School Mandates Full Period Lunch Policy

Ramya Rao, Features Editor

Increased class sizes, difficulty in schedule changes, and the limited number of course offerings due to the budget have disappointed many students this year. However, a new scheduling policy which mandates a lunch period for each student during the 2014-2015 school year is also heightening frustration among students. Students can now only schedule only eight periods of classes instead of nine.

During scheduling appointments, guidance counselors informed students that a lunch period will be required for every student. This new rule limits class variety for everyone, forcing students who were planning to opt out of lunch to drop a class. The administration says it is addressing the problem that some students have a full schedule while others are forced to take multiple study halls.

“In attempt to ensure as level of a playing field as possible, we are placing a course request for lunch for all students. After we run some trials while we build the master schedule, we will reevaluate request of students who wish to opt out of lunch. This process will be done in an effort to reduce the number of study halls students have compared to students who have nine full periods of classes,” Dr. Baum explained.

However, many students are still not content with the situation. Junior Erin O’Connell commented, “I think, as students, we should be able to dictate what and how many classes we take, even if that means excluding lunch. Scheduling for senior year should be about scheduling classes you want to take, not classes you’re forced to take.”

“I already have an alternating lunch for the whole year in my schedule and now with this extra period, I feel that my schedule will be incredibly empty. I believe that the mandated full period lunch is depriving us of the wonderful electives and classes that Ward Melville supplies for us. It’s simply hindering our education. Evening out the playing field will do nothing but harm,” said Christine Shen.

Until the master schedule is built, students can only hope that there will be enough room for them to take the classes they desire.

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