Friday Focus

October 8, 2021


Message from the Director

It's been said that "good communication is the bridge between confusion and clarity." In trying times, communication is more important than ever. We are trying to connect with everyone at once while working at the speed of light. If you are the "sender," every word needs to count to make your message understood. If you are the "receiver," you must actively listen to understand and ask questions if something isn't clear. Remember, being silent is not the same as listening. If you are responding to email, did you first read the message carefully? Did you answer what was being asked? When communication is not clear, we spend double the amount of time following up and correcting mistakes, a perfect example of "haste makes waste." Good communication takes every single person on the team to work at improving their sending and receiving skills. For example, as we bring new employees on board, it is important to use the correct names of equipment, pans and food. These "names" shouldn't differ from school to school because it causes confusion. When speaking to students and parents, it's important that information is correct. On a positive note, communication is appreciated and we can be proud of the message below sent to us through social media. We are all in this together!

With gratitude,


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This school year has been a little challenging to say the least, but I find the best way to handle all the changes and stress is to stay positive and stay organized. I fill out my production records for the entire week and I make a list of what items I need prepped for the next day and how much; servings, bags, cases, etc. Another thing I find that helps is after prepping each item, I write what's left in each box so I can easily and quickly see exactly what I have in stock. Despite how overwhelming the day may feel, staying organized can help reduce the daily stress.

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National School Lunch Week is celebrated every October. This year, it falls during a week that we are in session only 3 days. For that reason, and due to huge staff shortages, we won't be celebrating with promotions on a broad scale. Take a look at this quick video and go back in time to see school lunch through the decades.
History of the School Lunch Program

USDA Administrative Review 2021-22

So, I received this notice yesterday. IDOE will make an appointment to review a sample of schools (I don't know who they will select). What a year for a review...but, hey, we are Valpo! We can do this!
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United Way

At the Leadership Meeting later this month, FS Managers will hear a presentation from United Way and receive materials to distribute to their staff. Donations are a personal decision for each staff person and entirely optional. VCS is offering a more affordable opportunity to donate for those individuals who are interested in spreading out their donation through payroll deduction. You can have any amount deducted from your paycheck, even $1.00. Of course, you can still make a one time donation. You also have the ability to state where you want your donation to go. You can choose a school or organization like Hilltop Neighborhood House.


Want to work some extra hours for extra cash? Kathryn is scheduling those willing to work an extra hour or two daily to do prep work for schools seriously understaffed. Please let her know if you would like to get on the schedule.


A Food Service Manager position (7 Hours daily/193 days per year) has been created to run the satellite program at VHS. Satellite prepares and delivers meals to several private schools in the community. Volume continues to grow and is currently 500 meals daily. Supervisory experience is required with exceptional organizational skills and ability to operate at a high degree of accuracy. Travel to client schools is required to assist with training and obtain feedback on quality of meals. Are you interested or know someone who would be a great fit? See Kathy Kane for details or if you have questions.
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Any permanent employee (including substitutes) interested in any of these positions can apply by emailing a brief letter of interest to Kathy Kane, Director at

Non-employees can apply by completing an online application as an External Applicant here:

FS Tech, VHS, 5.5 hours

FS Tech, VHS, 4 hours

FS Tech, Cooks Corners, 3.5 hours

FS Tech, Cooks Corners, 5.5 hours

FS Tech, Parkview, 4.5 hours *new*

FS Tech, Memorial, 3.5 hours

FS Tech, BF, 5 hours

FS Tech, BF, 5 hours

FS Tech, TJM, 4 hours

FS Tech, Flint Lake, 4 hours

FS Tech, Heavilin, 4 hours *new*

FS Manager, Satellite VHS, 7 hours *new*

2021-22 Calendar

October 11-12, 2021 No School, Fall Break (No Work Days)

October 21-22, 2021 1/2 Days, K-8 (Regular Work Days)

November 2, 2021 eLearning Day (Regular Work Day)

November 24-26, 2021 No School Thanksgiving Break (No Work Days)

December 16, 2021 1/2 Day K-12 (Regular Work Day)

Did you miss an issue of Friday Focus?

Past issues of Friday Focus are posted on our department website on the Staff Training page here:

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Our mission is to support academic and lifelong success by nourishing students and building healthy eating habits.