February 2016 -- We are delighted to announce that the coming school year will bring a new lunch program to Aspen Country Day School. With the dining hall opening next September, we set out to design a top-quality program to match our beautiful new facilities. Next year, lunch will be delicious, healthy, and a more intentional part of our educational program.
Here are some elements of the new lunch program:
A top-notch partner
Sage Dining, a company that provides food services to more than 200 independent schools and colleges nationwide, will come to campus to run our lunch program. We were first introduced to Sage from our neighbors at Vail Mountain School. Glowing testimonials from many other schools inspired us to investigate this highly regarded company. We did extensive research and considered other vendors. All signs pointed to Sage as the best choice. Please check out the videos for more info.
Fresh, wholesome food
Sage focuses on cooking real food from scratch. Everything starts with fresh, raw ingredients, mostly organic and often locally sourced. All food is prepared right in our own kitchenby trained chefs. As they note, "We roast our own deli meats. We use the freshest local produce available. We buy cage-free, Certified Humane® eggs and antibiotic- and hormone-free milk. We only use trans fat-free oils and MSG-free seasonings."
More variety for better nutrition (and relief for picky eaters)
When we considered food options, we knew that offering a variety of different options every day is important. From fresh salads to a sandwich bar, from soups to hot entrees, everything will be homemade, fresh, and delicious. Sage chefs are skilled at handling issues like allergies and food sensitivities. We work with the chefs to devise menus from the 4,433 different recipes Sage offers.
A more community-oriented lunch
The new dining hall will have a mix of round and rectangular tables. We are looking forward to having more community-focused seating at lunchtime.
Opportunities for learning
Consider the new dining hall as another classroom where children continue to learn, whether they're developing healthy eating habits, interacting with peers and adults, or practicing public speaking by delivering an announcement. We are also excited to plan cooking classes and other events in the dining hall.
All-inclusive: one annual fee for food at school
Starting next year, all families in Kindergarten to Eighth Grade will be charged a comprehensive lunch fee of $1,000 per year, and all lunches will be included. Mid-morning snack is also included for Sixth-Eighth Graders. We have heard enthusiastic feedback from parents who are frustrated with daily ordering and are looking forward to an "all-inclusive" system where children can eat all they like, with plenty of healthy choices every day.
A commitment to lunch
Even with a $1,000 per student fee, the school continues to subsidize the lunch program (previous food service operations have required subsidies as well). In recognition that mealtime is such an important part of the learning experience for children at ACDS, our Board of Trustees has enthusiastically committed to this program.
The lunch fee, along with other standard fees, may be spread out over the course of the school year or charged to a credit card in smaller payments.