Support for students

February 16, 2016
Supervised lunch hour now available at RMHC Toronto School.
Students at the RMHC Toronto School
A new program is making day-to-day life easier for many parents with children enrolled in the Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) Toronto School.

This month, RMHC Toronto began offering supervised lunch hours for students from Junior Kindergarten to Grade 8. Until now, parents were expected to pick their children up from School during the hour-long lunch break.

As the School is seeing its highest enrolment ever – between 15 and 22 students a month – it couldn’t come at a better time.  

“We’ve been hearing from parents that the existing structure was really breaking up their day,” says Katie Doering, principal and teacher at RMHC Toronto School. “Many parents need to be spending time at the hospital with their sick child, so to have to come back and forth for pick-ups and drop-offs just wasn’t ideal.”

It also meant many students were missing full days in the classroom. Because their parents couldn’t leave the hospital in the middle of the day to supervise their children during lunch, they would sometimes have to take them to the hospital for the whole day.

Members of the programs team at RMHC Toronto are providing the lunch supervision. The students will eat lunch in the kitchen and then go to the den for free time.

Katie knows parents will be thrilled with this change.

“This will give parents a much larger chunk of uninterrupted time to be at the hospital, run errands or do whatever they need to do,” she says. “Balancing treatment times and school schedules is not easy.”

Katie also sees this as an opportunity to bring more normalcy into students’ routines.

“In a typical school environment, kids bring their lunch to school and get to eat with their classmates. This gives them the chance to spend some unstructured social time with their friends.”