How Lunch and Learn has impacted our school so far


Students study and talk to one another during Lunch and Learn.

Though Lambert introduced Lunch and Learn just this year, it has already impacted students, teacher, and administration. Lunch and Learn is a program that allows students nearly an hour of lunch. Aside from the ability to sit outside of the cafeteria, students are also given opportunities to get help from teachers outside of class.

Still, most people don’t know how everyone has reacted to this new program or how it began. Principal Davison, Mrs. Bibik, and Mrs. Cannizzaro have offered new information on the program.

Principal Davison detailed the background behind Lunch and Learn. He has been planning Lunch and Learn for over five years now, beginning the process by going to different schools and looking for structures to do lunch differently. The Principal’s Advisory Group, which consists of students who meet with the principal every month, claimed that a new lunch structure would assist in handling with student stress and offer a time for students who needed support and intervention. Previously the only similar group was Lasso, which was held only on Sundays. This prevented students with work and other prior commitments from getting the help they required.

It was only a year and a half ago that Davison presented the idea to his department chairs. Though they thought the original plan was good, they agreed on looking for more student support that included enrichment sessions, leadership, and college recruitment. By putting together a Lunch and Learn design team, they were able to spring their plan into action. 

Mrs. Bibik and Mrs. Cannizzaro also gave their input, both having been part of the group that helped to plan Lunch and Learn.

They restated the development of Lunch and Learn with more specifics. The Principal’s Advisory Council had suggested the idea of helping with academics for those that have activities after school. In November of last year, they began looking around other similar schools. Gwinnett High School, for example, was one of the schools where they examined students’ lunch and saw rooms where students thrived in studying. Bibik and Cannizzaro met with Gwinnett’s administration to think of new ideas for Lambert.

It was in the spring of second semester that they met with Lambert’s own administration and department chairs. During this, they talked through ideas. The plan was then finalized in April and May.

There was one problem with the program, however: the original plan omitted block schedules.

“We went to our leadership team and started talking about it,” stated Mrs. Bibik, “… We talked about, ‘What are the benefits of blocks, and what are the drawbacks?’ And, as a team, we seriously considered all of that and, overwhelmingly, some of the classes just need the block.” They listed AP Chemistry, AP Biology, and hands-on CTA courses as classes that simply require block schedules.

At first, they believed there would not be a solution. Eventually, however, they found it: split fifth or sixth period in half. They sorted students into fifth and sixth lunch periods as well, with 12th graders being put into fifth period schedules to accommodate students who leave early.  

At first, it can be said that many students were confused. Both upperclassmen and incoming freshmen were unused to this program.

However, after getting used to it, students have begun using opportunities not offered to them previously. Teachers noticed them as more attentive and awake. With lunch not as rushed, students are more engaged in classes compared to how hard it was to stay focused earlier.

Not only were students more eager to participate in their afternoon classes, but student interaction began to grow. Groups of students previously confined to certain sections of the lunch tables were now mingling in the hallways, courtyards, and library. Students that were usually not together previously began to interact.

Students were given the opportunity to learn how to handle time, a skill significant when transitioning to college. Davison has compared Lunch and Learn to how meals are at college. Preparing students for that transition has been an important part of Lunch and Learn, with the ability to now make study groups and time management.

One of the most important aspects about creating Lunch and Learn was to aid in stress felt by students. He stated that, “a different lunch structure would help with student stress. Students’… levels of stress during the day are growing and growing.” With the opportunity to do work during that time period, student stress is greatly diminished.

Another growth is grades. “I can’t wait for the nine-week grades,” says Davison, “…I have a really good feeling that it’s going to help.” He hopes Lunch and Learn will give students the opportunity to heighten their grades in the first nine weeks of school through extra studying and study sessions.

Cannizzaro and Bibik’s feedback was similar to Davison’s, as they notice students are more awake and engaged in classes. Parents have stated that they like how students have time in the day for work where they otherwise might not, with sports, clubs, jobs, and other matters after school.

They claim that it has “been even better” than they had expected and that they have noticed that kids feel less stressed – they get to eat, study, do homework, get extra help, and go to the counselor.

Students gave their opinions on the new program and their own stories of how Lunch and Learn has affected them so far.

Junior Thomya Smith says that Lunch and Learn helped her catch up with classes, especially in geometry. By going to the math help trailers, she achieved a better score on her quiz. Though a lot students still have yet to participate in the learn session, it is obvious that students have been impacted by the opportunities open to them so far.

Freshman Aiden Weng has also added his input, saying that it is “nice that he gets an hour to do things” and that he also “gets to do homework, classwork, and etcetera that I didn’t have time to do earlier.” He spends the hour catching up on schoolwork and joking around with friends. 

Though she hasn’t taken advantage of the learn portion yet, Sophomore Sarah Chirchirillo catches up with friends during that time.

Freshman Elora Emory says that “It’s actually been really fun.” Not only has she had the opportunity to hang out with her friends, she has taken advantage of the Learn portion of the period. By going to the math trailers, she has gone in depth with subjects she didn’t learn in class and through this, got a good grade on her math test.

Emory says Lunch and Learn gives students an opportunity to truly know the information if they cannot come in early or after school. She dislikes the “hit or miss” with teachers who truly know the subject. Though the trailers offer help from teachers outside of class, there is a great chance that you will not get your own teacher or a teacher who teaches the same subject. She also dislikes how students are not allowed to go into the halls during lunch, though she understands why.

Many teachers have praised the program as well. Coach Daniel says that “It’s great. I get to kind of get out and see different kids I don’t normally get to see.” He says that there is more structure to Lunch and Learn than the previous year’s instructional focus. Algebra teacher, Mrs. Adams, says she “loves it when my students go to get help.” Healthcare instructor, Ms. Suggs, enjoys that students get to learn in a different environment than the controlled classroom.

Still, Lunch and Learn isn’t over yet. Davison states that, “I was nervous… I had a picture in my mind of how I wanted Lunch and Learn to look like. It’s 95% there.” With new seating arrangements in the upper halls, a redesigning of the back courtyard, and an introduction of new video monitors for quick announcements, students will be waiting for the Lunch and Learn additions for years to come. The school has also created a Lunch and Learn design team to gather feedback and give constant information, formed by both staff and students.halloption

Lunch and Learn has given students various opportunities though it is still in it’s first few months. Though there is still more to be improved upon, thanks to the work of our administrators and students, we have a new lunch program that allows for many opportunities and hopefully more still to come.