ASD drops lunch period for returning middle and high school students
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - When Anchorage middle and high school students return to the classroom on March 15, they’ll find something different about their day; not only is it shorter by half an hour, but there is no longer a period for lunch.
Kersten Johnson, Director of Secondary Education, said the decision to eliminate the lunch period for secondary schools this year was made for several reasons, including having enough time to focus on academics.
“Especially for secondary that’s been out all year, and we are just getting back to face-to-face instruction for fourth quarter,” she said. “Every minute counts for us, and we really want to maximize that time for them.”
Johnson said COVID-19 precautions were also part of the decision. High school campuses will be closed this year, meaning students can’t leave for lunch. Johnson said having large groups of students eating in the cafeteria wouldn’t be safe.
“Obviously we are trying to keep groups of kids in smaller, not the large gatherings that you normally have during a lunch hour at secondary. Typically, if you are in a high school or middle school there’s anywhere from a couple hundred to the whole school kind of gathering for lunch.”
But students will still be able to eat during the day. Johnson said the District will offer a prepackaged snack that students can consume in the classroom during a 15-minute break in late morning. They can also pick up a lunch to take home with them when they go. The meals are available and free to students who attend schools that are enrolled in the national school lunch program.
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