Decatur schools enrollment surge keeps Thanksgiving lunch off the menu for some students

Posted by Dan Whisenhunt November 25, 2013

Icon_SchoolsIncreased enrollment kept City Schools of Decatur from serving its traditional Thanksgiving lunch to all students this year.

Students in some grades got turkey and dressing, while students in other grades got turkey sandwiches.

Decatur schools began Thanksgiving break today.

The special lunch draws a big crowd and has been held system-wide in previous years, CSD community Liaison Courtney Burnett told me in an email. The system’s K-3 enrollment has jumped 75 percent since 2006, putting another 600 students into the city’s classrooms. Burnett said the influx of students has created some logistical problems with serving the same holiday lunch to every grade.

She said the school system had to spread out the lunches, “Because (students) bring their parents and grandparents (and it is a huge turn out) and we can only accommodate so many people at a time without extending the lunch times which already go from 10:30-1 at some schools.”

The lunch held on Nov. 21 was limited to Pre-K, third grade, fourth grade and all Renfroe Middle and Decatur High students. The menu included turkey and gravy, cornbread dressing, sweet potato souffle, and steamed green beans. The lunch cost $5 for the students’ families. The cafeteria served turkey sandwiches to students in other grades, according to an email from 4/5 Academy at Fifth Avenue and Clairemont Elementary.

Clairemont Elementary sent an email to parents reminding them that only third-graders could attend the event.

“Clairemont students (in other grades) may not attend the luncheon with their sibling,” the email says. “They’ll have their special day soon!”

According to the new CSD, the holiday lunch calendar for the other grades is as follows:

– January/New Year Lunch: second and fifth grades may invite their parents

– Valentine’s Day Lunch: first grade and 2- and 3-year-olds may invite their parents

– Spring Lunch: kindergartners may invite their parents

About Dan Whisenhunt

Dan Whisenhunt is editor and publisher of

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