Administration debates on reimplementing Purple Power Hour


Photo by: Francisco Castaneda

From right to left, freshman Lexi Ketcham, junior Alexa Fletcher, and freshmen Zach Fisher, Alan Rojo and Bo Hamilton finish eating their food during Lunch A. The administration created the revised lunch schedule — in which two lunches are split into Lunch A and Lunch B — as an alternative to Purple Power Hour, which was suspended in early September due to student misbehavior.

Story by Sarah Alcantar, Reporter

Students have been asking what is going to happen with Purple Power Hour, the 50-minute lunch period that was suspended in early September, but according to administration, there isn’t a definite answer.

“The new cafeteria is not open yet. If we rewind a little bit, part of our issue was not enough space and not enough seats,”  assistant principal Kelynn Heardt said. “In its original format, [it would continue to] be the same issue because construction is still happening. It’s hard to predict until the new space is finished.”  

Construction is just part of the challenge. Administration is trying to get input from faculty and students to see what is best, and they are still considering how the school will react to changes of the program.  

“Any time you implement something, what you can’t do in a school system is go watch what somebody else does,”  principal Phil Bressler said. “You [have] to tailor it to your school.”

According to food service director Terri Feagan, there were a few issues for the cafeteria and janitorial staff regarding the old version of Power Hour. It not only left the cafeteria in disarray but also caused a bigger problem for the cafeteria staff.

“The biggest thing for us would be that our [lunch] count went way down, because [students] didn’t want to wait in the lines,” Feagan said.

Freshman Caili Dettling agreed with Feagan.

“Everybody was crowded into one area and there was barely any room in the cafeteria, and everybody was loud,” Dettling said. “Most people didn’t go to their classes even if they were called in.”

However, other students, such as junior Sapphire Blakemore, enjoyed the extra hour to work on assignments.

“I definitely liked the one that we had last year more where it was all just one big group,” Blakemore said. “I felt like I had more time to eat and do my work.  I felt like it also gave us an opportunity to socialize with our friends more. Now that it’s separated, some of our friends are in like A lunch while we go to B lunch, so we don’t get to talk to them during lunch time.”

Purple Power Hour will still evolve into what is needed to meet the school’s needs.

I felt like I had more time to eat and do my work. I felt like it also gave us an opportunity to socialize with our friends more.”

— Sapphire Blakemore

“Think about any initiative for any process we have.  At one point, [it] looked different than it does today and people said, ‘Hey we don’t like this, so let’s do this instead.’  So what initially started out as Purple Power Hour last April has evolved to what we have now,” Bressler said. “It’s a variant that is working for us.  The question is, ‘Is this variant better or do we need to change something else?’”

Administration is still working on this dilemma, and the process is still ongoing to see what the student body needs.

“It’s fun to try new things some things work. Some things don’t. You move on,”  activities director Jeff Staley said. “That’s part of the education process; you just keep trying new things until you find the best practice, but I don’t think we’ve found that with what exactly we have right now, but [we’ll] just keep trying.”