What Students Think about Lunch & Learn

What Students Think about Lunch & Learn

Carolyn Chen, Staff Writer

Schools have long strived to create the optimal learning environments for their students, from new teaching styles, programs, or extracurriculars, there lies a long list of awaiting programs. Now, at Central Bucks West, East, and South, the district’s high schools, this desire to help students has manifested in the form of “Lunch and Learn”. A new sixty-minute block in the middle of students’ day aimed to teach time management and give students the opportunity for an uninterrupted break in their school day.

Now, how exactly did administration fit this into the preexisting tight schedule? Well, the schedule has since changed to have a shortened advisory, by 10 minutes, and shortened class periods, by a few minutes. While some students complain about the loss of the 30-minute break in the middle of the day, others rejoice at the chance to spend these extra 30 minutes with friends during Lunch and Learn. For many students, Lunch and Learn has already become part of their routine, anticipant in waiting for that second period bell to finally ring to dash out to their now-shortened advisory and awaiting spot in the cafeteria, hall, or outside.

Lunch and Learn, while only reaching its second week in effect, has changed many students’ outlook of the school day. It was harshly scrutinized during its first launch week, with many students complaining about the timing of the block and the lack of “anything to do”. This sentiment, however, has greatly diminished as many students turn to the brighter aspects of the period. 

For many, this program has helped them thrive socially and academically. One student, Allie Cain, stated that Lunch and Learn helped them better connect with their friends, and while it has been tough not being able to cut up classes, they’ve generally spent their time well. This sentiment is largely popular among those who have large groups of friends to go to during Lunch and Learn. An appealing part of Lunch and Learn is the fact that all students have the period at the same time. While previously it was a gamble to see whether a friend would be in the same lunch period as another, now there is little stopping anyone from eating together, except the mandatory meetings with teachers.

These meetings, while not invasive, are also a large selling point of Lunch and Learn. Split into two blocks, Lunch 1 and Lunch 2, the proposition that students can visit and receive help from their teachers during the Lunch and Learn block is unsurprisingly a vital aspect of the extended block. For many students, it provides a great opportunity for an otherwise tough to schedule meeting.

One interesting part of Lunch and Learn is the idea that advisory still exists in the schedule. With the main idea of advisory being fundamentally like Lunch and Learn, it’s surprising to know that the school decided to keep this break in the middle of the day. Still, however, shortened to a ten-minute timeframe, there isn’t much a student can do during these ten minutes before the bell rings again and they file out into their designated spots during Lunch and Learn. Advisory previously reigned as a block where students could relax and talk to their friends during the block, and while this is still possible with the 10-minute period, it’s hard to say whether advisory is still needed with the addition of Lunch and Learn. It’s no doubt a great place to meet up with others and take a break from the school day, but with its positioning right before Lunch and Learn, students have voiced concerns that the period is largely just unnecessary. 

It’s hard to say if this is truly the case. Especially with schedule shifts such as extended advisory, it’s vital to keep this period in place for teachers to sort things out with students and complete tasks needed for graduation, such as the latest extended advisory period taken to complete Naviance. A better solution may be to move this period to another block, such as after the first period or before fourth, as this might help students better split up their day as it previously did.

Lunch and Learn has no doubt become a staple in the schedule of students. However, initial sentiments and concerns have also arisen while students navigate the many changes that Lunch and Learn demands. For example, Kate Holcombe, a new sophomore this year, says that the previous schedule was better for her and that Lunch and Learn would “need some time to get used to.” For many, this is their take on Lunch and Learn. One concern of hers is the fact that Lunch and Learn is so early in the day. For many students, the idea of eating at 10:30 is simply less appealing than the previous schedule, which better breaks up the day for B and C lunch kids.

It’s a difficult adjustment to be sure. After only starting school a month ago, fellow sophomores have found themselves dizzy by the many changes that come with not only starting high school, but also navigating a full in-person year after the two years spent in quarantine/hybrid previously. Lunch and Learn, however, has largely provided students a valuable way of connecting with others, finding time to meet with teachers, or to simply take a break. Although there still exists some kinks that need sorting out, students can look forward to Lunch and Learn in their schedule for the foreseeable future.