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Kansas News Service

FREE MEALS ELIGIBILITY 

Wichita Public Schools said Friday that all students in the system are eligible to receive free meals through December, due to the U.S. Department of Agriculture is expanding its Summer Food Service Program.

All children ages 1 – 18, whether eating onsite or through the MySchool Remote distribution program, will receive free meals. IT includes families who normally pay the full rate or reduced rate. Families will not be charged for any school meals they have received for the first week of school.

The meal distribution for students who are enrolled in MySchool Remote online learning is changing.

Families will no longer have to pre-order meals, but they will need to prove that they have children enrolled in MySchool Remote in order to receive meals. Families will receive a verification card when they pick up meals for the first time. They will present the card to school staff each time they pick up meals for the rest of the semester.

Families can pick up five breakfasts and five lunches on Thursdays between 5 – 6 p.m. at 12 locations listed below:

  • Chester Lewis Academic Learning Center, 1847 N. Chautauqua
  • Coleman Middle School, 1544 N. Governeour
  • Curtis Middle School, 1031 S. Edgemoor
  • Hadley Middle School, 1101 Dougherty
  • Hamilton Middle School, 1407 S. Broadway
  • Heights High School, 5301 N. Hillside
  • Jardine Middle School, 3550 Ross Parkway
  • Marshall Middle School, 1520 Payne
  • Pleasant Valley Middle School, 2220 W. 29th North
  • South High School, 701 W. 33rd South
  • West High School, 820 S. Osage
  • Wilbur Middle School, 1030 N. Tyler

WPS will continue to evaluate the program and may make adjustments as needed during the school year.

WPS families still need to fill out the free/reduced application because meals after December will be charged according to their student meal status. The free/reduced application also is needed on file for families to qualify for other free or reduced-price school fees. This application helps WPS receive additional state funding needed to provide resources for our students. To fill out the application, go to https://family.titank12.com/.

For more information about the MySchool Remote meal distribution and to view menus, go to www.usd259.org/remotefood.

VACCINATION INFO 

Sedgwick County Health Department’s (SCHD) back-to-school vaccination mobile clinics are open now through the end of October. The immunization exclusion day for the 2020-2021 school year is Oct. 15. Due to COVID-19 requirements, immunizations are by appointment only. To schedule, call 316-660-7333. Locations include:

1131 S. Clifton, Wichita, every Tues. from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Health Department, 1900 E. 9th St. N., Wichita, every Wed. from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Evergreen Rec Center, 2700 N. Woodland St, Wichita, every Thurs. from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Appointments can also be scheduled at the SCHD Main Clinic, 2716 W. Central, Wichita, by calling 316-660-7300. Days and times available are: Mon.-Wed.: 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. / Thurs.: noon to 6 p.m. / Fri.: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

What should you bring to the appointment? Vaccination records (Please email vaccination records to medrecordsrequest@sedgwick.gov or fax to 316-660-4916 at least 24 hours in advance) / Health insurance card / Parent-guardian ID / Proof of income, if no health insurance / Written letter of consent with parent ID.

HELP NEEDED FOR INTERNET ACCESS  

When Wichita Public Schools found the needed funding to order enough internet devices to meet the need of all of its students, everyone let out a sign of relief. Not only administrators and school staff, but families who were pleased their children wouldn’t be left behind.

“We know there is a digital divide between those kids who have Internet and adequate Internet and those kids who do not. They can’t access the online curriculum or access the online textbook,” said Terrell Davis, executive director of public affairs at WPS.

However, despite placing the order for the needed devices in mid-summer, an overwhelming demand for laptops and connecting devices, created a delay. While some of the district’s 24,000 devices arrived, not of enough of them arrived to meet the needs of all students as the district kicks off the new school year.

The district was able to dust off some older model computers to fill a short-term need, but the real shortcoming is with “hot spot” devices to connect students to the internet. Thanks to cooperation from internet and telephone providers, the district is able to provide internet to a family for a whole year, for just $120.

Davis has launched a fundraising campaign, “Closing the Homework Gap” to help raise enough funds to make sure students in homes that can’t afford internet have it. He’s asking for churches to step up and meet the needs of students in their congregation and surrounding community. He’s also asking community organizations and individuals to support this effort, if they can.

Donations can be mailed to Alvin E. Morris Administration Center, Attn: Terrell Davis, 903 S. Edgemoor, Wichita, KS 67218. For additional information, Davis can be reached at (316) 973-4639 or via email at tdavis@usd259.net.

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