One Lunch provides opportunities to decompress


In the 2018-2019 school year, high school lunches could change to a one-hour block. The whole school will be open as an eating area.

According to teachers and administrators, the idea is for students to be able to have a longer time to decompress from a long day. Students could eat, socialize, get extra help from a teacher, catch up on some homework, hold club meetings, or attend lunch detention, instead of having to stay after school.

“I think it would be great because forensics would benefit greatly from this, for it would allow us to have more time to prepare for our competitions,” said junior Hunter Gibbs.

With the adjustment of blocks, there could be time added to the end of days to keeps the blocks the same length.

“Things change,” said Principal Dr. Claire Leblanc. “We can’t keep doing the same things and expect different results.”

Ocean Lakes would model its new “one lunch” schedule from Deep Run High School in Glenn Allen, VA. Both Kellam and First Colonial High School are already trying it on PSAT, SOL, and other abbreviated days.

“It could be a district wide change and OL will probably be trying it during SOL and advisory days,” said AP US and Government teacher Darcy Pohl, who went to Deep Run along with others to observe how they run their “one lunch” schedule.

The increased freedom and privilege for the students also requires responsibility to avoid conflict. The teachers and staff will also have to step up their responsibilities with extra jobs and more efficient lunch lines.

“Teachers are going to have various jobs depending on the day like roaming the halls,” said Leblanc. “Deep Run has eight lunch lines and we have five, but I am confident in our cafeteria staff.”

Some students feel that the current 30 min. lunch is not enough time for them to eat, socialize, and relax.

“I would like having an hour to decompress from a stressful day,” said junior Seattle Ryther. “I also like that I can eat with my friends wherever we want.”