Breakfast, Lunch & Recess

Valerie Chitayat ( is the supervisor in charge of the cafeteria. She has a staff of school aides who work very hard to maintain a safe and congenial lunchroom and yard.  Each class sits together and is assisted by an aide.   

Students eat in the cafeteria located on the ground floor and have recess in the adjacent yard.

Any child may get breakfast free of charge in the cafeteria.  Early drop-off, whether or not for breakfast, is at 7:45am in the cafeteria.  Early drop-off is intended as drop-off.  Parents do not stay with their children during this time.

The lunch periods are as follows:

10:55am to 11:45am (1st & 2nd Grades)
11:45am to 12:35pm (Kindergarten & 5th Grade)
12:35pm to 1:25pm (3rd & 4th Grades)

The lunch period is split between recess and lunch.  One grade starts with lunch and then moves to the yard for recess, while the other starts with recess and then moves to the cafeteria for lunch. When the Kindergarteners are having lunch, they are assisted by 5th Grade volunteers who help them open packages, navigate the school lunch process, etc. Pre-K students have lunch in their classrooms.

Parents are not allowed in the lunchroom during lunch periods unless it's necessary for a medical reason and this must be cleared through the school nurse.  

Parents have the option of sending a packed lunch to school with their child or having their child eat lunch provide by the school.

Packed Lunch
If you send lunch from home with your child, please do not send glass containers, sharp objects or anything else that may cause injury in the lunchroom.  Be sure that you provide containers that your child can open themselves.  Mark your child's lunch box and containers with his or her name and class number.  Use reusable containers whenever possible to avoid mess and waste (learn more about PS41's commitment to the environment).  Please do not give your child soda or candy for lunch.

There are water jets that dispense cold fresh tap water in the cafeteria and low fat milk is available with school lunch (See "Paying for School Lunch" below.)

Per the DOE policy, students are allowed to bring nut products, including peanuts, from home. If your child has severe allergies, please inform his or her teacher and the school administration.

If you forget to send lunch to school with your child, your child will receive a school lunch for which you will be charged.  Please do not bring lunch for your child after school starts.  Staff members are not able to deliver lunches to individual students.  

School Lunch
Your child is welcome to school lunch when and as your choose.  There is no need to sign up or commit to a schedule.  If your child is having school lunch he or she will wait in line with his or her classmates.  Lunch aides are available to help the younger students navigate the line.  

The hot lunch menu for the month is available on the website.  Along with hot lunch there is a cold lunch option. The cold lunch option, like the hot lunch option, is a complete meal.  Children are not allowed to pick and choose or to order food items a la carte.  Every day both lunch options can be supplemented with the salad bar.

The DOE Office of School Food serves peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on whole wheat bread.  If your child has severe allergies, please inform his or her teacher and the school administration.

If you choose to get school lunch for your child, you must pay for it unless you fulfill the city requirements for free lunch.  The cost of school lunch is $1.75.

Paying for School Lunch  
To pay for your child's school lunch and/or milk please sign up for an account on  You can put whatever amount you want into your child's account.  When he or she gets school lunch or milk, the lunch aide will deduct that day's amount from your child's account.  When your balance is low, you will receive an email reminder to replenish your account.

Any extra funds in your account at the end of the school year will be rolled over into the next year.  You can check your account balance on

If you are unable to set up an account with, you can pay by check.  Write a check made out to "PS41 Lunch Fund" and put it in a sealed envelope labeled "Valerie Chitayat, Lunch Supervisor" and place the envelope in your child's backpack folder.

At the beginning of the year every family is required to complete an "Application for Free and Reduced-Price Meal", also known as the "lunch form".  This determines whether your child qualifies for free or full-priced meals.  All families must complete the form. 

Wellness In The Schools (WITS)
PS41 introduced a new healthy school lunch program during 2011-2012 school year.  The PS41 lunch menu is developed by Wellness in the School (WITS) in conjunction with the DOE lunch provider SchoolFood.  WITS enhances the SchoolFood program and ensures that children receive food that is minimally processed and healthfully prepared.  Fresh fruits and vegetables are always provided.  The WITS program is funded by the PTA.  For more details about the program at PS41, please click here. 

Recess last about 25 minutes and is in the yard when weather permits, and either precedes or follows the lunch period.  Beginning in the 2010-2011 school year, PS41 welcomed Deer Mountain Sports and Event (DMSE) into our recess program.  Instructors from DMSE are in the yard during recess organizing student games such as football, soccer, t-ball, and jump rope. They provide additional adult supervision and help kids stay active, connected and engaged.  During inclement weather, students have recess in the cafeteria, auditorium or gym. Arts and crafts projects and games are organized with DMSE's help.  DMSE's presence during recess is funded by the PTA.  Visit DMSE's website.