Practically everyone in every organization loves their “lunch break.” At CCHS we certainly do love ours.
After years of the traditional four lunch line routine that took nearly two hours, constant bells, and constant transitions, we have stepped into the unique cutting edge when it comes to feeding 750+ students and staff.
We now have lunch for the entire school on one lunch line and in one fifty minute period. We were looking for something new for our students, but more importantly we were looking for a more efficient way to capitalize on our time that we have with our students.
After visiting a couple of the schools in the mid-state who also have a similar lunch set-up, we decided we could do the same and customize it for our student’s needs. We wanted our lunch time to meet several of our needs, but our main focus was how could we improve academics during this time?
We decided to allow our students to have the fifty minutes of break time to take care of eating, office business, talking with their fellow students, meeting with their staff members, but most importantly taking care of academic business.
This academic business includes: making up test; making up missed assignments; retaking and redoing test/assignments; tutoring, and remediation. Most of our students were not able or would not stay after school to take care of their academic needs, but with the new lunch schedule, this is not an issue. The student is already here, and has the time.
How do 750+ fit into one place to eat you might ask? Certainly not in our cafeteria which holds about 250 people. To remedy this, we opened up our school during this new lunch period. Students are allowed to eat in the halls, the courtyard, and in the classrooms pending the teacher is in the room. Students are also allowed to go to the gymnasium and play ping pong, basketball, the wii, etc. Students are also allowed to visit the media center to check their e-mails, work on reports, or just surf the net.
Students meet up with friends and find a place to eat or talk, or they enjoy getting exercise by walking with friends through the halls. Students who break the school rules may receive lunch detention. During lunch detention, students lose their privileges during lunch and are isolated for the period.
Our teachers have office hours each day during lunch where students are allowed to visit and to get the help they need academically. Several of our students are assigned each day to meet with their teachers during this time for their individual academic needs. Our new lunch has allowed for our staff to interact more with our students, creating better relationships.
Our students have responded to the new lunch by being very well-behaved and keeping the areas where they eat nice and clean. Our staff are on a rotating schedule supervising all areas of the school during this time making sure that everything is orderly and clean. Our cafeteria and custodial staff have done an awesome job with this change and have embraced our unique lunch as well.
The payoff for CCHS has been: better academics; better behavior; and better relationships. Who would have thought we could have accomplished so much by going from a two-hour lunch to a fifty minute lunch? To sum it up, CCHS loves their lunch break!