Students Share their Views on Lunch during COVID-19

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Students eat lunch at their desks following CDC social distancing guidelines.

Audrey Whitfield, Staff Writer

Students at Monroe-Woodbury High School that are participating in the hybrid learning model are required to eat lunch in the cafeteria.

The school follows CDC guidelines put in place to keep students safe: desks are placed six feet apart; each desk and chair are cleaned between periods; and students are required to remain seated during lunch.

Sophomore Kaelise Santiago said “I feel like the cafeteria is doing a good job keeping everyone socially distanced. The chairs are a good length apart, so that if you reach over, you don’t touch anyone near you.” 

Santiago said that she believes the cafeteria staff is doing a good job checking if everyone has their masks on when they aren’t eating, and making sure kids wear their masks when they go to get lunch. 

Maeve Cassidy, also a sophomore, stated that she believes the school is handling lunch very well. She doesn’t buy lunch from the school, so she can’t speak on behalf of that experience, but she feels safe taking off her mask to eat. 

Maeve sees the lunch monitors wiping down desks when she arrives at lunch, because she is one of the first students to show up to the cafeteria.

“I also think that when the period is over, we are let out in a very effective way,” said Cassidy. 

“My overall view on how the school is handling our lunches during this pandemic would be described as disciplined,” said Junior Jessica Sullivan. “Everything seems to be run in an orderly fashion, with restrictions to keep students safe.” 

Jessica feels like the school is handling lunch very well because security and other adults in the building constantly emphasize the need to keep your mask on while standing and moving around, there are posters on the walls with the rules clearly stated, and they keep students spaced out and place them in selected rows. 

Santiago said that she believes that by telling students to eat quickly, the school can make lunch more efficient and safe.

“We don’t want a whole period where everyone eating lunch doesn’t have a mask on because that would defeat the purpose,” said Santiago.

The faster students eat, the faster they can put on their masks again. This will limit the amount of students not wearing a mask. 

Cassidy stated that she has no problems with the way the school is handling lunch, so she doesn’t have any suggestions to make it safer. 

Santiago stated that she thinks checking students schedules to make sure they are in their assigned cafeteria is a good idea, because they don’t want people from one cafeteria to be around students from the other. 

Leila Thornton, a sophomore, stated that she thinks checking schedules is annoying, but she understands why they are doing it. 

Sophomore Janiya Sanchez agreed.

“I think it’s smart and very helpful,” said Sanchez.