The official student news site of Athens Drive High School


The official student news site of Athens Drive High School


The official student news site of Athens Drive High School


Bring back SMART lunch

Photos by Rose Luck
The clock symbolizes traffic caused by cars and lunch lines that occur with the limited amount of lunch time we currently have.

Every lowerclassmen waits for the year when they finally get an off-campus pass and are able to go off campus for lunch. Whether the excitement comes from getting food or simply sitting in your car during lunch, that joyous feeling comes to an end when you realize you are going to be late to class… again. 

The Athens Drive everyday schedule and ‘Drive Time’ schedule make both A and B lunch 34 minutes long. However, upperclassmen have an extra five minutes before the bell rings to grant them “enough time” to go off campus and make it back in time. Having such a short lunch and expecting everyone to be back to class on time is illogical. Having a longer lunch would be much more beneficial.

Students rush to their cars for lunch, traffic ensues, lines are long and when they finally make it back to school, there is no time to eat. Students usually have to bring their food to class, which is strictly not allowed by certain teachers. Teachers believe that bringing food to class will be a distraction to other students and they will not be as focused on the lesson.

This year Athens Drive started going by a new exam exemption policy for seniors. This policy states a student must have a grade higher than a B and have 10 or fewer absences. But it takes 16 tardies in a class period to get a two-day O.S.S., which counts as two absent days in the PowerSchool attendance system.

“It will take a lot of tardies to get removed from senior exam exemptions. The way the policy is written depends on their attendance, and if they reach the full consequence of the Tardy Policy, it is possible that tardies can impact Senior Exempt,” said Ryan Piccolo, assistant principal.

While having 16 tardies is a hard task it is still possible. Another issue with our lunchtime now is that the lunch lines are so long. People tend to still be in the lunch line five minutes before the bell to go to class rings, this leads to people still needing to eat and will go the rest of the day hungry.

Before covid, Athens had a lunch called “SMART lunch”. Essentially SMART lunch was both lunch A and B combined into an hour-long lunch. It was that way so people could eat, study, socialize, attend club meetings during the day, get tutored, or ask for assistance and help from staff.

How perfect would that be? Not as perfect as we imagined, during SMART lunch students wouldn’t use their time wisely. When students finished eating they would have nothing to do and that’s when it would happen. On top of that, all juniors and seniors with passes would go off campus at the same time causing tons of traffic. 

According to an old Athens Oracle article titled, “Altercations at lunch cause staff to threaten lunch,” that was published during the time of SMART lunch. The article states that there were four altercations in the 50-minute lunch period. As a result, SMART lunch was officially canceled. 

In the past SMART lunch didn’t work out for Athens, I believe the benefits outweigh the bad decisions others made during that time. Having longer lunchtimes will shorten classes and can give students time to get involved with the school by going to club meetings during the day. Students will have time to eat, and teachers will have time to decompress and plan for the rest of the day. 

Having longer lunch in the past was a privilege, there are good and bad consequences for extending lunch. If we were to obtain the privilege we would have to prove that we as a school can handle it. I think that Athens Drive should start having SMART lunch again because it can be beneficial to students and staff. We can try to introduce it by having it once a week to see if they may change the schedule to the old ways one day.

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