Bells Signal Change

All-School lunch, tardy policies and bells are big changes.


Javier Packer

Jacob Kauer (10) navigates the crowded lunch room during the first all-school lunch. “It can be a bit crowded, but it’s ok.” said Kauer, who recently moved from Arizona.

At the beginning of the year, students are assigned A and B lunches based on their 3rd block teacher.  As a result, many students don’t have the same lunch as their friends. Every Wednesday, the activity and late start schedules provided an opportunity to switch to all school lunches. “With different lunches, I think some of the kids end up eating alone because their friends have a separate lunch than they do, and this is something I don’t like,” said Principal Tracie Cormaney.  “So when we started to play around with the schedule a little bit, we thought we would just try all-school lunches on Wednesdays to see how it works.”

For some students, the change is a relief in their normal schedule, a chance to go off campus with the longer lunch period, and a chance to eat with their friends. With the impending switch to daily All-School lunches on October 24, students expressed their opinions. Nathan George (12) said, “I would really enjoy all-school lunches daily.” The switch to daily all-school lunches won’t effect some student. Kiera Johnson (10) said, “I won’t be bothered by it. I’m ok with all-school lunches being daily.” 

For students who stay on-campus for lunch, there are some drawbacks, Echo Luna (9) said, “[All school lunches] are very stupid, it’s way too crowded and the lines get too long.” Echo thinks that separated lunches would be better because it isn’t as crowded and loud in the lunchroom. You can get your lunch and still have time to sit down and eat. Edda Gilbert (12) “[All school lunches are] loud and difficult to be around.” Gilbert thinks that all school lunches are difficult for large friend groups and that they feel compelled to escape off-campus. Leaving campus during lunch is only allowed for sophomores, juniors and seniors. According to the October 17 Week at the Creek newsletter, starting on Monday, October 24, schedules will change to incorporate all-school lunches daily. 

Bells to signal the beginning and end of classes is another change. In the past 25 years, no bells rang at Pine Creek. Students would either look at the clocks in classrooms, check the time on their phone or wait until the teacher looks at the clock to dismiss students. But how does having school bells help you focus more in class rather than on the clock? Courtney Olsen (10) “It really doesn’t help me because when I am in class and I am working on an assignment I look at the clock to see how much time I have so I could start packing up instead of packing up after the bell rings.” Principal Cormaney decided to make the change because, “The ringing of the bells allows kids to know when they are late to class, It allows teachers to know when to mark kids tardy, and allows teachers to let kids out at the end of class consistently.”

The system seems to be working. Attendance Dean, Brian Martin said, “We have seen a noticeable difference in the urgency of kids to get to class.” A new tardy incentive program may be behind that urgency. The incentive program offers students who have had no tardies in a two-week period the chance to win one of 10 gift cards.  They are also entered into the grand prize drawing for each quarter. The first quarter winner, Kenneth Linse (9), received the grand prize of a JBL Charge 5 personal bluetooth speaker.