Top of Page

Breakfast After the Bell

Section 407.4 | Board Report 17-0628-PO4 | Date Adopted June 28, 2017

Print/Download  English | SPANISH ]


That the Board amend the Breakfast in the Classroom Policy (“Policy”) to reflect amendments to the Childhood Hunger Relief Act. These amendments to Illinois State legislation can be found at 105 ILCS126/16. Furthermore, this policy shall be renamed the “Breakfast After the Bell Policy”.


This policy establishes the requirements for providing breakfast after the bell in all Chicago Public elementary, middle, and high schools. This policy establishes alternative breakfast models by which breakfast after the bell will be implemented. Models include but are not limited to: Breakfast in the Classroom (“BIC”), Grab n’ Go, Second Chance Breakfast, Breakfast Vending or a hybrid of those models to be determined by the Office of Nutrition Support Services. This policy seeks to create a school environment that supports breakfast participation by all students, encourages students to embrace a morning routine that includes breakfast and creates a healthy start to each school day.


I. Background

In 2010 the Board of Education recognized its commitment to serve the needs of the whole child (physical, emotional and academic) while at school. The primary goal of the BIC program was to promote student health and academic achievement by providing a nutritious breakfast as a routine start of every school day. After implementation CPS elementary school breakfast participation increased by 5.3 million meals per year bringing average daily participation to 54% and increasing district revenue by $7.8 million. After the initial successful implementation in elementary schools some high schools piloted alternative breakfast models.

Research shows that an effective school breakfast program not only reduces hunger but also has a range of positive educational outcomes, including the following:

  • Eating breakfast improves math grades, vocabulary skills and memory. Children who eat breakfast at school – closer to class and test-taking time – perform better on standardized tests than those who skip breakfast or eat breakfast hours earlier at home.
  • Students who participate in school breakfast have lower rates of absence and tardiness and exhibit decreased behavioral and psychological problems. Children who eat school breakfast have fewer discipline problems and visit school nurses’ offices less often.
  • Children who participate in school breakfast eat more fruits, drink more milk, and consume a wider variety of foods than those who do not eat school breakfast or who have breakfast at home. Children and adolescents who eat breakfast are significantly less likely to be overweight, while skipping breakfast is associated with a higher risk of obesity.

II. Implementation

Beginning in the 2017-2018 school year all schools shall comply with the standards, requirements, program goals and accountability measures outlined within this policy. All schools shall deliver daily breakfast to all students after the bell through one of the breakfast models outlined below:

  • Elementary and Middle Schools: Breakfast in the Classroom is a service delivery model where students eat breakfast in classrooms after the official start of the school day. This remains the preferred model for elementary and middle schools. In special circumstances where breakfast in the classroom is not possible, elementary and middle schools shall provide breakfast in non-classroom service areas (i.e. the cafeteria, auditorium or other suitable common room). If another service area is used, it must be used consistently every school day to ensure clear structure for students that enhances good nutrition habits. The Principal or designee must submit proposed non-classroom service areas to the Office of Nutrition Support Services for approval. Models for providing breakfast to elementary and middle school students include the following:
    • Breakfast in the Classroom: Students or staff may deliver breakfasts to classrooms from the cafeteria via coolers or insulated rolling bags, or school nutrition staff can serve breakfast from mobile carts in the hallways. Breakfast in the Classroom typically takes 10-15 minutes and can happen during morning tasks such as attendance or can be integrated with other instructional activities.
    • Grab n’ Go Breakfast: Grab n’ Go is a service delivery model where conveniently packaged breakfasts are picked up by students from mobile service carts in high traffic areas such as hallways, entryways or cafeterias and carried to classrooms or other approved spaces
  • High Schools: Only high schools may provide breakfast before the bell as long as they also provide breakfast after the bell. Breakfast before the bell may be offered in the cafeteria. The Office of Nutrition Support Services must approve all service models. Breakfast after the bell must be provided in an operational model that offers as many opportunities to students as possible as outlined below:
    • Grab n’ Go Breakfast: as described above in A. ii.
    • Second Chance Breakfast: Second Chance Breakfast refers to a meal service model where students eat breakfast during a break in the morning, often after first period or midway between breakfast and lunch. Schools can serve breakfast in the same manner as they would with traditional Grab n’ Go breakfast. This model can be particularly effective for older students who may not be hungry first thing in the morning or may have conflicting zero period classes. Second Chance Breakfast may be referred to by a variety of names, such as Breakfast after First Period, School Brunch or Mid-Morning Nutrition Break.
    • Breakfast Vending: Breakfast Vending allows students to access breakfast foods through vending machines. This model can be implemented in high schools and vending machines will only be available during a scheduled time agreed upon to ensure after the bell opportunities for all students.
    • Hybrid Model: Schools may offer a hybrid of the aforementioned alternative breakfast models.

III. Authorization to Formulate Guidelines.

The Nutrition Support Services Executive Director or designee is authorized to issue Guidelines for the effective implementation of the Breakfast After the Bell Policy and further to ensure compliance with USDA and State regulations in the provision of school breakfast meals.

IV. Compliance.

Failure to abide by this Policy or the Breakfast After the Bell Guidelines may subject employees to discipline up to and including dismissal in accordance with the Board’s Employee Discipline and Due Process Policy.

Policy References

Amends/Rescinds Amends 11-0126-PO1
Cross References 105 ILCS 126/15, 7CFR 220.
Legal References  

Policy Managed By Nutrition Support Services (NSS)

42 W. Madison St.
Chicago, IL 60602