In the lense: Crowded cafeteria


Jared Heidemann

Zandra Spiker

SMART Lunch was introduced in the 2017-2018 school year.  It features an hour long lunch from 11:15 to 12:15 with two separate sections, lunch A and lunch B.  Students can choose when to eat lunch or when to get extra help from teachers. According to some students, when SMART Lunch is not used properly, there is often overcrowding in the cafeteria. 

Freshman Elisabeth Pumphrey is one of those students.

“Upperclassmen have the ability to leave for lunch, which makes it easier to find places to sit, but at the same time, everyone wants to eat at 11:16, and then there isn’t enough seats for everyone,” said Pumphrey. 

Principal Adam Beckel is optimistic about the issue, not seeing any major red flags with the program. 

“It gets pretty full, but it seems like the students are responding pretty well to it,” said Beckel.  “People find a place to sit whether it be outside or somewhere else to destress and just take a break.”

Although tight seating may be an issue at the moment, according to Beckel, the issue is short-term. 

“My initial thought is that people may not have a lot of makeup work to do yet because it’s pretty early in the year. It makes me wonder if people are being intentional about signing up for iLearns and being where they should be to get some extra help. Not every kid who’s sitting there at lunch has all A’s, and maybe some of them should be getting extra help.”

Beckel believes it is too early to determine whether changes need to be made to the iLearn program. 

“No changes will be made at this time,” said Beckel.  “We’re not going to jump on anything right away and do something we don’t find necessary. We wouldn’t make a change without getting feedback from students, teachers, parents, people involved. If people enjoy what we’re doing and it’s effective, there’s no need for change.”