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The Student News Site of Rock Ridge High School


The Student News Site of Rock Ridge High School


The Student News Site of Rock Ridge High School


Beloved Time of the Day Undergoes New Changes

A new school year brings new changes, and students have been adjusting to a change that happened to a beloved time of the day for all: brain break.
Samantha Chang
After the bell rings at the end of first block, students rush from their classes, trying to find a booth at the library or grab snacks in the cafeteria. The front hallway is always filled with students waiting for their peers during brain break.

The 2023-24 school year brought many new changes, but one that stood out the most was a schedule shift. While the doors still open at 8:30 a.m. and the last bell signaling the end of the school rings at 4:18 p.m., one change in the middle of the day resulted in a schedule shift. 

Brain break is an important part of the school day for most students. It’s a built-in break to relax from classes and do tasks such as getting a snack from the many healthy options the cafeteria offers, talking to friends, doing work, and more. Last year, since lunch block was second/sixth, brain break was after the third/seventh block. This year, since lunch returned to third and seventh block, it’s placed at the end of the first block of the day.

Principal John Duellman was a key player in making this change happen. “It’s important mental health and physical health [wise] to have a little break within your day,” Duellman said. “Knowing that lunch is limited to 27 minutes, which isn’t enough time, I think students are generally relieved that they have a little bit of downtime to decompress.”

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In making this change, Duellman met many students last year and gathered opinions from them. “Rising students wanted to have their break in the morning and lunch a little bit later because of the way it broke up the day,” he said. “The change this year was purely changed by student feedback.”

This change was met with mixed reviews from students. Sophomore Grace Carper thinks the new change has pros and cons. “To be honest, the change hasn’t affected me in a bad way, but I do kind of miss the one we had last year,” Carper said. “I guess it kind of helps me be more prepared for the start of the day. [However], the timing doesn’t feel right, because after my first block, I just feel like I don’t need a break. At the same time, everyone in the morning is not in the mood, so I feel like it was more [effective] close to the end of the day [last year].”

Sophomore Abasah Gohar’s brain break took a turn for what she thinks is for the best. “Honestly, since it’s been moved to first block, it’s more of a time for me to catch up with my friends,” she said. “When it was third block, it was more of a productive time where I had to get stuff done.”

“Last year there was a lot of running around and everyone was busy with their schedules and they had a lot of things on their mind,” Gohar said. “Since it’s been moved to [after] the first block, there’s a lot less of that and it just really changes how students interact with people.”

Teachers feel like this change is a positive one, as the brain break is not only for students but also for teachers. “I prefer [brain break] after the first block just because students can eat something and be ready for their next block,” math teacher Swati Gupta said. “It’s also a break for us [teachers], maybe we can grab a cup of coffee, or if we suddenly didn’t print enough papers for the next block, it gives us a few minutes to do that.” 

Freshmen, who didn’t have a break back in middle school, find brain breaks unexpected yet refreshing. Freshman Jack Seaton finds brain break to be a time for working on assignments “[Brain break] is useful,” Seaton said. “It’s a good time to complete work for blocks after block one or when I need a little bit of extra time, it would be useless [if brain break was after third block].”

This year’s schedule switch also fixed major crowding around the main hallway and the ability to get food. Instead of the crammed store situated in the main hallway where students would push and shove each other to get snacks, now healthier food can be found in the cafeteria instead.

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About the Contributor
Samantha chang
Samantha chang, Staff Writer
Samantha Chang is a sophomore in her second year of staff. An artist and writer from a young age, she has decided to continue working on the newspaper due to the positive experience and friendships she made in her first year. Samanatha has many hobbies, such as painting, writing, and her newfound favorite, krav maga. In school, she’s a dedicated student favoring classes that involve English and tends to stay away from science and math. In the future she hopes to become a journalist or artist.

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    Dayanna AntonOct 27, 2023 at 11:47 am

    Amazing story Sammy