Parent Information: Letter from the Principal
Dear Tucson Country Day School Families:
I’m writing to let you know about some important changes to our food program at TCDS.
First, Ms. Joan Meyer, who has served as our food service director for 18 years has
decided to retire. Ms. Joan has run an impeccable program with consistently perfect
inspection scores, and we wish her well in her retirement. She will assist us in our
transition by working as a consultant.
Ms. Vanessa Juniper is taking over as director. We are excited about her experience with
food and small business management, as well as her gracious and friendly service
Ever since arriving at TCDS, I’ve been thinking of ways to improve our nutritional
program. Putting the well-being and development of our children first requires constant
reflection and evaluation. We know that poor nutrition is far too widespread in our
nation; if we at Tucson Country Day school believe we have a different kind of school,
that difference should extend to nutrition.
Accordingly, last week some parents, children and staff participated in two “tasting”
events to evaluate some healthy lunch alternatives. I’m happy to announce the program
features that will result from the feedback we received:
1. “Create Café” is a local restaurant and the only school lunch provider in Tucson
commended by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for exceeding their nutritional
standards. We will be offering lunches from “Create” three days per week during
the first semester. Each day, students may choose from a vegetarian entrée and
one containing meat. Some of the entrees include spaghetti with marinera sauce,
Angus burgers, turkey wraps, and chicken Caesar salad. Two healthy sides such
as fresh fruit or pretzels are provided each day.
2. Create Café also offers a yogurt and fruit parfait that was a real “hit” with
students at the tasting. Research shows that healthy snacking is an important part
of child nutrition. We plan to offer the 12 oz. parfaits at the student store as an
optional snack for $2.25 apiece.
3. One day a week we will have Mexican food day. During first semester, entrée
choices will be a bean and cheese burrito or a chicken burrito. The low-sodium
meal will include Mexican rice and a delicious zucchini side called “calabacitas.”
4. We will continue to have “pizza day” at TCDS. Cheese and pepperoni pizza will
be offered. With good nutrition in mind, we will provide one slice, a fruit, and a
vegetable, and we will limit a la carte purchases to one additional slice per
5. All meals will continue to have reduced fat milk or 100% juice as drink options.
As you can see, the menu is carefully thought-out and will accommodate a variety of
tastes. Providing these healthy alternatives also costs a little more. Our lunch price,
including entrée, two sides, and beverage, will be $3.50 per day. In arriving at this
figure, we were committed to offering the best possible product at the lowest possible
price. And our parent and student tasters give us an overwhelming message: it’s worth it
to get these healthy and appealing options!
Our contract allows for one complete meal per student per day, and the only a la carte
item to be offered is the additional slice of pizza. Students may supplement their meal by
purchasing healthy snacks at the Student Store.
I’m conscious of the fact that in my letter earlier in the summer, I indicated that lunch
would continue at $3.00 this coming year. That was before we had an opportunity to
make this evaluation and receive parent and student input on alternatives. I sincerely
believe that these changes are in the best interest of our students and families.
First Week Lunch Alert! Lunch will be provided starting the first day of school.
Monday August 16th will be Mexican food day. You are encouraged to place your orders
for the first week at “Meet and Greet” night, Friday, August 13th. Don’t be left without
your lunch choice!
Welcome to our 2010-2011 school year, an exciting year of excellent learning and
Mark Saliba, Ed.D.