Two and a half years ago our school got an announcement. The following school year we would comply with the peculiar idea of SMART lunch. SMART lunch enabled us 80 minutes to do anything from getting help from teachers to going out to eat with our friends. Next we found out that for the 2015-2016 school year, the time would drop to 60 minutes. And this year, SMART lunch was replaced with a lame imposter—SMART time.
This recent change takes valuable time away from students who previously saw the time as a precious opportunity to get their homework done before a full night of activities, make up tests or quizzes, or just take a break throughout the day. There are students who play intramural sports, attend meetings for Iowa BIG and Kirkwood classes, and have many other priorities that get done due to the extra time. Also, teachers used this time as an opportunity to lend help to students and also grade.
SMART time is a 30-minute period between 2nd and 3rd hour for students to attend a tutorial or study. This lame replacement ripped away SMART lunch and just doesn’t cut it.
Instead of cutting SMART lunch completely, there should have been options explored that allowed students to keep this time. The SMART time schedule allows a small number of specific rooms each day where students are allowed to work quietly. A proposed alternative to fixing the problem of no space with an overload of students would be to use the specific quiet room schedule for SMART lunch. Students hover in the cafeteria because there is nowhere to eat while doing homework except for a few rare classrooms. This change would decrease the number of students in the cafeteria while maintaining control.
The loss of 30 minutes is extra homework at night as students get home late from work or activities and therefore lose 30 minutes of sleep. This loss of 30 minutes is a loss of social interaction that is necessary for a student’s social health. This loss of 30 minutes is less help for a student who is struggling. The loss of 30 minutes means so much more than just a change in the schedule.