+ Japanese students tour science school
Orlando Science Schools marked a new educational partnership Dec. 11 by hosting 20 science students from Meizen High School in Kurume City, Japan.
In addition to sharing information about their country and high school, the Japanese students attended OSS science classes and presented research on the freezing point of water. OSS students demonstrated their award-winning robot, gave a tour of the robotics workshop and threw a pizza lunch for their new friends. At day’s end, both schools exchanged gifts.
This was the first time Meizen selected a school to visit during its annual trip to the United States.
OSS continues efforts to share knowledge and best practices in education through partnerships that help inspire students and spark interest in the fields of science and math.
+ SunRidge receives Spruce Up Award
SunRidge Middle School recently received the Spruce Up Award from Orange County School Board member Christine Moore.
This award consisted of a curb appeal project for the school with mulching and weed control. The project was a collaboration between students from both SunRidge Middle and Westside Tech, who helped improve the landscaping around the school.
+ District to procure antibiotic-free chicken
Orange County Public Schools is a founding member of the Urban School Food Alliance, which announced a first-ever antibiotic-free standard for companies to follow when supplying chicken products to its schools.
The USFA, a coalition of the largest school districts in the United States that includes New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami-Dade, Dallas and Orlando, serves about 2.9 million students daily and procures more than $530 million in food and supplies annually.
The coalition aims to use its joint purchasing power and influence to help drive down nationwide costs while setting higher standards for the quality of food served in its schools.
In OCPS, more than 65% of its students live in poverty and rely on school meals for the high-quality nutritious foods they are served. The school meals program has tripled the amount of produce students receive in meals in the last five years. The district serves an additional supper meal to about 4,000 students every day.
The OCPS Nutrition Program staff has been learning about the food sources and quality of food served while participating in the Southern Region School Food Focus Learning Lab, the National Resources Defense Council and the Florida Department of Agriculture. With the USFA leadership, OCPS has moved to recyclable trays in secondary schools and recyclable utensils throughout the entire district.
OCPS is committed with the alliance to the following standards, which require all chicken products be produced under a USDA Process Verified Program that includes compliance with the following:
1. No animal by-products in the feed;
2. Raised on an all-vegetarian diet;
3. Humanely raised as outlined in the National Chicken Council Animal Welfare Guidelines; and
4. No antibiotics ever.
To learn more about the alliance, visit urbanschool foodalliance.org. For more information about antibiotic-free meat and poultry, visit nrdc.org/food/saving-antibiotics.asp.