Lunch bunch

Committee of teachers create new block lunch system, went into effect Wednesday


AJ Jackson

Students buy their lunch from the cafeteria and eat with their friends.

After many disciplinary actions taken last semester because of inappropriate actions during block lunch, a committee of teachers formed to make a new plan for block lunch that went into effect last Wednesday. The block lunch committee is being led by assistant principals Bailey Fry and Monica Story.

“We really sat down and tried to figure out the barriers to the success of block lunch and why it’s not working,” Fry said. “We really went back to the drawing board and decided what works for our students now, post COVID-19.”

The new block lunch system also includes a new incentive program. If a student logs into at least six activities (clubs or study halls) in a three week period, the student will be allowed to leave school early on the Friday of the end of that three week period. A pep rally schedule will go into effect and those who submitted six activities will leave at 3 p.m. on that Friday. “Hang out” areas will be established in a few areas around school for students who ride the bus home and earn that early release.

I love the new incentive program,” junior Amya Faulkner said. “Getting the chance to get dismissed early and having extra time after school on a Friday is the best thing ever.”

To reduce student conflicts during block lunch, more areas of the school are now open for students to go during lunch. The second floor is now open and rooms D222, G214, G216 and E103 will always be open during block lunch for students to eat or hang out with their friends. Faculty encourages students to use these open rooms to reduce crowds in the hallways.

“The second floor being opened up and the open lunch rooms are some of the biggest differences between the old block lunch and the new block lunch,” American Sign Language teacher and committee member Katherine Gustafson said. “[We specifically worked on] ways to help the overcrowding in the areas students were allowed to be by opening up new areas.” 

The new block lunch system also provides study halls for every subject during the hour lunch period every day there is block lunch. Assigned rooms for each core subject that will have a teacher present at all times for students to receive tutoring at any time. The designated study hall rooms are E107 (English), F304 (math), D206 (science), E215 (social studies), E238 (CTE and electives) and G205 (world languages).

“If a student was absent on Tuesday and they needed to go to an English tutorial, they would have to wait until next Tuesday to get support from a teacher during block lunch,” Fry said. “Now we’re offering study halls every block, every day.”

The block lunch committee of teachers was formed in October and had their first meeting Nov. 1. The committee has roughly 15 members and has been meeting bi-weekly to form the new plan.

I’m happy that teachers fought to keep block lunch,” Faulkner said. “It shows that they keep in mind the interest of the students and how it will affect faculty and students if block lunch was taken away.”