The Lunch Schedule at MHS Must be Reformed

A passing period should be added to the end of lunch in order to reduce students’ stress.


Kim Wei

Many MHS students feel rushed by the lack of a passing period after lunch.

Natalie Lord

When considering returning to in-person school this year, there was one topic on everyone’s mind: what would students do for lunch? In previous years at Mamaroneck High School, most students chose to eat indoors during lunch, easily finding spots to eat in the hallways or stairways in the building. Some students chose to leave and eat outdoors, but during colder months, eating indoors was the first choice for most students.

However, during the COVID-19 pandemic since it wasn’t safe for students to sit in the hallways or cafeteria, MHS encouraged students to leave the building and find outdoors or off-campus options for lunch. This COVID-friendly solution seemed to be a beneficial way for students to stay safe during lunch, and open-campus privileges are appealing to students as well.

Nonetheless, as fun as eating outside or in a restaurant may be, it also poses a problem, since students need to be back in the building and in their next class by the time lunch ends. Students now have to start returning to the building well before the lunch period is over, which takes even more time away from the already limited 46-minute period. “It usually takes me at least ten minutes to get from where I am eating to my next class after lunch,” says Ella Bolger (‘25). She notes that after spending time finding a place to eat, there ends up being “really only 25 minutes of lunch.” Making just a small change to the lunch schedule would be very helpful for students who have to sacrifice a significant amount of their lunch period just to travel between classes and their lunch location.

The lunch period is a very important time for most students because it means a break from schoolwork and a chance to de-stress mid-day. When students don’t have enough time to decompress, it can take a toll on their ability to learn productively for the rest of the day. This mid-day break is an important part of the school day for most students, and reducing the amount of time available for it can have a negative effect. “The time we have for lunch is only enough time to eat, but it doesn’t take into account the time it takes to get to lunch. That doesn’t leave me with a good amount of time to eat and have somewhat of a break from school,” says Samantha Siegel (‘24). Having to worry about being on time for their next class and needing to constantly calculate how much time they have left of lunch is not much of a de-stressor for teenagers who value this break from school.

Furthermore, with the number of students who now use outdoor or off-campus eating options, it takes a lot more time than in previous years to find a less crowded, open seating area for students and their friends to sit down and enjoy their lunch period. For Samantha Vetere (‘23), it takes “lots of time” to find a spot outdoors to eat. “I definitely had more time my freshman year to eat. Being able to eat in the hallways was much more convenient and practical at all times throughout the year.”

Since eating in the hallways is no longer a safe and reasonable option, Mamaroneck High School should make a small change to the lunch schedule and include the same passing period as there is between other classes, before and after lunch. This would greatly help to accommodate the students who now have to spend almost half of their lunch period just traveling to and from their selected lunch spot and would go a long way to alleviate some of students’ everyday stress.