New lunch schedule has benefits, despite student distaste

 Due to the influx of new students this year, DePaul College Prep introduced a new lunch schedule. Instead of having just A and B lunch right after each other, there are now three lunch periods: A, B, and C. A takes place at the start of third period while C takes place at the end of third period. Students who have B period lunch have period three split into two halves, 35 minutes and 35 minutes, with lunch in the middle. 

Students and staff members have different feelings about the new lunch schedules. Principal Dr. Stanton-Anderson believes the switch was necessary. “We graduated a class of 154 people and this year our freshman class was 308. So, we have 150 more students in the building. The kitchen […] is able to produce a lot of food but if we wanted hot food, we needed to give them a chance to cook more frequently and doing just two lunches did not give them enough time to cook.” According to Stanton-Anderson, the dining halls experienced food shortages on some days last year because of the challenges of the schedule.

While the new lunch system is working for the food service staff, Quest, and students alike, it also comes with some difficulties. Dr. Stanton-Anderson notes that this new schedule requires more adults to supervise. People who supervise the lunches include the deans. This year there are two full time deans and two assistant deans. 

Another drawback for some students is that grade levels can not eat together, as they did last year. As Stanton-Anderson said, “The one thing that is different that kids might not like is that last year we did most seniors and juniors, there were a few sophomores, so grade levels could eat together. But, we couldn’t do that this year.” Many students miss last year’s schedule as they could eat with their friends. As junior Claire Stiglicz says, “I like it less than last year because hardly any of my friends are in the same lunches as I am.” 

Although the schedule has drawbacks, it has made preparing food for all students easier. This is because Quest is able to manage the lunches and have time to prepare all of the food. Quest employee Jennifer Tanner explained that she likes the new lunch schedule as now they have more time to prepare lunch for all the students. The three periods system works better than the rush of last year. And as Dr. Stanton-Anderson said, there are no longer food shortages. 

However, the new lunch schedule might not be around for long. After the new academic wing is added on the south end of campus, the lunch schedule could change again, as the new wing will contain a third dining space. Changing the lunch schedule again is not certain, though. Dr. Stanton-Anderson said, “So what we would love to go back to, if Quest can manage, is two lunches instead of three. But we’re not sure if that’s going to work. So we are waiting to see how and what the new wing looks and sounds like.”

Students have different views on the new schedules. Freshman Harper Jordan explained, “It’s definitely good that there aren’t as many people in the same space at once and I like B lunch because it gives me a break from class.” 

It is hard for sports because students with C lunch do not have as much time between lunch and sports to digest. Senior Maddie Fleming explained, “Eating lunch late is hard for school sports but otherwise I have no preference.”

 All in all, the new lunch schedule seems to be working well with both positives and negatives.