Is lunch too short?

Students and staff members discuss their take on MHS' new schedule.

Split+lines+help+with+getting+students+through+efficiently%2C+but+half+a+dozen+lunch+ladies+can+only+be+so+efficient.
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Is lunch too short?

Split lines help with getting students through efficiently, but half a dozen lunch ladies can only be so efficient.

Split lines help with getting students through efficiently, but half a dozen lunch ladies can only be so efficient.

Aiden Owen

Split lines help with getting students through efficiently, but half a dozen lunch ladies can only be so efficient.

Aiden Owen

Aiden Owen

Split lines help with getting students through efficiently, but half a dozen lunch ladies can only be so efficient.

Aiden Owen, Photography Editor

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This year, a new schedule has been implemented at Mead High School. This schedule combines the two 50 minute lunches from last year into a single 40-minute lunch but also adds in a 15-minute breakfast break.

There have been concerns from many students that there simply is not enough time to get through the lunch lines. Sometimes these lines wrap all the way around the cafeteria. “I get lunch most the time unless I can’t because the lunch lines are too long,” says sophomore Jarom Diaz.

Students mill around in extremely long lunch lines

When asked if students would be allowed to eat in B8/A4, Mr. Garcia believes that, “Once in awhile, I don’t think that’s an issue… Of course, I would let a student eat in my class if they didn’t get a chance to eat lunch, but I wouldn’t want 4th block to turn into 10 minutes of lunchtime.” Mrs. Chastain “always give[s] students the chance to finish up their lunch after class, but because there are so many allergies, [she doesn’t] want students eating inside the classroom”.

There were many reasons for changing to one lunch as opposed to two. “The main reason for that [moving to one lunch] was it was difficult to cover both lunches… with supervision,” Dean Doug Gordon said. “…We were spread pretty thin as administrators and campus supervisors.”

Principal Ayers had a different take, however: “So last year, we watched, and I talked to a lot of students about clubs, and what we saw was almost every single one of our clubs was not meeting. So it [two lunches] almost single-handedly took the clubs out of Mead High School.”

“…Student organizations are really, really important to the climate of our school, and one of the goals that we have is to keep kids involved, whether it be a club, a sport, band, choir, orchestra, newspaper, whatever it may be, we want them to have something that they do at Mead High School besides just study,” Ayers said.

Some students choose to eat in the band hall over the commons or the cafeteria.

According to Ayers, “…We had a lot of kids skipping class to go to lunch with their friends when they didn’t have lunch at that time, and it was very, very difficult for us to monitor, and so we saw our attendance rates really dip.”

Not only are the students affected by the short lunch. Garcia said, “I certainly feel like I’m rushed at lunch now. I feel the difference.”

There is hope for longer lunches, though. Principal Ayers said, “If we extend lunch, then we take away the 15-minute breakfast break.”