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Cafeteria patio: closed until further notice?

Sunday, March 23, 2014 by Amanda Cummings, Lis Barreto, and Skyler Stanford

Signs like this one posted on the cafeteria doors keep students out of the north courtyard patio. Lis Barreto / The Lightning Rod

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Signs like this one posted on the cafeteria doors keep students out of the north courtyard patio.
Lis Barreto / The Lightning Rod

At S.S.H.S., students have to be in school for around seven hours. This does not include bus rides to and from school or after school activities. The only times a student can be outside during the school day is to walk briefly through the courtyards between classes.

For at least three years, the patio located in the north courtyard fronting the cafeteria hallway has been closed off to students as a lunch spot. When asked why it was closed off, 12th grade principal Eric Schenone said, “It is because of supervision issues. The school’s budget allows only a certain number of staff members, and with so many students in a lunch block there is no one to watch the patio.” It is unclear whether more staff for all lunches will be available any time soon, but no one seems to object to the idea of reopening the area.

Now, there is hope for one quite large group of students. The largest lunch is Lunch 2, the 10:51 to 11:31 a.m. lunch time. According to Schenone, during the spring students in this lunch will be allowed to sit in the patio area. The teaching staff doesn’t want to keep the patio closed, according to Schenone.

“I think people are certainly open to it. People like being outside; eating outside. Nobody’s against that. And if we have a staff member… we will take that staff member, station them outside and have students eat outside,” he said. Some students believe that supervision isn’t needed Students Thomas Digiuseppi ’15 and Schuyler Patterson ’17 said that a better way to help the supervision issue would be to make it a specific privilege for certain grade levels so the need for excessive supervision isn’t needed. This doesn’t solve all the problems but it could give the administration peace of mind and the students a little bit of freedom while in school.

While Patterson and Emma Valastro ’16 thought that supervision wasn’t completely needed for high school students, Digiuseppi said some students would abuse privileges like this.

“I’ve seen it happen,” he added.

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