New schedule to include two lunch periods


Joanna Chait and Emily Mulderig

Starting Tuesday, September 7, Wilson’s schedule will incorporate two lunches, designated as Lunch A and B.

Principal Gregory Bargeman announced the change Friday, following concerns from community and staff members about crowding and long lines in the cafeteria and atrium during STEP. 

The new schedule splits the student body roughly in half for lunchtime; approximately 1100 students have Lunch A and around 900 have Lunch B. In theory, this will increase the ability for students to social distance while eating, lowering the risk of COVID-19 transmission. 

Lunch periods are determined by the location of students’ third-period classes. Students whose third period is on the first, second, and third floor of the main building or in the A wing will have Lunch A. Students whose third period is on the fourth floor of the main building, or in the B wing or C will have Lunch B. 

After the first semester, students’ schedules will change, meaning some may switch from Lunch A to Lunch B or vice versa. 

Students and teachers in Lunch A will eat before their third-period class, beginning at 11:52 a.m., whereas those in Lunch B will eat after their third period, at 1:18 p.m. 

The administrative team considered having multiple lunch periods over the summer but decided against it. “We thought we could manage the one [lunch] by getting people outside and moving people around,” Bargeman said.

When it became clear during the first week of school that having one lunch period was posing a risk to safety, administrators worked to figure out a solution. Once the new schedule was determined, they collaborated with DCPS officials to get the new periods in Aspen. Bargeman said DCPS was “encouraging of the change.”

Splitting lunch into two periods will likely present challenges for clubs that meet at lunchtime and for students who wish to see their teachers during STEP. However, Bargeman said he does not anticipate any difficulties, only the benefits that come from more space to social distance. He added that this schedule will likely be in place not just for the remainder of the year, but for the years to come. 

Bargeman also pointed out that the new lunch schedule will allow students to move into common areas and hallways in the case of inclement weather. 

At the moment, only seniors have off-campus lunch privileges. The administration plans to allow juniors with a GPA of 3.0 or higher to apply for off-campus at the end of Term 1. •