The One Lunch

The One Lunch

Julia Webster, Staff Writer

We were all apprehensive last year when we learned about this new addition to the school schedule. “One lunch?” We desperately wanted to hate it because it was new and things were changing and change is scary.

There are many different views on one lunch, but a majority of the school seems to find it a favorable change.

Freshmen from middle schools with split lunches are embracing the new schedule. Freshman Katie Lange says, “I like being able to eat with whoever I want.” Even upperclassmen, who have had the split lunch schedule for three years of middle school and three years of high school, are enjoying the change. Senior Melissa Trick adds, “I like that one lunch gives you the opportunity to hang out with your friends.” That seems to be the overwhelming reason students are embracing the new schedule.

But, there is one positive students have not considered. Administration definitely has. Students have been skipping class since the inception of schools. During the four-period lunch schedule, students made easy work of cutting class to spend time with friends in other lunch periods. 12th grade Assistant Principal Mr. Readyhough says, “The periods that students would skip would be 4, 5, 6, and 7 because they’d skip to go to [a different] lunch. It’s cut down on class cutting because everyone’s in the same lunch.”

Mr. Readyhough also didn’t expect the cleanliness of the school to change.  He says, “I didn’t realize the school would be so much cleaner. Because we actually have trashcans in the hallways now.”

Even clubs have experienced the benefits of this program. Intramural sports are held during one lunch, language clubs are offered, and stress-free clubs like Adult Coloring are also available during the one hour lunch. There is something for every student to keep busy, even catching up on homework.

Melissa Trick reports, “[One lunch] gives you time to do homework that you might not have time to do at home due to after school activities.” Students can work in the media center, in either the quiet section or the group study section, or ask a teacher to use their empty classroom for the purpose of tutoring or making up a test.

Junior Paige Marino adds, “One lunch benefits every student in some way. Students involved in sports can now join clubs at LHS…On top of all that, it helps the students who have many challenging classes, so they can get help from their teachers or be able to do homework in a quiet place.”

One lunch also benefits teachers. Mr. Readyhough says, “Some of the teachers that maybe don’t have the best connection with kids, some of their clubs have given them positive relationships with kids because they’re seeing them in a different light.” He also says, “If you’re [teacher is] available for tutoring at a consistent time [the] kids will come to the tutoring and their scores should go up which helps them out as well.”

And for students who just want something to do, clubs like knitting and gardening offer students the opportunity to hang out with friends while doing something that interests them. There are a multitude of things to do during one lunch and many students are getting more involved in their school through clubs like Key Club and Student Council Association.

One lunch provides many opportunities for students to do what they like, but there are a few kinks. Melissa Trick says, “I think [the clubs] that are running are good, but sometimes they rotate clubs from week to week on the same day so it can get confusing.”

I know I personally had an issue with the rotating schedule when I wanted to join Italian club and ended up at Heavy Metal club. I learned later that the same teacher was rotating her clubs every week, so Heavy Metal club was one week, and the next week was Italian club and so on.

Conflicting clubs are also a problem. For example, French club and Symphonic Orchestra meet on the same day. I must have to sign up for French club and if I’m not there, I won’t be a member. Symphonic orchestra is a group club and people are counting on me to be there. The new schedule, then, requires an adjustment period.

But, some people aren’t even giving one lunch a chance. Mr. Readyhough says, “Getting kids who have it dead set in their minds that this is not going to work, getting them to actually give it a chance has been a little bit frustrating…We’re working on it, we don’t just want to put people in lunch detention, we actually want to find a place for them and maybe make them enjoy school more.”

Melissa Trick says, “I feel like a lot of people don’t like the change…because they just don’t like change.” People, especially upperclassmen who have had the split lunch schedule their entire academic career, are inherently against the new program because it’s new.

The overall consensus is that one lunch has made a positive impact on our school. Mr. Readyhough concurs, saying, “The reason Mr. Watson brought it here, and the reason Leonardtown looked for it for the past six years, is to provide more opportunities for students.” One lunch is a new and scary addition to the safe, secure schedule we’ve had for so long, but now that it’s here, we are figuring out that maybe change doesn’t need to be scary.