New Lunch Cycles Confuse Students


Parkhurst lunch staff prepare for the day’s lunch rush.

With the start of the 2021-2022 McQuaid school year, the administration has introduced lunch cycles to the schedule, and some students and faculty are finding them confusing.

The lunch cycle’s purpose is to help spread out the student body, while also efficiently allowing the students to purchase and eat lunch.

To understand these new additions, we first need to understand the process behind the building of a schedule. 

Principal Adam Baber explained, “Mr. Serafine begins building the master schedule in April of the prior school year.” The schedule format is decided on before the summer even starts, which can lead to complications with COVID-19 guidelines.

Due to the constantly shifting landscape that is the medical world, schools waited on last-minute decisions from the state to understand how their school year would function. The decision for these lunch cycles was a preemptive decision, rather than a reaction.

McQuaid has never had a dedicated cycle for lunch, and its first attempt at one has left some confused.

The new lunch cycles are depicted on a diagram.

A student’s lunch is determined by his third class of the day.

Depending on what lunch group the student is in, and what cycle it is (Arrupe, Loyola, or Xavier), lunch can either occur before, after, or in the middle of the third period. 

This new schedule has fallen under criticism from the student body and teachers alike. Some teachers find it hard to keep up momentum with lunches splitting the class, and students find it difficult to know where they need to go and when. 

McQuaid theology teacher Ms. Elizabeth Pietropaoli said, “I found that it’s hard to keep momentum in the class when we have to break for lunch. Because when they come back, they are all tired after just eating and it’s hard to get going again.”

Students also find the new schedule confusing, with constant questions on what lunch they need to go. Going to the third lunch is particularly hard on students because they go to three periods before they get to eat and receive a break. 

This new schedule is a big change in the way McQuaid functions, and many are waiting to see if this is a permanent change or a preliminary one.