Madison.com: There are no plastic trays, pans of lasagna, a salad bar or even crates filled with cartons of chocolate milk.
Most days, students in the Washington Island School District are on their own for lunch. If they want something hot, they bring a Thermos or use one of the eight microwave ovens in the school’s multipurpose room to heat up leftovers or other concoctions from home.
The closest the school comes to a lunch program is once every other Wednesday. That’s when the student council, as a fundraiser, makes a $4 meal that can include homemade spaghetti, pizza or hot dogs.
“It’s a big hit with the parents because that’s the one day they don’t have to put a brown bag together,” Superintendent Mati Palm-Leis said of the Student Council lunches. “One of the things that’s important to me is that we emulate a school experience that’s similar to other schools.”
But with just 72 students, virtually no funding from the state and its isolated location off the tip of the Door County Peninsula, the state’s smallest prekindergarten through 12th grade district is unlike any other in Wisconsin.
The district, with only one regular school bus and an annual budget of $1.5 million, still faces the same challenges as others around the state. The issues include teacher recruitment, health insurance and transportation costs, taxes, funding special-education programs, finding substitute teachers and convincing residents to run for the School Board.