Looking closer at Walton CSD’s new high school lunch

This year, the Walton Central School District changed its high school lunch period. For 2019-20, it’s one period that is a bit longer in total time. This was done largely to alleviate scheduling problems in classes taught by teachers who are shared between the high school and middle school.
There have been some questions posed about the lunch period and WCS wants to clear up any rumors.
If anybody should have any more questions, please contact the high school office at 607-865-4116, ext. 6155. 
Q: What is the lunch process?
A: The schedule changed this year to one high school lunch. Ninth-grade students can interact with classmates in the high school gym for the first 15 minutes, while students in 10-12 go through the lunch line. When freshmen enter after 15 minutes, older students are allowed to leave at their own discretion and interact with their classmates in the gym. The only students who have been told to remain in the cafeteria are freshmen, so we can ensure they get ample time to eat.  
Q: Do students have enough time to eat lunch?
A: We have actually extended lunch for high school students because of the number of students eating. This year, lunch was extended to 33 minutes. Freshmen get roughly 20-22 minutes of that each day, while grades 10-12 can utilize the full time. Our observations last year showed that, in most cases, this was ample time for students to eat their lunch.
Q: Is there enough room so students aren’t forced to stand and eat?
A: Although some students may choose to stand to talk with friends, there are no students standing because of limited space. In fact, we have had open tables during every high school lunch this year.
Q: Are students being watched and told to leave the cafeteria when they finish eating?
A: The lunch monitors have never been directed to monitor students when they are close to being finished in order to send them out of the cafeteria. Students are given ample time to eat and are not forced to leave the cafeteria. Going to the gym to be with friends is a student choice.
Q: Are students being told to throw out what they cannot finish?
A: We do try to limit students leaving the cafeteria with snacks such as ice cream and chips. But we have never told a student they had to throw out their lunch because they couldn’t finish. We also have not had anybody not finish in the time allowed.
Q: Is social time for students being taken away?
A: Students have the same opportunities to socialize with their peers as in previous years during lunch.

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