Food Sales During School

Levi Davies, Reporter

As of March 1st, all classroom snack bars at West Anchorage High School were closed by order of activities principal Ja Dorris. This decision seemed to only affect class markets that competed with the (Parent-Teacher Association) PTA’s Eagles Cache, and did not spare the already struggling Special Ed program’s snack bar, and closed other alternative snack options popular with students.

“I joke I’m a wedding planner, but its not really a joke… I just keep the ball moving,” said Dorris. He has worked for the district for 20+ years. The administration’s primary concerns involved the money not passing through official channels.

Jade Lee is a Special Ed teacher here at West. Lee teaches Life Skills I, a class that helps students with disabilities navigate the obstacles of daily life, like cooking, doing laundry, keeping finances, and recently, gardening. The money coming in from the snack bar was enough to spring for a few grow lamps, and some assorted houseplants she found on Craigslist.

The Life Skills I snack bar brought in about $50 a day, about half of which went to restocking goods. Through this project, Jades students were able to learn about online banking, gain basic shopping skills, and have positive social interactions with other West students, and losing it dealt a devastating blow. “[Dorris] said we’re just taking too much money from the Eagles Cache.” Lee said.

Lee also made it very clear that the snack bar was not simply a vehicle for fundraising, but a critical part of her curriculum. “Everything they do is a learning experience,” said Jade. The snack bar has been a cornerstone of Lee’s curriculum

It is important to note the good the Eagle’s Cache does for West High, handing out upwards of $45,000 every year in grants to help fund important student programs activities. According to West PTSA Vice President Cathy Opinsky, the primary function of the Eagles Cache is help student groups fundraise, and to award additional grants to programs in need. According to Opinsky, a student group can sign up to work the Cache for one week per year. Student groups receive 46 percent of all sales, capped at $1,000.