Feasting With Friends

Esabella Donalson eats her mashed potatoes during lunch in the Hutchins cafeteria on turkey and stuffing day.

Free lunches will be offered to all students at Myatt Elementary starting in the 2020-2021 school year, after the El Campo ISD school board voted unanimously in favor of implementing a federal program Tuesday night. 

The board also approved changes to the district mission statement, but took no action on which courses will be added to the El Campo High School curriculum next year.

Through Community Eligibility Provisions, the Texas Department of Agriculture will reimburse ECISD $3.50 per meal, the ‘free rate,’ for students who are in a state-funded pre-k program, who qualify for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families programs or who are homeless, migrants or runaways.

“At Myatt Elementary, we expect to receive 100 percent of all meals claimed at the free reimbursement rate due to the very high free and reduced percentage of students that attend the campus,” Superintendent Kelly Waters said.

The remaining students who do not qualify in the district for a free-rate reimbursement will still eat free, and the TDA will pay $0.40 for their meals.

“Myatt has consistently had the highest free and reduced percentage of all campuses,” Waters said.

Due to outdated language in the district’s mission statement, principals requested altering the statement’s ending. The school board unanimously approved of the suggested change.

Instead of the mission being to equip students with skills for “academic and vocational excellence,” the statement now reads: “The mission of El Campo Independent School District, home of the Ricebirds, is to provide all students the educational opportunity to become college, career and military ready.”

Potential courses under consideration to be added to ECHS’ curriculum include equine science, entrepreneurship and a dual-credit physics class. Ten courses are being considered, some of which are extensions of existing classes.

All of the new courses could be taught by current ECISD faculty, according to Assistant Superintendent Dolores Trevino.

The board will decide which courses to add for the upcoming school year at their next meeting.

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