When the bell rings for lunch at Hebron High School, hundreds of students are set free to take care of business. Most educators would be terrified of this idea, but not HHS Principal Scot Finch and his team.
Instead of a structured 25-minute lunch, HHS students have an hour to eat, study and/or participate in a variety of staff-monitored clubs and activities - it’s called “Block Lunch.”
The hour is divided into two 30-minute blocks of time during which tutorials are held and clubs meet.
HHS administrators learned about the concept by visiting other Lewisville ISD campuses who utilize Block Lunch, including Lewisville High School. The HHS team headed to the campuses to see for themselves how it worked, as well as learn from fellow LISD students, staff and administrators.
“Block Lunch has been a great way for our students to get more plugged in,” Assistant Principal Jacob Garlinger stated. “From the tutoring sessions offered to the opportunities to be a part of just about any club on campus, it’s worked well in giving students more choice in their school day and opportunities to be successful.”
HHS’ Building Leadership Team originally wanted to be able to better serve those students who struggle to get to school early or stay after school for tutoring and clubs.
After visiting other campuses in April and May 2014, seeing how Block Lunch benefitted all students – and hearing the positive words those campuses had to say – HHS decided to start putting a plan together for Block Lunch.
“Block Lunch is helpful to allow our students more opportunities to get involved in co-curricular organizations and clubs they normally wouldn’t have the opportunity to take part in since the majority is done during the school day now,” HHS Assistant Principal Dedrick Buckels stated. “Just the fact that they’re able to focus on doing as much homework and activities they would normally do after school – they can knock out so much of it during the day now – and it gives them the opportunity to have more R&R when they get home.”
In addition to their lunch time, students can attend study hall in the library, tutoring with teachers and participate in dozens of clubs and activities offered. From chess club to math tutorials to reading in the hallways and most interests in between, Block Lunch is engaging students and connecting them to the school more than ever.
“I like Block Lunch because on the days we have tests, we can go to the teacher we need to talk to for tutorials,” 11th grader Ashley Bates stated.
Other students agree.
“I can do my homework now instead of after school,” student Alex Vanderheyden stated. “I have volleyball after school, so it is helpful for me to do it now so I have time after school for volleyball and to rest at home.”
Teachers have noticed a difference, too.
“My AP Physics students had a test last Friday, and I had duty in the Cafeteria Annex,” Physics teacher Bill Kuhn stated. “So I held a tutoring session on Thursday for my students there to help them out. I have seen so much more access and more students come to tutorials with Block Lunch.”
See more photos on HHS’ Facebook here.