Students face congestion during lunch


Jordyn Gates

WAITING. Keeping busy, students check their phones and visit while waiting in the unusually long lunch lines. The school year started with increased congestion due in part to a change from six lunch shifts to four lunch shifts.

Story by Jordyn Gates, Reporter

Students have faced congestion in the lunchroom for over 20 minutes during the first weeks of school. Junior Martin Dieckman feels that the students in the lunchroom barely have any time to eat. 

“Whenever I finally get through the 20 minute line, I only have a few minutes to scarf my food down,” Dieckman said. “It’s not just me doing it either, everyday I see my peers doing the exact same thing.”

There are approximately 363 students in each of the four lunch shifts. Students crowd the lunch room waiting inside and around to get their food. Junior Lexi Moore brings her lunch to school and observes the line everyday. 

“I normally bring my own lunch from home and today I was watching the line,” Moore said. “It went all the way down across the breeze way and almost all the way down the stairs.”

Assistant Principal Tracie Gramkow is in charge of lunch shifts. She and the administrative team are continuing to problem solve the congestion.

“We have changed layouts, how lines work, and how lunch is served. In addition we have added tables,” Ms. Gramkow said in an email. “During the second week of school, we met with lunch staff to discuss improvements as we move forward. We also changed some of the shifts and moved when classes eat lunch to attempt to alleviate shifts that seemed to have the most challenges.” 

The lunch shifts changed from six lunch shifts last year (two freshman shifts and four high school schifts) to four lunch shifts with all grades mixed together this year. In addition, all students receive free lunches this year and there is still only 20 minutes allotted for each lunch shift. Junior Lexi Meredith feels like it’s chaotic and stressful.

“My previous years here, we’ve had more shifts compared to now. My freshman year we had five or six shifts and now we only have four.” Meredith said. “I think we need to go back to having the freshmen getting their own shift.” 

With the passage of the 2021 bond and levy transfer, kitchen renovations are planned throughout the district’s schools. This may help with the planning of lunch shifts, but renovations are not scheduled to start at the high school until the summer of 2023.