Off-Campus Lunch for JJ Pearce Upperclassmen

Off-Campus Lunch for JJ Pearce Upperclassmen

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Students of JJ Pearce High School started this petition to Principal Michael Evans

For the longest time, students at JJ Pearce High school have had short lunch periods with limited cafeteria options. We have not ever been presented with the option to leave for off-campus lunch and are disallowed from leaving campus or having food delivered. It is presumed that the campus disallows open campus policies due to liability, though through much research, it seems most parents would willingly consent to allowing their child to leave campus.

Benefits of an Open Campus:

Open Campus Lunch: A simple concept that even most adults might have experienced in the past, open campus lunch allows students to leave the school campus on a break to have lunch outside.

1. Extra Time
Schools handle lunch differently in general, which makes a huge difference on how open campus lunch works. Some provide a short period of only minutes, specifically half of a class period, which will be almost impossible for students to leave and come back. However, others may give students long lunch periods, like an hour, which are likely perfect for this policy.

2. Opportunity to Learn Responsibility and Interaction
Open campus lunch is observed to have taught students to be able to interact with the world and be more responsible in certain ways that are closer to how adults do it. Well, they have to communicate with other people when they go to the bank and then to the dining establishment, which is really helpful to their learning even if it is just quick.

3. More Nutritious, Healthier and Better Tasting Food Options
While the food that can be found within walking distance might not be the healthiest, it can offer more choices to students, which are good for those who want a varied diet. Also, not all school lunches are the same, and some providers are poorly doing their job with how they cook and prepare their dishes. Aside from lacking certain nutrients, they are not always cooked well or even palatable. On the other hand, when children are allowed to leave for lunch, they will have more opportunities to eat healthy.

4. Faith and Trust in Students on Managing Their Own Time
This policy requires schools to place their trust in their students on accordingly managing their time, teaching them an important skill for college and employment in the future—time management. Plus, when schools put their full faith on their students, they will feel empowered to make the right decisions for their future. As a result, they would do better at their studies. As individual responsibility is often seen to lack in students, an open campus lunch can provide them with just that.

5. Overall Increase in Morale
It is a well-known fact that, generally, students don't necessarily look forward to school. As stated earlier in pro number one, students need more time to foster a creative break from the energy draining desk work school will often provide. An extended lunch would generally make students much happier and supportive of their school's choices.

Proposed Changes:

  • Extended time for lunch, typically ranging between 45 minutes to an hour. This would generally improve morale.
  • Ability to leave campus with a transportation card, provided to upperclassmen students who pay a fee and receive parental consent. This could not only gain revenue for the school, but also can be controlled based on a student's grades, attendance or test scores.
  • Replacement of advisory (enacted to give students study time due to poor STAAR scores) with a mandatory class for students who repeatedly fail STAAR tests. Advisory is not necessary for everyone. With an extended lunch, students could accomplish classwork in this period rather than advisory.

 

We understand the concern with students who may not return or liability, but this can simply be controlled and prevented with the proposed changes above. We already have ID badges, they could very easily have a seal added to them for open campus transportation. This is an issue we hope to work with our administration team on and hope to have enacted.

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