The One Hour Lunch: Not Lunch Roamers


Jason Ferris, Junior School News Editor

The one hour lunch: if you are anything like me, you have heard whispers of the new undertaking. No, it is not a term for those lunch period roamers making a day out of hopping from lunch period to lunch period. Next year, students and staff members will share an hour long lunch period, as the name goes. It is a chance for students to participate in Leonardtown’s often elusive activities but it does come with challenges and a shift in scheduling here at Leonardtown.

Whatever the details, Leonardtown will welcome the new system in the coming 2016-2017 school year, so be ready for a change of pace Leonardtown students.Leonardtown is trading in its four lunch period schedule for students’ chance to participate here at Leonardtown. Creative writing club, mock trial, soccer, lacrosse, Spanish club, Chinese club, knitting club: every club meets before or after school. Without designated rides, which are hard to come by with parents’ busy schedule, students have no chance of building a resume of clubs and activities. Mr. Readyhough, the head of the One Hour Lunch Committee, cited the time the one hour lunch provides students the opportunity to “eat lunch, obtain tutoring/extra help from teachers, participate in clubs, use the media center, intramural sports, team meetings etc.” Not only are students confined by after and before school timing, but they struggle to juggle extracurricular activities with homework. This is a chance for students to reserve their afternoons for homework and relaxation; it is a chance for some of us stress balls to take a breath. The one hour lunch is a new avenue for Leonardtown High School, but it is one for the better: one for the better of students.

With the one hour lunch offering students more chances to get involved at Leonardtown and free their now shackled afternoons, it seems like a no brainer. However, the Leonardtown schedule will be changing. The one hour lunch is tentatively planned for either fifth or sixth period. Time will be shaved off the extra ten minutes built into third period. The bulk of periods are expected to remain 45 minutes aside from first period which may be stretched to 50 minutes. Mr. Readyhough explained that though Leonardtown will be welcoming a new bell schedule, there is still a year of meetings and decisions ahead for administration and the One Hour Lunch Committee to iron out the details of it.

The one hour lunch decision was no small feat. Leonardtown’s officials first toured schools implementing the schedule like Montgomery County and Calvert County, and Leonardtown’s new principal, Mr. Watson, advocated for bringing the system to Leonardtown in the coming school year. Even with all the planning that has gone into the shift, there are still logistics to work through like “teacher duty stations, club/activity offerings, tech center schedules, how/where to feed 1900 students, trash collection, safety/security” said Mr. Readyhough. The one hour lunch is simple in concept but complicated in application. It is the reason the One Hour Lunch Committee is going to host meetings for parents, students, staff members – the community – to weigh in on what is and is not working. No matter the stumbling block, administrators are ready to shoulder the burden for the benefit of students.

How are 1900 students going to cram into one lunch room; what happens to teacher’s lunch duty schedule; is this feasible for a school as large as Leonardtown: these are the questions piling up on administrator’s desks. In spite of the challenges and taxing shifts in scheduling, administrators are willing to take on any bumps in the road if it means making Leonardtown High School a better place because, to them, you- the students- are the reason for it all.