Nutrition break set to change second quarter

Nutrition break, the 13 minutes between the second and third periods of the day, will be split in two starting second quarter on October 11. The decision is in response to the rapidly growing school population and will serve as a solution for safety and overcrowding 

There will likely be an upstairs and downstairs nutrition break, according to Assistant Principal Ian Salzman. On any day, students in classes downstairs will go on nutrition break at its current time at 9:45 am, after their second class of the day. Students in upstairs hallways will take their nutrition break after their third class, at 11:22 am. The times for other hallways, such as the gym or performing arts, have yet to be determined. 

“Right now, with our growth and enrollment, we have over 2600 students,” Salzman said. “We’re finding that it’s going to be in the best interest for the campus if we split [nutrition break]. … This way students will have a little more room to walk and breathe and hopefully find a snack.” 

According to Salzman, splitting students will also create a more balanced ratio of students to monitors, which will allow faculty to keep the campus safer after the multiple fights that broke out during nutrition break. 

“Student safety is always our biggest concern,” Salzman said. “We do notice that during the times we have had altercations occur, it tends to occur when there’s the largest audience available. So I don’t think it’s any coincidence that it happens.”

Because Principal Tam Larnerd’s “words of wisdom” and the announcements play after nutrition break, both will be moved to third or fourth period, depending on the day. That period will be extended by eight minutes to allow time for both, which will come out of the extra time previously budgeted during fifth and sixth period classes. 

The changes currently being set in motion are a precursor to eventually putting two lunches back into the middle of the day, which will eliminate the need for nutrition breaks altogether. 

“The other reason that we’re doing this is because it’s in preparation with our growth, that we’re going … to go back to probably having two lunches at some point maybe next year,” Salzman said. “So this kind of gears people up for … a staggered lunch schedule, which we’re not sure which period we’d do that if it was five/six or seven/eight next year.” 

Though Salzman said that he hopes for students’ approval, students are apprehensive about the change, disappointed about it disrupting their daily routine. 

“I wouldn’t like that at all, to be honest,” sophomore Taylor Kauwe said. “I don’t have a lot of classes with a lot of my friends and [nutrition break and lunch] is the only time I really get to see them.”

Other students, like junior Brianna Everest, have expressed concern for the “backlash” the news may receive. Everest mentioned the issues of after-school transportation and students ditching, also worrying that she may not have the same lunch as her friends. Junior Morsal Nasseri, who’s reacquainting herself with Spring Valley after spending a year at Las Vegas Academy, also explained that students who have jobs appreciate getting out of school early. 

“No, we shouldn’t have first and second lunch because it could become chaotic if people can’t sit with their friends,” said junior Morsal Nasseri,. “Why should we go back to a system that we had in middle school? And nutrition break should be for everyone at one time because they can go to teachers that are also taking a break, and it keeps the students in check.”