Let's Talk About Lunch & Learn
Lunch and Learn is a concept that was rolled out at WCASD high schools in fall 2022. The stated goals (see page 45) are:
1. Provide daily enrichment and intervention opportunities for students.
2. Ensure that all students have time for lunch.
3. Ensure that all teachers have regular and embedded PLC time, allowing our teachers to collaborate on best practices in our classrooms.
You can find out some of the statistics on Lunch and Learn here.
Or, you can drive past one of the high schools at approximately 10:40am and see for yourself.
This author happened to be driving by Henderson at exactly this time. There were so many students leaving the building that I thought it must an early dismissal day. But when I didn't see any busses on campus, I attributed the exodus of student to a fire drill.
But no. This just was a normal school day with students exiting the building for Lunch and Learn (L&L). Throngs of students headed to their cars, while a lesser number of students--the ones without vehicles--headed to McDonald's, Wawa, and Dairy Queen on foot.
(Juniors and Seniors are permitted to leave campus during Lunch and Learn, study halls, and their scheduled lunch period. If you're lucky enough to have lunch and/or study hall immediately before or after Lunch and Learn, you're able to leave campus for approximately 70 consecutive minutes.)
This mass exodus made me wonder what is really happening during Lunch and Learn?
Based on the fact that:
61 percent of students are using L&L to socialize;
47 percent are using L&L to de-stress;
35 percent are using L&L to eat;
26 percent are using L&L for athletics, clubs, or activities, very few students are using this time on academics (26 percent) or to meet with teachers (19 percent).
Something is very wrong when 75 percent of WCASD freshman are not proficient in math but only 20 to 25 percent of students are using this Lunch and Learn period for academics.
If our district is serious about helping kids to "achieve their personal best" then perhaps we need the district to set measurable goals for Lunch and Learn. We need hard data on:
which students needs to catch up;
how big of a gap we need to bridge and in which subjects;
when and how and when this will happen;
and we need to see feedback and results (not just survey data, which is subjective) to accurately measure results.