupcakes?
The most exciting thing for me (and the kids I think), is that even before the school opened its doors, they had built 3 above-ground planters or grow boxes (one for each grade). The kindergartners planted lettuce and oregano. My child came home with such excitement at the prospect of growing and eating what they had just planted. And so, a school garden finally grows in Hoboken!
We also donated our worm factory to the school. We decided it was time for them to move out of our small urban home and into a large more open and welcoming environment. While I love the concept of the worm factory, it does come with some drawbacks; mainly the 100's of fruit flies! At least they now have a home that not only inspires learning but also provides nutrient-rich compost for our schools' garden. Sadly I do not miss them.
The winter is almost upon us and so until spring arrives and the bulbs flower, the garden will remain mostly barren. Spring will bring with it new life and new adventures and I am looking forward to it already!