Living environment and chemistry labs during lunch

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This year, students in chemistry and biology classes are now required to complete their labs during their lunch band once a week.

In previous years, labs would take place during zero band, which started at 7:30. This change was partially due to the new block schedule, which made zero band start 15 minutes earlier at 7:15. Since students were already struggling to make it to class at 7:30 due to commute times and public transportation delays, the school administration decided that chemistry and biology labs would take place during lunch bands instead. Assistant Principal of Organization and Physical Education/Health Ellen Fee said,“We needed to start the day earlier at 8:00 am to accommodate the new longer periods. That bumped zero band to also be earlier in the day, so we moved as many zero band science labs to the middle of the day, mostly Chemistry and Biology.”

The purpose of the new schedule is to meet the students needs and at the same time maximize the time in the classrooms. By making the bands fifty minutes long, students will be able to receive more in-class instruction and help from their teachers.

Although this takes away from their lunch times, teachers are supposed to let their students eat during or before the lab.

Underclassmen have mixed feelings on the schedule change. Sophomore Anindita Bhattacharjee, who takes chemistry, said, “[Lunch] is one period in which people can actually eat, relax, and take a break from class before they have to get back into study mode” but one day a week she loses that break time.

On the other hand, students have claimed that they are able to get more sleep without waking up earlier for zero band. Joshua Ashvil, another sophomore taking chemistry, said, “I like the lunch bands used for labs because I don’t like waking up earlier than I have to”.

“Last year approximately 1100 students began their day before 8:00 am at least once a week,” Ms. Fee stated. “This year approximately 700 students begin their day before 8:00 am at least once a week. I believe this is an improvement for both [students and teachers].”

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