Is Lunch Shorter?

Many students feel like lunch time has been cut short, but has anything changed?


Lauren Wilson, 12, shows her food at the end of the lunch shift. Picture taken by Max Villegas.

Max Villegas, Staff Writer

Along with many of the recent changes to the Freedom High School 2021-2022 school year, an unexpected one has been the length of lunch. Before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down school last year, lunch was 30 minutes long for students. However, since the reopening of school, it feels like lunch time has been cut short.

“I can never finish my lunch on time,” said Lauren Wilson, a senior who regularly packs lunch.

Although each lunch shift is 30 minutes long, the 30 minutes includes dismissal to lunch, and returning back to class.

“We’ve kept all of our lunches and our schedules similar to what it was a year and a half ago,” said Kathryn Koscinski, FHS assistant principal.

But students like Wilson say otherwise.

“It feels shorter, but they dismiss us really early,” Wilson said. “I get back to my class way before the bell rings,” Wilson said.

In reality, students are only allotted roughly 20-25 minutes to actually eat. Lunch is the only official break all students have to eat and hang out with their friends. As a former teacher, Koscinski empathizes with student’s feelings.

“I totally get that, that part of it, and wanting to have that chance to relax,” Koscinski said.

In addition to what feels like a shorter lunch, there is also no longer a 10 minute break between first and second block. The 10 minute break was designed for students to grab breakfast from the cafeteria.

“We have 2100 students, so if you’re trying to supervise and keep everyone safe, then that would be really hard to do,” Koscinski said.

With only six minutes between classes and a less than 30 minute lunch break, students don’t necessarily have scheduled break time in their daily schedule.

“I think if they are gonna get rid of the 10 minutes, it should be added to our lunch, so that we have 40 minutes for lunch,” Wilson said.

Creating a lunch shift that is closer to 40 minutes could potentially give students a full 30 minutes, because it builds in time for dismissal to and from lunch.

To help improve the length of lunch, Ms. Koscinski has a request: “I wish students would clean up their mess. The reason why we have to let you out earlier is some kids leave an intentional mess.”

If students work together to help out with lunch clean-up, then a full 30 minutes could become a reality.