May the fourth be with us

Additional lunch period added to Texas High School campus


Photo by Peyton Sims

A student eats his lunch while socially distancing at the table. Texas High decided to add an additional fourth lunch to decrease the amount of people in the cafeteria at once.

Story by Peyton Sims, editor in chief and Cate Rounds

As the coronavirus pandemic rages on, students and teachers continue to adjust to this alternative school environment. With the first six weeks coming to a close and many online students returning to campus, administrators are having to further adapt to this influx of students. That includes modifying lunchtime. 

In order to keep the students and staff safe in the cafeteria and courtyard, a new fourth lunch will be put into place beginning on Wednesday, Sept. 23.

“In order to be able to social distance, we needed to add that fourth lunch,” Principal Carla Dupree said. “Even with our additional tables, there still wasn’t going to be enough room for us to spread out.”

The addition of a fourth lunch calls for a rearrangement class time. Given that each lunch will have an allotted time of 30 minutes, certain parts of the day had to be shortened. A new bell schedule has resulted from this. 

“We decided to shave one minute off of transition,” Dupree said. “We also cut down the time in between lunches from 10 minutes to seven. Enrichment is going to go to 20 minutes instead of 30 minutes.The school day will start and end at the same time.”

For those that are concerned about shortened time between classes, Dupree has tested many class transition routes to ensure that each student has enough time to get between classes.

“I walked the campus last year, and most places you can get to in four minutes,” Dupree said. “If your principal can do it, I’m confident that you guys can get from point A to B, and you’re all already doing a good job.”

Third period will be longer due to the addition of a fourth lunch. Teachers have been told that they can use the extra 30 minutes of class time for instruction, literary focus or a study hall to replace for the time that’s being taken away from enrichment. 

“As the second semester comes around, we’re on a Leader in Me initiative to get that going,” Dupree said. “That would actually be a 30 minute built in time where we could put our Leader in Me curriculum.” 

A finalized bell schedule will soon be released. Third period teachers will alert students to any changes to their lunch time.