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Lindbergh High School’s Hour of Student Choice: Power Lunch

Dec. 8, 2023

At Lindbergh High School, more than 2,000 students fill the cafeterias, hallways, gym, and communal areas during the middle of each day. Power Lunch is very different from the typical school lunch period. It provides students an hour around 12 p.m. to eat, socialize, study, exercise, or meet with teachers.

Power Lunch is divided into two parts, known as A and B lunch. Teachers can schedule times during each half when students can come into their classrooms if they require more help or need to study.

Power Lunch was implemented in 2019 and over its life has changed in many ways. Power Lunch began with a site visit five years ago to Kansas City area schools. It was then brought to Lindbergh as an idea by LHS Principal Dr. Eric Cochran, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Tony Lake, and then Assistant Principal Dr. Priscilla Frost.

“Everyone was excited about the idea of Power Lunch and what it could mean for kids, what it could mean for teachers, and what it could mean for the culture of our school and social-emotional learning,” Cochran said.

Since 2019, Power Lunch has evolved to meet the needs of students. One of the many changes in Power Lunch’s lifespan was its schedule for the day.

“We shortened it after the first year because we felt it was just a little bit too long for the supervision that was required," Cochran said.

In addition, Power Lunch originally didn’t allow access to the gym, but after the COVID-19 pandemic, the Flyers Gym was opened to meet the need for more open space, and now it has been moved to the Gold Gym.

The gym access has allowed students to get their energy out, play games like spike ball and basketball, or go to the weight room. 

In addition, the library recently added a quiet section and a silent section. This allows students to work together or have complete silence and focus. 

“The librarians expressed the desire to make this a more quiet space, a place where kids could come and get work done and study.” Dr. Cochran said. “And so we agreed to make that happen for students. And it's been a nice addition because we had a struggle of finding good places for kids to work quietly.”

The extended lunch period also has allowed the opportunity for more clubs to meet, and for increased participation in these clubs.

“All clubs mostly meet during school, meaning a lot more kids can participate,” Cochran said. “Previously, so many students couldn’t be in a club, because they had to get on the bus. Clubs before Power Lunch that were getting like four or five people, are now getting, like 40 people. So I would say the club participation, the engagement, and connection to the school has probably been the biggest change that Power Lunch has created.”

Arlo Welch, a junior, said the mid-day club schedule provides students with more opportunities.

“I am in two clubs, adventure club and board game club, and each have 20-30 people.” Arlo said.  “It's really nice because if it was outside of school, it would be hard for me, and others, to be a part of the club.”

Story by LHS communications intern Sebastian Rosas