KILLEEN, Texas (KWTX) Monday marks the start of a new school year for students in the Killeen Independent School District, and this year, freshman students at all high schools will have closed campus lunches.
KISD Superintendent Dr. John Craft said this is a decision the district was considering for a long time.
One of the main reasons is safety, Craft said.
"Any time you have students leaving campus during the middle of the day, their safety is always of concern,” Dr. Craft said. “Whether the students are on foot, or in cars and driving and carpooling, absolutely safety is our first and foremost priority."
District officials considered implementing closed campuses in 2015 after a drag racing accident near Ellison High School and the Pathways Academic Campus killed two people during the lunch hour.
A student was also hit by a car while crossing the street near Ellison High School in 2016. After months of rehab, she returned home in March.
Now, with a growth of district capabilities, Craft said food services should be able to accommodate all freshman students at the high school cafeterias.
"We have added staff, we're setting up different kiosks, and of course, we want to make sure that the foods that are being provided during the lunch period are foods that students actually enjoy,” Dr. Craft said.
Craft said the district typically has a total of 2,200 to 2,500 freshmen students each year.
Sophomore, junior and senior students will still have open campus lunches.
Craft said freshman students won’t be able to have food from outside restaurants delivered to schools, as this violates the district’s visitor policy and other district code rules.