Changes coming to lunch schedules

Lunch lines, unfortunately, usually take too much time from students. The lines outside the cafeteria still go on inside of it.

Evan Kauffman, Reporter

Next year, big changes are being implemented to change the way every high school in the district schedules the hours in their school days..

What has been come to be known as Power Hour or Power-50 (final name is to be determined) has been approved by the district and will take effect in every high school sometime during the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year.

“[It is] a time during the day between fourth and fifth hour for students to see teachers and work on homework,” Clinton Albers, principal, said.

Giving all students time during the middle of the school day to visit teachers eliminates the risk of not being able to make it in for help with assignments or to make up a test before or after school.

Lots of students struggle to find time to come in to their teacher for help in class as they are occupied  before and after school with either a sport or another extracurricular activity.

Any students who don’t need help in class during this hour period, have the time to get lunch as well as to socialize with their friends.

“It will take some time management and responsibility from students,” Albers said.

Olathe South has over 2,200 students; a big challenge following the change is how all of those students will get their food in the one-hour period they are given while also balancing their time for help with schoolwork from their teachers.

“The district is working through strategies in order to feed everyone,” Albers said.

A big concern following this change in schedule is where the time for an hour in the middle of the day is coming from and how this change will affect students on the daily.

“A minute or two will be taken off each class,” Albers said. “[Also] one minute off passing period.”

The schedules for classes have  shifted throughout the week in order to accommodate for the newly made Power Hour.

For example, Thursday block days will have seminar and advisory at the end of the day, with second and fourth hour happening before the extended lunch period, which is also new to the changed schedule.

Advisory will be a section of regular seminar that students are required to use as their time to focus on their IPS, or Individual Plan of Study, which is a program now required to be followed by Kansas law.

Instead of spliting seminar for advisory Albers stated that “We may keep just only seminar… while we start to deliver IPS.”

The idea of the Power Hour seemed farfetched to most teachers until late February when a small group of teachers traveled to Blue Valley Northwest High School to observe their school’s version of the extended lunch, known to them as Husky Halftime.

“I went in thinking ‘What in the world?’,” Laurie Plankers, English teacher, said. “I [left] saying ‘Can we start this fourth quarter?’”

The district has been working hard in the past few weeks to approve and plan for the rapidly developing changes coming to the high schools.

As word is being spread about these upcoming changes to the school day, students have begun to form opinions about the Power Hour as well.

Rithik Madhanna, junior, thinks “it’s great because it gives students an opportunity to talk to teachers.”

But some students are a little more skeptical about the changes, like Haven Meyers, freshman, who is worried “it will be crowded and overwhelming.”