With new break come new consequences


This year, in order to give clubs enough time to hold bake sales, break has been reduced by 5 minutes

Aafreen Ali, Staff Writer

Food. It is the heart of human interactions, and is the reason for scheduling changes at Jefferson this year. Instead of having a 15 minute period between seventh period and 8A, this year marks the beginning of a ten minute passing time between seventh period and 8A and a 15 minute break between 8A and 8B. The schedule change came about in response to American public school nutritional guidelines. These restrictions limit what food schools can sell during the day based on nutritional value and would limit what clubs could sell at fundraisers during school hours. In response to this, Dr. Ann Bonitatibus worked to move break back to between 8A and 8B because eighth period is for clubs and therefore technically outside the normal school day. The change gave clubs more time to sell snacks that do not need to follow the nutrition guidelines.

However, while this action allows students to consume sweet goods during school hours, it also has a number of negative consequences. The break between 7th and 8th period was the most logical schedule for the day because it emphasized the end of the school day and marked the beginning of the enjoyable club period. It gave students time to relax and switch from the “stressing about grades” time to the “time to relax and pursue interests” time, essentially acting as a mental break for students. 

But now that break is between 8A and 8B, students no longer have such a luxury, especially since we now have the regular passing time of ten minutes between 7th and 8A.  That mental break was something many students depended on, especially if they had had a stressful day and were looking forward to eighth period as a time to relax and spend time with friends while doing the things they enjoyed.

The regular passing period is also often not enough time to make it from 7th period to A block. I personally now have to scramble to remember where I’m supposed to go for A block and run, which can be hard especially if the 7th period class in question is stressful. It also does not account for other circumstances that may occur, such as if your eighth period is cancelled and you need to go change it at the eighth period office. If your eighth period is on the other side of the building from your seventh period class, it will take a minimum of five minutes to get across the school. All these circumstances add up to almost no time to destress, bringing stress into the eighth period environment and essentially defeating the purpose of it.

Regardless of the delicious benefits students gained from this change, the mental break that students once depended on has still disappeared. This is a high-stress school environment and sometimes, students need breaks to switch gears, turn off the “tiger student” mindset, and be able to enjoy themselves.