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Since August 2014, Hodge Elementary School has had a health-conscious policy regarding the celebration of birthdays at school. Food treats are no longer a part of student birthday celebrations.  Children’s birthdays may be celebrated in class with each teacher acknowledging birthdays in a special way, such as a birthday crown, singing "Happy Birthday," allowing a child to share a special book with the class, or in another manner appropriate for their age and grade.  There will continue to be opportunities for seasonal parties and other special events, but all food items need to meet the USDA and California Department of Education (CDE) nutrition guidelines. See the AUSD Department of Nutrition Services for additional information.

The reasons for this change in policy included health concerns and the loss of instructional time.  While it may not sound like much instructional time is lost for recognizing a student’s birthday, when you multiply the time by 30 or more students, realizing that not all birthday treats sent have been modest or easy to serve, it adds up to the equivalent of one or more full days of lost instruction.  Also, some students have health concerns related to food, including allergies, obesity, diabetes, and sensitivities to dyes. And it is not uncommon for more than one birthday treat to be delivered on the same day, resulting in two sweet treats within one day.

We are eager to celebrate each student's special day in a caring manner while maintaining a caring, safe, respectful and productive learning environment.

Thank you for supporting our efforts to keep students healthy and focused on learning.

Posted by: Arturo Ortega
Published: 6/19/18