by Katherine Sperduto ’19
Sherwood students have very long and tedious days with loads of homework to follow, so a good mental break is beneficial for us students. This is what lunch should provide.
The time allotted for students to eat lunch in MCPS varies from school to school and range from 30 minutes to 50 minutes. Lunch is 45-minutes long at nearby Magruder High School. At Richard Montgomery High School, it is even longer at 50 minutes. Students at Sherwood deserve a longer lunch period than the current 36 minutes.
Is 36 minutes a long enough time to accomplish the primary purpose of lunch: eating? If one counts the five minutes after the 4th period bell and the five minutes before 6th period’s bell, one might argue that 45 minutes is more than enough time. Tell that to the hundreds of students who stand in the cafeteria line. It takes roughly 15-20 minutes in order to simply to get through the lunch line. This leaves as few as 15 minutes simply to eat lunch, not including the time needed to fulfill other student responsibilities.
Teachers commonly tell students to come see them at lunch for extra help or to make up a quiz. However, almost any student (or teacher) can tell you how difficult it is to be able to meaningfully catch up in a 45 minute class provided with only a 36-minute time frame to do so, when everyone also has to find the time to eat. Not only will teachers and students be able to have more time if the lunch period is longer, but there would also be more time for club meetings. If clubs have more time to meet, then the school as a whole would benefit from a more vibrant extracurricular scene.
The longer lunch period would also address the need for a break in students compacted school-lives in order for students to get a chance to relax, decompress, and reorganize. Students would perform better in their classes and they would be more alert if they were allowed 15 more minutes to simply catch their breath. Not to mention that throwing students with ADHD, Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADD, attention-deficit disorder, back into the path of school instruction too soon after a very brief period of relaxation and unwinding could possibly cause unwanted stress on top of the everyday day stress that students have to begin with.
An easy and simple solution to these many problems posed by our short lunch periods would to be to take roughly two minutes from each class period in order to add about 14 more minutes to 5th period, our lunch period. This addition to our lunch period would give students and teachers at least 45 minutes for lunch. This lengthening of our well-needed lunch time should give students ample time to reset before their afternoon round of classes.