South Florida schools prepare for 2019-2020 academic year

HIALEAH, FLA. (WSVN) - Schools across Miami-Dade and Broward County are making preparations for the academic year set to start in a few days.

A group of Hialeah Gardens Senior High School cafeteria employees greeted Miami-Dade County Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho with loud cheers, Monday morning.

The superintendent addressed the employees at the school’s auditorium and explained the importance of their jobs.

“Hungry kids cannot learn, so the work that you do is so vital, is so important to everything that happens in our school system,” he said.

The district is showcasing new and healthy options to the lunch menus, like vegan chicken nuggets.

7News cameras captured Carvalho as he was given a basket of the nuggets with lettuce and baby tomatoes.

“So no chicken, all veggies, right?” he asked a cafeteria employee.

“All veggies,” replied the employee.

Vegetable chow mein and vegetarian breakfast sausage patties are other items being added to the school lunch menu.

“They’re making it colorful and tasteful for the kids,” said M-DSPC employee Heidi Vasquez.

“It even comes with a fortune cookie, huh? Let’s open it up,” said Carvalho.


Meanwhile, in Broward County, bus drivers practiced their routes before school starts on Wednesday.

“We start preparing for day one sometimes as early as January 1st,” said John Lyles, Executive Director of  Student Transportation.

Back in Hialeah Gardens, Carvalho stepped behind the counter and served some of the new lunch items, giving those in charge of serving the food to students a chance to enjoy it for themselves.

“It’s really good. I’m so happy that we are going to serve better food for our students,” said cafeteria employee Elsie Perez.

In addition to new menu items, Miami-Dade schools will also be going green by handing out paper straws instead of plastic straws.

On Monday afternoon, M-DCPS announced the after-school meals program will continue for the upcoming school year, starting on Aug. 19.

Students participating in “educational or enrichment activity” after-school programs will be provided a USDA approved meal.

To find out more information on the service, click here.

Broward students are set to head back to class on Wednesday.

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