With lunch next year taking up a full period–50 minutes–the administration is left with a dilemma on its hands. According to Principal Kristopher Wickerham, most students finish eating in about thirty minutes, which begs the question of what will be done with the time remaining.
“There is a temptation to wander, so we’re going to have to figure that out,” Wickerham said.
Among other things, the school is hoping to set up places for students to work quietly and make more teachers available to tutor during lunch.
“That gives them about twenty minutes to do something productive.”
The administration has stated that it would appreciate student input on the new lunch schedule, so now is a good time to send Wickerham any suggestions. Senior Michael Barton thinks a room dedicated to student relaxation would be a good idea.
“A lot of private schools, they have kind of a hangout room for studying or leisure activities. I think we should have one of those.”
The possibility of finishing homework during lunch is also extremely appealing, as is the chance of going to Whataburger or Sonic.
“I’d be able to do another worksheet, at least,” junior Ryan Kirmse said. “And I would hope they would give us an off campus lunch.”
AP Steve Zimmerman says no go.
“Nope. Safety reasons. It’s too much of a liability to have students leave campus.”
The extended lunch hour would ensure that all students have enough time to eat, hopefully reducing the temptation to leave.
“[I’ll] have more time to eat my food. Some kids get there late and they’re rushing and the lines are long,” junior Steven Jayme said, adding that he’d think about going to Whataburger if it looked like he would get his meal too late.
The new lunch period is expected to have an impact on teachers as well.
“What they’re planning to do is to give us duties, to require teachers to have an extra duty during the twenty minutes like to monitor hallways or to monitor the cafeteria,” math teacher Stephanie Meno said. “For math, the different team levels, we’ve had common planning periods to coordinate our schedules and under the new schedule we don’t have that. It would be nice to use that time for planning.”
Either way, the longer lunch hour seems to be the least controversial among the changes the 7-bell schedule will bring.
“I think if the students take advantage of it, it’ll be great,” Wickerham said.