Outdoor Lunch

APS is committed to ensuring the health and safety of our staff and students throughout the entire school day. This includes during lunch, when students will not be able to wear masks while actively eating or drinking. We have developed a plan to protect student health and safety during meals, in accordance with CDC and VDH guidelines for schools.

Lunchtime Health and Safety Procedures

Every school will consistently implement the following health and safety measures during lunch:

  • Masks are required in the cafeteria or other designated dining space when students are not actively eating or drinking.
  • Masks must be worn, regardless of vaccination status, during arrival to the lunch area, as well as in the serving line and when finished eating or when departing or traveling within the dining space.
  • Cafeteria or other dining spaces and frequently touched surfaces will be regularly and thoroughly cleaned by custodial staff between mealtimes.
  • Students will be required to wash their hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer before and after eating. Time will be provided for handwashing and sanitizer will be readily available for student use.
  • Mealtime will be monitored to ensure adherence to the safety measures in place and to enforce distancing to the extent possible.

Innovation Elementary Lunch Protocols

At Innovation, we are committed to providing both indoor and outdoor spaces for students to eat lunch, and to distance as much as possible while eating. The following outlines our dining protocols.

  • Students will dine outside daily, weather permitting.
    • Students are asked to bring a towel to sit on during lunch. We will send the towel home on Fridays to wash.
    • Students will wash hands before and after meals and will distance while eating.
    • Student meals will be monitored by staff to ensure adherence to health and safety protocols.
  • During inclement weather students will eat in the cafeteria.
    • Students will wear masks at all times except when eating or drinking.
    • Our cafeteria and other larger spaces have higher filtration levels than classrooms and have dedicated HVAC (heating, ventilation and cooling) systems that allow maximum outside air ventilation.

Additional Details

APS is currently working with the County on obtaining additional structures to allow for year-round outdoor lunch, regardless of weather conditions and we will follow up with that information when available.  If you would like to access the school lunch menus, which are free and available to all students again this school year, please see the link in the grey menu in the bottom left corner of Innovation’s main webpage.