Pirate Block: It could work, but questions remain

In theory, the new lunch schedule sounds like the perfect balance between freedom and safety. But after two weeks there are some major drawbacks.

The new Pirate Block lunch schedule allows for more freedom than the A-B-C lunch that other DPS high schools use. Students are allowed in classrooms in addition to the cafeteria, and no one is forced to wait until 2:30 to eat. 

However, our model still restricts student movement. After the first five minutes of lunch, students are no longer allowed to switch locations. Teachers and administrators are posted throughout the halls to ensure students remain where they are. 

This may even amplify conflict. When a fight broke out in the girls’ bathroom off of the cafeteria during B lunch on Sept. 8 the cafeteria was crowded. Since the new schedule confines students to a smaller area, incidents could escalate more quickly.

Administration guiding students back into the cafeteria . Photo by Tate Gasch

In addition, popular school-wide activities like basketball tournaments will be altered, if they are allowed to continue at all. And we’re still waiting to hear anything about clubs.

For those who may not need tutoring but do want time to work with classmates, with lunch split into two periods they can’t always work on group assignments during lunch unless all group members happen to be on the same schedule that day. 

And for upperclassmen who eat off campus, 45 minutes is simply not enough time. If a restaurant is 10 minutes away, that is a 20 minute round trip, not accounting for Riverside traffic. That gives students about 10 minutes to get food and eat in order to rush back to campus and return to class on time. It is a recipe for reckless driving.

Pirate Block does have its advantages. Since most teachers do not use the time to teach new material, it provides students with the opportunity to ask clarifying questions or complete homework. It also provides students with a structured study hall period, which was missing under the old schedule. But so far we are still struggling to adjust.

Leave a Reply