New Granada Schedule Cuts Lunch Unnecessarily

New Granada Schedule Cuts Lunch Unnecessarily

Mia Bartl, Staff

With school back in session, students all over the country will have to, once again, adapt to a predetermined schedule. Before this year, that simply meant waking up a little earlier to get to school on time. However, this year, Granada’s schedule comes with a shortened lunch period. This lunch period is undeniably far too short to serve its purpose and is, as a result, detrimental to student life. 

At 40 minutes a day last year, lunch already went by much too fast for many students, with it taking at least 20 minutes to get through the lunch line. This means that students only had 20 minutes, if that, to eat and socialize before the period was cut. Now, students have a mere 15 minutes to eat. Senior Avery Casselman also insists on a longer lunch in order to allow her to get to class on time, “I have to get to Livermore High for my ROP, and, in the 30 minutes that we get, I find it very hard hard to both get lunch in the long lunch line and get there on time.” By restructuring the lunch period, Granada has not only affected its students’ social lives, but also their ability to get to class on time without sacrificing their time to eat during lunch. 

As a senior myself, I feel inclined to mention a particular disadvantage of the current schedule when applied to those in the senior class. It is a rule at Granda that only seniors are allowed off campus at lunch. Personally, this privilege is something I have looked forward to my entire high school career, and I’m sure countless others have as well. With the shortened lunch period, it is nearly impossible to go off campus for lunch and make it back in time for fourth period.

Mr. Meier offered his sympathy on this issue, “I feel bad for the seniors, who tried to go [off campus], and now they can’t.” This came as a huge disappointment to me and the rest of the senior class, assuredly putting a damper on our senior year. 

The reasoning behind this schedule change mainly concerned the passage of a new California bill, Bill No. 328, which mandates an 8:30 start time. This, obviously, required major schedule changes, with a shortened lunch period added in order to prevent the school day from going even farther into the afternoon than 3:30. However, there is a better way to compensate for the mandated 8:30AM start time without rushing students at lunch and impeding on seniors’ of their long awaited off campus privileges. As of right now, each of the 3 passing periods are 10 minutes long. This, honestly, is excessive. It is possible for virtually any student to walk across campus, from the portables to the 500s, in five minutes or less. Therefore, it makes sense to cut passing periods in half, allowing an extra 15 minutes of wiggle room.

This revision to the schedule, a shorter passing period in exchange for a longer lunch, was posed to five Granada students, Eli Worley (12), Arjun Bhatkhande (11), Grace Blanchard (12), Amaya Orsi (11), and Victor Nascimento (11), and met with a resounding “yes” from all of them. 

With my proposed solution, there are 15 minutes of “wiggle room.” With these additional 15 minutes, there are two options which I believe to be far better than the current schedule. Firstly, you could keep school’s end time at 3:30 and add 15 minutes to lunch, giving students a total of 50 minutes to eat. This way, regardless of the length of the lunch line, a far greater amount, or even all, students would have ample time to enjoy their food and relax before class starts again. The second possibility is to give students a 40 minute lunch period, which functioned well for the majority of students in years passed, and allow school to be released 10 minutes earlier, at 3:20. The benefit to this option is that, for student athletes, practice could begin earlier than before, and, for non-athletes, more time in the afternoon for dinner, homework, and time with their families.

The options I have laid out are reasonable and follow the legal requirements for California high schools. Therefore, it is clear a new schedule is necessary to maintain the  well-being as well as the happiness of students at Granda.