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Virginia Beach high schools are trying to maximize lunch time

Virginia Beach schools are considering 'One Lunch' for high school students. It condenses 4 lunch periods into one allowing students to have the freedom to scatter throughout the building.

VIRGINIA BEACH — VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WVEC) -- Lunchtime at the high school level should be more than just eating sloppy Joes and conversing with friends, according to Virginia Beach Public Schools.

This past April high schools experimented with a new concept called One Lunch.

“This is the first time I’ve ever seen an initiative introduced during the school year where teachers and students were both fully on board with it, and fully in support of it,” said Salem High School Principal Matthew Delaney. “Really what we are trying to do is maximize the opportunities during the school day while students are in the building to meet all of their needs. One lunch is a way to provide that for us.”

Currently, schools like Salem High School have four lunch periods that last 30 minutes each. One Lunch would be the only 50-minute lunch period, which all students would attend. During that time students have the freedom to scatter throughout the school building, no one is confined to the cafeteria.

“Tutoring, makeup work, socialization, get involved in the clubs, and do some of the extracurricular activities that you can’t always do at the end of the day,” said Delaney.

Green Run High School Senior, Alex Rose, said it’s nice not having to choose between an after-school job and a social club.

“A lot of the chorus has been doing their rehearsals during One Lunch, and I feel a lot of them have said that its wonderful because they don’t have to come in after school and do it,” said Rose.

She also said it’s convenient to know that teachers are almost always available to provide extra help.

“It’s just easier to find them because you never know where a teacher is when we had our old lunch schedule,” said Rose.

First Colonial Senior, Shar-ron Bass, said he likes that students get to make their own decisions on how to spend their time.

“With that extra 50 minutes, no teacher on your back, nobody telling you-you have to do this, you have to do that, you get that choice to basically say, ‘well I’m going to do my work at this time,’ or ‘I’m going to do my work at that time,’” said Bass.

If a student just wants to read a book in the library, shoot hoops in the gym, or stay in the cafeteria and talk with friends, that’s ok too.

“And many of them just appreciated the fact that they could gather with their classmates that they don’t always get to see during lunchtime,” said Delaney.

Virginia Beach Public Schools administration is looking into different ways to implement this One Lunch period and it could take effect as early as the next school year.

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