In the year of 2014-2015, Kennedy High School started doing an 80 minute Lunch called SMART Lunch with the intention of making lunch more helpful to students. For some students, it has been known to work. Teachers and students have different stories about this new addition.
SMART Lunch takes place during the lunch period in the middle of the day. Students get 80 minutes for it. They can use half of the time to eat and the other half to go to a classroom and get work done or get help from a teacher. Students can also go to the IMC when they’re not eating and do what they need to in there.
Principal Jason Kline said that next year we will be having SMART Lunch still and it will probably still be after fourth hour as well.
Kline said, “It’s been effective for a majority of our students, it has been less effective for a smaller portion of our students, so our focus next year is looking at policies, procedures, and practices that we engage in that will ensure that more students get more out of it.”
Kline said that there will be tighter procedures and rules about SMART Lunch next year “with the focus on preserving the core concept that you as a student can make choices about where you go and what you do.”
“I’ve had a lot of people come to tutorials,” Project Lead the Way and Wood Tech Teacher Marty Labs said.
Labs said that students who were behind in his class either due to absences or activities went to his tutorials to finish their work “that would not have probably otherwise gotten done” without SMART Lunch.
Labs added, “Some of them did see improvements in grades.”
Labs also said that SMART Lunch should go on next year. He said you have to give any systemic change more than a year before you see full implementation of it.
He said it would take several years before you see “truly improved” results from it.
“So I say yes, continue to do it, continue to harp on kids, continue to drive them to do the right thing, and eventually you should see a cultural change that is for the better,” Labs said.
“You’re given 80 minutes during the day where you don’t have to go to a class just to listen to a teacher talk. Do something useful with it,” Labs added.
Philip Ferrante, Teacher of Video Game Marketing and Design, Financial Literacy, and Accounting said he had about seven to twelve students per SMART Lunch session.
“If it’s a project, I have quite a bit more than if it’s just makeup assignments,” Ferrante said.
Ferrante said that his tutorials have been effective for his students.
“I see strong correlation of those who come in, their grade does go up…it’s a very strong correlation,” Ferrante said.
Ferrante also said that he thinks SMART Lunch should go on next year.
“I think it’s just like anything else, it’s going to take some time to work the kinks out, some revisions, some communication to make things run more smoothly all the way around, but I like the potential for it and I’ve seen a lot of good things with it, so I’m interested in keeping it going and revising and making it better next year,” Ferrante said.
Titan Zahradnik, fr., said that he has been to about 20 tutorials throughout this year.
“My grade…has benefited from when I went to them, but it really depends on if you go or not because if you go then yes, your grade definitely will benefit from going, but if you don’t go, then it’s not going to help at all,” Zahradnik said.
Zahradnik’s opinion about whether we should have SMART Lunch next year depends on the tutorial attendance this year.
“If a lot of people have gone, then…I say it should go on, but if not a whole lot of people are benefiting from it and they’re not going, then I guess we shouldn’t have it next year,” Zahradnik said.
Brandon Koch, fr., said that he went to a lot of tutorials this year.
“The days when you miss school it really helps to catch up, get back on your homework, and get the points back,” Koch said.
Koch said we should have SMART Lunch next year.
“It definitely helps out a lot, as long as people are using it in a positive manner, then it’s always a good thing to have,” Koch said.