Free lunch hour

Instead of  30 minutes stuck in the cafeteria, Patuxent High (Maryland) students get a free hour — anywhere in the school — for lunch, clubs, tutoring or relaxing, reports the Washington Post.

. . . the middle-of-the-day burst of freedom has increased club participation, taught time management skills and given stressed-out students time to chill.

Previously, students needing extra help had to arrive early in the morning or stay after school. Often, that meant they didn’t get the help they needed, (Principal Nancy) Highsmith said.

Now teachers use the first or second half of the hour-long lunch break to stage interventions. They teach, tutor and mentor students who receive low scores on national or state standardized tests, fail classes required for graduation or would simply benefit from individual attention.

At Blake High School in Silver Spring, Principal Carole Goodman gives students a 50-minute free lunch period.

For more than eight years, Blake students have been allowed to eat anywhere, meet with clubs, catch up on work, retake tests and even skateboard in the parking lot.

If teachers are tutoring students during the lunch hour, do they get any free lunch time for themselves?

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