Nutrition & Wellness

Creative Minds offers free breakfast to all students each morning. Free Lunch is available to students who qualify for the free and reduced-price meals program. Families may also purchase full-price lunches for students or send their children to school with a shelf-stable, ready-to-eat lunch. Students in our after-school programs receive a free snack; a snack should be brought from home for the regular school day.

  • We cannot refrigerate or heat up the lunches and snacks that students bring from home.
  • Creative Minds is a nut-free school. Nuts and foods containing nuts are not allowed on campus.
  • All school meals are provided by Top Spanish, a local caterer.

Free or Reduced Lunch

Creative Minds participates in the National School Lunch Program, which provides nutritionally balanced lunches at no cost to students who qualify on the basis of family income.
To receive discounted or free lunch for their children, families must fill out a free and reduced-price meals (FARM) application:

Return completed applications to the front desk at school or email them to frontdesk@creativemindspcs.org. Note that families must reapply to FARM each year.

We encourage all families who think they might be eligible to apply to the FARM program. Besides receiving free or discounted school lunches, FARM-qualified families also receive discounts on Extended Creative Day, our program of before- and after-school activities.

Eligibility is based on the total number of people in your household and the total income. Here are the income guidelines for SY 23-24:

Income and Household Requirement for Reduced Meals
# of PeopleWeeklyEvery 2
Weeks
Twice a MonthMonthlyAnnually
2$ 702$1404$1521$3041$36482
3$885$1769$1917$3833$45991
4$1068$2135$2313$4625$55500
5$1251$2501$2709$5418$65009
6$1438$2838$3105$6210$74518

If your family has more than six persons, please contact frontdesk@creativemindspcs.org for more information.

Purchasing School Lunch

Families that do not qualify for free and reduced-price meals may sign up here to purchase full-price lunches for their children. Lunch costs $5.25 per school day, and families are billed based on the meals consumed. Payment will be made through PowerSchool.

Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program

The free Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP) is designed to increase the consumption of fresh produce by introducing children to a variety of fresh vegetables while promoting nutrition education. This program occurs for all students three days a week during the school-day snack time. All students are offered to try the fresh produce of the day. Student participation is encouraged but not required and is free to all students.

Meal Charge Policy

We strive to provide students with high-quality and nutritious no- or low-cost meals each school day. However, unpaid charges place a large financial burden on our school. Our meal charge policy complies with federal requirements and provides oversight and accountability for the collection of outstanding student meal balances. If your family is experiencing financial hardship, please contact the director of operations.

Questions & Concerns about School Lunch

Creative Minds is an equal opportunity provider. If you have questions about school lunch, please contact frontdesk@creativemindspcs.org or call (202) 588-0370.

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Wellness

Children’s diet has a significant influence on their ability to focus and learn. A healthy digestive system has a positive effect on the nervous system and increases attention and mental clarity.  At Creative Minds International PCS, we teach children about health and nutrition in the curriculum.

We also promote student wellness through opportunities for movement and exercise throughout the school day. Activities include yoga, dance, sensory integration work, and physically active games.

Our students benefit from outdoor learning in our natural play space, which features a classroom, art studio, and school garden. The Creative Minds natural play space was sponsored by the Creative Families Association.

Birthdays & Other Celebrations

We know the joy children feel when celebrating their birthdays, and we want all our children to feel special. Consistent with our local wellness policy, classrooms will host a birthday celebration on the first Friday of the month for all students who have birthdays that month. If you would like to celebrate a child’s birthday in school, please adhere to the following:

  • Parents and guardians are encouraged to provide healthy snacks, natural fruit juices, and water to limit sweets. Please don’t bring chips, candy, soda, sugary snacks, goody bags, or piñatas to school.
  • Celebrations that are not food-based are strongly encouraged by adopting alternatives such as but not limited to:  
    • Line leader for the day
    • Donating a book to the class library in lieu of sugary treats

Outdoors & Recess Policy

To ensure a safe and enjoyable outdoor and recess experience for all students, Creative Minds follows these guidelines for outdoor activities:

  • Students go outside for recess as long as the following conditions are met:
    • It is not actively raining
    • Lightning activity has not occurred in the previous 30 minutes
    • The “feels like” temperature is above 32 degrees
    • The “feels like” temperature is below 95 degrees
    • There are no active severe-weather warnings 
  • If the “feels like” temperature is below 32 degrees or above 95 degrees, teachers may use their discretion to request permission from their program director to take students outside for a shortened time of no longer than 15 minutes.
  • Creative Minds also uses Airnow.gov when determining if outdoor recess and activities will occur: 
    • If the air quality is “red” or higher, we cancel outdoor activities, and students participate in indoor recess.

If the air quality is “Orange,” we continue with outdoor activities and monitor students closely for any respiratory issues; outdoor activity time may, however, be reduced or modified to include less strenuous activity (e.g., a nature walk instead of playspace time).

Health Information

USDA Nondiscrimination Statement

In accordance with federal civil rights law and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), civil rights
regulations and policies, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation), disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity.

Program information may be made available in languages other than English. Persons with disabilities
who require alternative means of communication to obtain program information (e.g., Braille, large
print, audiotape, American Sign Language), should contact the responsible State or local Agency that
administers the program or USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact
USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.

To file a program discrimination complaint, a Complainant should complete a Form AD-3027, USDA
Program Discrimination Complaint Form, which can be obtained online at:
https://www.usda.gov/sites/default/files/documents/USDA-OASCR%20P-Complaint-Form-0508-0002-508-11-28-17Fax2Mail.pdf, from any USDA office by calling (866) 632-9992, or by writing a letter addressed to USDA. The letter must contain the complainant’s name, address, telephone number, and a written description of the alleged discriminatory action in sufficient detail to inform the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights (ASCR) about the nature and date of an alleged civil rights violation. The completed AD-3027 form or letter must be submitted to USDA by:

(1) mail:
  U.S. Department of Agriculture
  Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
  1400 Independence Avenue, SW
  Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; or
(2) fax:
  (833) 256-1665 or (202) 690-7442; or
(3) email:
  program.intake@usda.gov

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

Also, the District of Columbia Human Rights Act, approved December 13, 1977 (DC law 2-38; DC
official code §2-1402.11(2006), as amended), states the following:

It shall be an unlawful discriminatory practice to do any of the following acts, wholly or partially, for a discriminatory reason based upon the actual or perceived: race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, family responsibilities, genetic information, disability, matriculation, or political affiliation of any individual. To file a complaint alleging discrimination on one of these bases, please contact the District of Columbia’s Office of Human Rights at (202) 727-4559 or ohr@dc.gov.

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