4th period lunch reintroduced to increase social distancing amidst COVID-19

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In an effort to avoid congestion in the cafeteria, fourth band has been programmed as a lunch period for some students, leaving them without a lunch band on Thursdays when the band drops. 

“When thinking about social distancing and keeping our community safe, we instituted a fourth lunch band,” Assistant Principal Veronica York wrote in an email to the student body on behalf of the THHS administration.

On Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, students who have fourth band lunch eat from 9:47 to 10:37 a.m. The schedule changes on Fridays, where lunch occurs from 10:40 to 11:30 instead. However, students with this lunch band do not have a designated lunchtime on Thursdays, since fourth band classes do not meet then due to THHS’s bell schedule, which drops one morning band a day from Monday through Thursday.

To account for this, fourth band lunch students were notified that they can eat during class on Thursdays.

An email sent to fourth band students explained that they can eat during free periods on Thursdays. It added that if they do not have any free periods, they may pick up a “grab and go lunch,” or bring lunch from home to eat in class. Only two students may eat at once in a classroom, and they must put their mask back in place while chewing or in-between eating. 

Sophomore Aysha Huma said, “I honestly think this would be a bit challenging for me because eating while working can be distracting.”

Junior Darian Jimenez shared a different perspective. “I’ve had no issues eating in the classroom. All of my teachers are really understanding.”

Several students also expressed their views on the timing of this additional lunch period. While some have adjusted to their new lunch time, others still are concerned.

Junior Imad Ahmed said,  “It’s too early. Lunch from 9:40 to 10:30 feels more like breakfast 2.0.” 

“4th band lunch has been very inconvenient and is the worst part of my schedule,” said Sophomore Nicolas Lee. 

“At first I didn’t like having lunch so early, but I feel like it works with my schedule,” added Junior Blessing Ogunsola.

The fourth band lunch session also has a significantly smaller number of students than bands six, seven, and eight. Students reported that the cafeteria is not overcrowded during fourth period. However, opinions on COVID-19 safety and precautionary measures during fourth band lunch have varied between students. 

Junior Catherine Fang said, “I feel very safe because there’s some social distancing as we eat.”

“People usually sit with their friends so there really isn’t that much social distancing, but the clusters of friends are pretty spaced out,” said junior Vinesh Holiprosad.

Photo by The Classic Staff