Dover Health Department and Our Schools
Town of Dover OFFICIAL TOWN NEWSLETTER October 2015

One of the responsibilities of the Dover Health Department is to inspect the Dover School District cafeterias twice a year.  The Health Department would like to share some interesting facts which make the school lunch program so successful.

Pomptonian Food Service has been providing service to the Dover School District since 2009.  Pomptonian, based in Fairfield, New Jersey, is a family owned company.  Joanne Bednar has been serving as the Dover School District’s Food Service Director for the last six years.  Ms. Bednar oversees the daily operations and has incorporated some unique programs offered to the students.  A few of the programs that stand out are the made-to-order omelet station, guest chef days offering gourmet foods and The Farm Stand.  The Farm Stand is a lunch staple in all four public schools in Dover.  It offers the students an enhanced healthy food option available daily.  Lunches include a wider variety of fresh fruits and vegetables.  Jersey Fresh products are offered when in season.  Students have the opportunity to choose up to two servings from a variety of options for their fruit and vegetable choices.  A complete meal includes an entrée (includes bread), a trip to the “Farm Stand” and an 8 oz. skim milk.

On October 1, 2015, the Health Department was invited to the High School to see another innovative program Ms. Bednar is trying out.  It incorporates another healthy food choice program and a local success story all in one.  The Cafeteria is partnering with Reboot 111, a local restaurant owned by James Galindo, to offer a custom blended drink known as the “Dover Tiger Juice.”  The students were offered a sample of the “Dover Tiger Juice” to try as they made their way through the lunch line.  It appeared the trial was a success and may be offered once a month as part of The Farm Stand.  During the visit, I had the opportunity to meet Mr. Robert Becker, the School District’s Superintendent.  Mr. Becker has been the Superintendent for 11 years and has served in the education field for 43 years.  He was pleased with the “Dover Tiger Juice” trials and shared some information about other programs aimed to promote personal health, nutrition and exercise.

Approximately 8 years ago, Dover High School opened a Wellness Center as part of their athletic program.  The Wellness Center is a complete fitness facility equipped with exercise machines and classes such as Spin and Yoga.

There is also a satellite program within the high school.  It is the Health and Science Academy aimed to prepare students in healthcare fields.  The academic focus is on Anatomy and Physiology topics.  Approximately 180 students are selected for the program.  These students from Dover High School have the opportunity to earn 24 college credits upon successful completion of the course requirements.

All students at Dover High School have the ability to earn 54 transcripted credits from Rutgers, Syracuse and NJIT.  In these courses, the high school staff are appointed as faculty members from the University, and the coursework is the same as the students enrolled at that institution.  The final exams are generally administered by staff at the respective University, and students are awarded actual transcripted college credits upon successful performance of the exam.

As a Health Inspector for the Dover Health Department, it was great to observe the collaboration and hard work from our schools and organizations involved in promoting healthy lifestyle choices for our youth.