SMART Lunch returns with modifications

By Hannah Posner, Nellie Purdy and Elena Paces-Wiles

On Tuesday, Riverside reinstated SMART lunch after a week-long suspension.

In an effort to improve the program, the administration has put some changes in place. 

Last week, during the block lunch schedule, there were fewer fights and stampedes than there were the week prior. However, this came at the expense of club meetings, tutoring opportunities, and socialization.

“I’m really excited to have SMART lunch back,” Social Studies teacher Abigail Wood said. “Lots of students come in for help and tutoring as well as just to play uno and it’s nice to have that back.”

Administrators want to ensure that students take advantage of club and tutoring opportunities and limit fighting. So, with student suggestions, they have created some changes to SMART lunch.  

“We have the club offerings now posted in the school,” assistant principal Darryl Bradshaw said. “The primary one is in front of where students come out of the media center. It’s a big poster that shows what is what day. You are also going to see what tutoring days are offered.” 

However, the poster was not entirely accurate. Some clubs that no longer exist are listed and there are wrong dates for some of the existing clubs. 

“When we took [SMART Lunch] away it wasn’t a punishment, more like creating a way to make sure it’s functional,” Bradshaw said. “A lot of the bugs that were reported I think we kind of took care of.”

SMART Lunch was brought back on Tuesday, the day before a teacher workday. According to Bradshaw, the administrative team planned to use the workday to go back and analyze the shortcomings of the improved lunch system.

Students are still unsure of the new measures taken to improve SMART lunch. 

Junior class vice president Leila Perjes expressed her concern that after the suspension, misbehavior could result in further consequences. 

“If the fighting increases, [Principal Dr. Gloria Woods-Weeks] will definitely make it stricter,” Perjes said.

Sophomore Class President Abby Cho voiced a lack of trust in the administration after the sudden suspension. 

“I’m relieved [it’s back] but anxious that they’ll replace it abruptly,” she said. “They might ignore our suggestions.”

Many students think that the SMART lunch suspension was an overreaction and the changes made were not worth the wait. 

“I don’t think [suspending SMART lunch] was a good idea at all,” said freshmen Ben Hodges. “I don’t think it solves the problems it was trying to fix.” 

Now that lunch is back, Cho said the changes that administration implemented were common sense.

The student body is glad to have SMART Lunch back. When it was banned there were many concerns about it being gone, such as accessing teachers for tutoring and club meetings. 

“[Without SMART lunch] I had no time to socialize so it negatively affected me,” said sophomore Riley Hale. 

Junior Class President Hannah Valente gets the break she needs. “I’m happy it’s back,” said Valente. “It’s mentally draining to do like 5 hours of work.” 

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