Lunch Procedures

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.

For school security purposes, specific student locations are not publicly posted. If you have questions about your student’s lunch and recess locations, please inquire with the classroom teacher.

Lunchtime Health and Safety Procedures

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

  • Masks are required 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.
  • Dining spaces and frequently touched surfaces will be regularly and thoroughly cleaned by custodial staff between mealtimes.
  • Students will be required to sanitize their hands before and after eating. Time will be provided for sanitizing 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.

Discovery Dining Protocols

At Discovery Elementary School, 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. Grade levels have been assigned dining and recess locations as part of our four-day rotation cycle, providing varying but safe settings during each of the four rotation days. We have identified inclement weather locations inside that allow for appropriate distancing.

Students are asked to bring a towel or other item to sit on during lunch. Students will rotate through different outdoor seating options. There are times they will be seated on the ground, so having a towel daily is appropriate. Our PTA has generously provided mats for when a student forgets a towel.

Students will sanitize 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.

Additional Details

APS is currently working with Arlington County on obtaining additional structures to allow for year-round outdoor lunch, regardless of weather conditions. We will follow up with that information when available.