Lunchroom Lockdown: The Permanent Change to the Cafeteria That No One’s Talking About

A typical third block bellring at Woodland brings with it a bustling series of lunch waves; each flooding the hallways with lively students, eager to get to class or simply enjoy a meal with their friends.

Alternatively, this twenty-minute interval at the epicenter of the school day allows students lacking a Study Hall to communicate and collaborate with teachers during school hours. Recently, however, this way of life for those with tight schedules has come into question.

While the change has not yet been implemented into the student handbook, teachers have recently been notified that students are not allowed to exit the cafeteria during their lunch waves with their food on hand.

In previous years, a simple switch of plastic to paper tray was enough to carry your meal out the doorway. However, this change comes in an attempt to prevent uncooperative students from roaming around to different areas of the building, as well as keep Woodland cleaner.

“Once you’re in the cafeteria, we don’t want any food leaving,” states Principal Ogren. “We had an issue in the past where it was becoming pervasive, and too many students were leaving the cafeteria… for a lot of reasons, including cleanliness, we don’t want food leaving.”

While this regulation may circumvent these issues, students may become stressed having to balance their meal and schoolwork midday. To remedy this, Principal Ogren recommends those students snack whenever possible, and eat quickly at the beginning of lunch to free up exclusive teacher-time at the end of the block.

“You have twenty-five minutes to eat lunch, so the reality is you can either eat quicker, so you eat for fifteen minutes, then leave, but… we leave it up to teacher discretion on whether kids can snack.”

These changes look to be “pretty permanent”, according to Ogren, meaning that students must change the way in which they handle their school day. Emailing teachers via Schoology, as well as getting passes to classrooms whenever possible, are all effective means to adjust to this development.

Either way, third block lunch waves are now far less scattered and hectic: for better or for worse.

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