The high school administration announced that during the 2019-2020 school year there will be some major changes to the schedule. Specifically, there will now be an hour-long “Lunch and Learn” period in which students can relax, talk to teachers, eat lunch, and catch up on school work.
Although this seems like an idea that will benefit students, it will actually cause mass confusion and is not necessary for student success. There are a variety of concerns with the Lunch and Learn, including no homeroom, added stresses on students, lack of furniture, and safety.
With an extended lunch, minutes will have to come from other places, such as homeroom. Starting next year, there will no longer be a homeroom period, and students will go straight to their first period classes. Not only is homeroom a valuable time for students to finish homework and talk to teachers, but it is also a few minutes to decompress before the day begins. With schedules so jam-packed from first to last period for many students, it is important that before classes start students can have time to relax.
Time will also be taken from passing times between classes. Instead of the five minutes that has been the standard in years past, there will now be four minutes, making it difficult for students to get where they need to go in time, especially since certain students have to cross the entire school between classes. It is already difficult enough for students to get from the first floor to the third floor as it is, but with only four minutes, students will not have time to use the restroom or stop bytheir lockers.
Despite its goal to reduce student stress, Lunch and Learn has the potential to increase the pressure on students to study during a period that should be used to relax. Instead of using this period to unwind, students could use this time to do work, and it may even cause some students to take on a heavier course load.
There is also not enough furniture or space for students to be able to eat lunch comfortably, because there would now be so many more students in the cafeteria at the same time as a result of shrinking to just two lunch periods. This would lead to more students all over the building, decreasing safety and accountability. It would be extremely difficult to enforce school rules, creating a dangerous environment for students and staff. Many teachers and administrators worry about the possibility of students acting up and not being properly disciplined because of the chaotic nature of the period.
Furthermore, if there were an emergency during this period, it would be extremely difficult to monitor all students and verify their locations.
Ultimately, a Lunch and Learn period would not be particularly helpful for students or teachers and would actually have potentially dangerous implications, so one question remains: who wanted this change?
Students have been managing without this period for as long as Unionville has been operating, and this was never an issue raised by students or teachers. It appears that this plan is entirely fueled by the school board, an organization that seems to be completely out of touch with the needs of students and faculty.
The Lunch and Learn period is not significantly beneficial and should not be implemented in the 2019-2020 school year and beyond.