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Flex Period Doesn't Hamper Lunch Sales at Tennessee High School

The hour-long flex period gives students a chance to do what they want in the middle of the day, including get lunch.

Science Hill High School in Johnson City, Tenn., reports success with a flex time program that gives students an hour (to be reduced to 50 minutes going forward) to take part in school clubs, get tutoring, socialize or eat lunch, reports the Johnson Çity Press. Intended to help students who may work after school or who can’t remain on campus after the final bell, Topper Flex Time has resulted in increased participation in extracurriculars as well as more tutoring engagement and library attendance.

Meanwhile, fears that the initiative would reduce lunch participation—as it did when implemented six years ago in nearby Cookeville High Schools, where meal counts initially dropped 40 percent—were not realized as participation numbers have remained at around a thousand lunches served daily at the cafeteria and three satellite serving areas.

The program is similar to one adopted recently by Hilton Head (S.C.) High School, where the new 50-minute "independent learning period" has resulted in a modest lunch participation boost, though it did also spur a tripling of a la carte sales.

TAGS: K-12 Schools
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