Opinion: New club, lunch schedule is inconvenient for students


Photo by Hyunsol Lim

Students eat during their assigned D lunch.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, when in-person school resumed in September 2020, block lunch was no longer part of the usual bell schedule. This fall, block lunch was not reinstated even though the district relaxed COVID-19 rules, and in its place came a new bell schedule that hindered students’ ability to attend tutorials, clubs, and eat lunch with friends.

This year’s schedule assigns students to lunches A, B, C or D lunch depending on their third period teacher. Although this idea may not appear bad, it quickly gets worse. The new club schedule only allows students to attend club meetings/tutorials during advisory or before or after school. The inconvenience of the new schedule is awful, and the old block lunch and club schedule should return as soon as possible. 

Since tutorials are no longer offered during the school day, students who participate in extracurricular activities after school have less opportunities to attend tutorials. Students’ flexibility to attend tutorials and to get the help they need without their after-school activities interfering was one of the key advantages of the block lunch schedule. This not only enabled more students to gain greater academic achievement, but it created a less stressful environment for individuals who had to find the time to attend tutorials.

In addition to being a place to learn, school should also be a place where students can socialize with peers. It’s challenging enough to go to school and study for eight hours, but if a student doesn’t have any social interaction with their friends, their mental health can quickly deteriorate. With the old block lunch schedule, many students could attend clubs that they and their friends enjoyed, eat lunch with people who shared their interests and genuinely enjoy interacting with others.

If we used A or B block lunch once a week for advisory, we could communicate essential information once a week, and it would be a better implemented tool for students. Advisory may be beneficial in terms of school-to-student communication; however it should be done once a week rather than three times a week. With advisory being a 35-minute time slot for students to relearn school regulations and participate in activities that aren’t related to academics, students could be doing more useful things with their time. 

Although the current advisory schedule was implemented to protect students from COVID-19, the new advisory schedule has lunches that are still full, and classrooms themselves could be superspreaders during the advisory lessons. The advisory schedule makes no difference in limiting student contact compared to the block lunch schedule. Bringing back block lunch will not only benefit the students in being more productive, but it will also boost their enjoyment in being at school.

For the students’ sake, the block lunch and club schedule should be reinstated in order to establish positive relationships between classmates, teachers, and the school as a whole.