By Sarah Cen ‘18
By urging the completion of lunch forms, students and teachers are working together to reach a goal that can potentially bring benefits to the school.
Once 60 percent of the entire student population (approximately 2,395 students) qualifies for free lunch, Midwood will have a high chance of obtaining a federal fund called ‘Title 1’ that can give the school around 2.5 to 3 million dollars in extra funding. Title 1 funding is federal money that comes through the state and how districts use it is different amongst districts, according to Mr. Alan Stack. Midwood has a total of 3,990 students and getting every student to fill out a lunch form posed a challenge.
“I believe if everyone submits the application, you would see that we’re over 60 percent,” Mr. Stack said.
Teachers have been offering extra credit to students who have filled out lunch forms and this strategy encouraged many to complete them as soon as possible.
“All of my students filled out a lunch form, but I think my students would have filled them out regardless of the five extra credit points,” Ms. Grabowski, a math teacher, said.
The Title 1 fund will help the school in various ways, from getting more faculty support to opening up new opportunities for students, such as a wider range of classes to choose from. Gaining this funding could allow the administration to re-allocate funding to new projects.
“Some benefits that we will receive from this fund will be opened annex bathrooms, a larger variety of classes offered, and more tutoring available to those who struggle in classes, after school and on Saturdays,” Junior vice president, Joyce Chen ‘18 said.
The fund will offer additional classes, aside from the required classes. Students will be able to take other courses that allow them to branch out and take classes of their personal interests. Likewise, there will be more APs and electives available. Additionally, more clubs, activities, and trips can be made possible.
“[The fund] will support lots of things in the school, including more dean, guidance, and academic support, opportunities for after school enrichment, Saturday programs, and parent involvement,” Mr. Stack stated. “When you have more money, you have the ability for more manpower, which can allow more things to happen.”
The goal was to try to get every single student to fill out the lunch forms, so there’s a higher chance of reaching the 60 percent mark. As of December 22, 2016, 3,448 students had completed them and the number has been increasing after that.
“We’ve pushed from as many different directions as we could,” Mr. Stack said. “A lot of people have been involved: counselors, deans, assistant principals. We’ve tried everything we can to make that final push.”
As of now, it is still unsure whether the desired amount of qualified students has been reached, according to Mr. Stack. It is also not certain when the final decision will be made. Regardless of the end result, one thing was evident throughout the process—unity.
“The fight for the fund caused students to encourage everyone, even those who are not friends, to fill out the lunch forms,” Lisa Lu ‘18 said. “It’s nice to see how the Midwood community became united and worked together to spread the word, trying to achieve the same goal.”