The 2016-17 school year begins Monday for local schools, which means Killeen Independent School District high school students will be deciding where to go have lunch.
Past Herald reports show that KISD Superintendent John Craft considered revisiting the high school lunch policy following a fatal accident Nov. 13, 2015, involving students driving off-campus on their lunch break.
A Chevy Camaro with four students on lunch break collided with a Ford Taurus making a left turn from Trimmier Road onto Nicholas Drive. Michael Lockett, 60, of Chicago, and Francine Winbush, 66, of Killeen, died in the collision. The Chevy driver and a student driving another car were accused of racing with each other.
According to Craft, there are no changes to the high school lunch policy for the 2016-17 school year. Students may leave campus during their lunch period.
The same Herald reports show that a closed lunch policy was considered difficult to implement due to the schools’ being over capacity for enrollment. Trying to feed all of the students could lead to more lunch periods and drastic changes in scheduling.
“Questions remain regarding the logistical feasibility of feeding all students and/or the underclassman on campus without significantly changing the instructional schedule for all high school students,” Craft said. “Many variables have been taken into consideration through these previous analyses to include transportation to and from the Career Center and the coordinating bell schedules. Expanding the capabilities of the existing cafeterias and serving line efficiencies to accommodate more students has also been researched.”
The most recent enrollment numbers available from KISD show Ellison High School exceeded planning capacity by about 96 students, Harker Heights High School exceeded planning capacity by about 228 students, and Shoemaker High School exceeded planning capacity by about 66 students. Killeen High School was about 212 students under planning capacity.
Changing the lunch policy is still on the table for KISD in the future following further analysis, Craft said. KISD’s focus for its policy is balancing student safety with logistics.
“The district will continue to analyze procedures and protocol associated with high school lunch periods including the safety implications associated with students leaving campuses, and the logistics involved with feeding over 2,000 students,” Craft said.
Copperas Cove Independent School District has only on-campus lunches according to CCISD spokeswoman Wendy Sledd, and the district feeds about 2,233 high school students per day.
Belton Independent School District also has closed campuses for lunch and feeds about 1,705 high school lunches per day, according to spokesman Kyle DeBeer.