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Manteca Vocational Academy Café opens for business today

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POSTED January 29, 2013 12:46 a.m.

Manteca Unified School District employees are going to have a new lunch option starting today – meals prepared at the Manteca Vocational Academy Café.

Nothing unusual about that except the scrumptious offerings are the creations of the young would-be chefs enrolled in the Culinary Arts class offered through the school district’s first vocational charter school program simply called MUVA, or the Manteca Unified Vocational Academy.

Menu choices include morning offerings such as handmade scones and muffins, quiche and breakfast sandwiches; salads plus a soup-of-the-day selections, marinated trip-tip and grilled vegetable sandwiches; snacks that include assorted hand-scooped cookies, bags of pie-crust cookies, and specialty coffees.

A complete menu, plus prices, is available online at www.MUSDnutrition.net (click on the Menus tab). For those in a hurry to have their lunch prepared, they can set up a lunch account by sending an e-mail to tkestyus@musd.net.

The Café is the Culinary Arts’ food laboratory where the MUVA student pioneers have their training on actual food preparation. The café will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. during regular district business hours.

The Culinary Arts class was the first offered through MUVA, with the district Board of Trustees originally eyeing to open with three vocational programs – Industrial Fabrication Technology, Medical Office Assistant, and Culinary Arts. However, due to budget constraints, the board elected to start off with Culinary Arts which had the most conservative start-up budget. The board is currently discussing about the possibility of starting the Industrial Fabrication Technology program as well.

MUVA classes officially started on Aug. 8, 2012.

As part of the provisions for the vocational charter school, MUVA will not use any of the district’s general funds. Like any of the district’s schools, funding will be through Average Daily Attendance money from the state.

MUVA also will be under the authority of the Board of Trustees, serving as the board for the vocational charter school.

Classroom and training facilities for the Culinary Arts program are located in the school district administration offices, and at the Nutritional Services department also located on the district compound on West Louise Avenue at South Airport Way.

MUVA students don’t have to pay any tuition fee to take part in the program, which is open to high school students not just in Manteca Unified but throughout San Joaquin County.

Students finishing the vocational program could graduate both with a high school diploma from Manteca Unified and a certificate from Delta College or other post-secondary institution.

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