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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


Thoughts on the Menu Today?

The officials at Loudoun County Public Schools work to give students a wide variety of nutritious foods to fulfill each student’s dietary needs. From chicken sandwiches to mozzarella sticks, every lunch item has been subject to hot debate over their taste and quality by hungry students.
James Bowles
Before the day begins, the cafeteria staff are hard at work frying, baking, and preparing food for students to enjoy. During lunch, students buying food are split into two lines to maximize the time that they get to sit and eat.

Starting before school classes begin, the cafeteria staff is hard at work preparing breakfast and lunch for students and staff to enjoy. Mozzarella cheese sticks, chicken sandwiches, calzones, tacos, and pizza are only some of the lunch selections that are rotated throughout the week to keep food options fresh for students.

Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) used to utilize the TITAN Family Portal which allowed parents to make accounts to pay for their child’s school lunches for the 2022-2023 school year. Parents sent money to their children’s accounts for them to access using their student ID when they bought lunch. 

This year, however, LCPS changed to a new system called LINQ Connect. This application, as stated by attendance secretary Mary Howard, can be used by parents to set up an account, create automatic payment times straight from their bank account to the LINQ account, and set the amount of money sent for each automatic payment.

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Whether it’s chicken, pizza, or a calzone, lunch entrees have faced both criticism and praise from students.


Senior Dylan Weicker enjoys chicken nuggets with ketchup along with a side of Doritos, fruit juice, and a cookie. (James Bowles)

No matter if it’s an elementary, middle, or high school, chicken nuggets will always be a staple lunch option for students. Throughout the years the school has been open, entree options have been retired, created, or kept for students to enjoy during their lunch block. While some students believe the taste has stayed the same over the years, senior Dylan Weicker has noticed that the taste is different from how he remembered it back in middle school. “I would like the old chicken bites back from middle school; I know they used to have them, I don’t know where they went,” Weicker said. “I miss them dearly. That’s all I hope for: that’s my one wish, my one hope, my one dream.”

There are two types of nuggets: buffalo chicken, which is spicier than a normal chicken nugget, and regular. Many students opt for the chicken nugget option over other school lunch meals.  “I like chicken, and [the school serves] good chicken,” Weicker said.

Chicken Sandwich

There are four different types of chicken sandwiches served during lunch: halal, baked, spicy, and savory. (James Bowles)

Whether it be spicy, savory, or baked, the chicken sandwich is a staple of the lunch menu. Although it is simple, the chicken sandwich has a lot of variety. For example, there are two different types of patties sold on chicken sandwich days. Baked patties are round and thin, and regular patties are thicker and less circular.

Students generally have a positive opinion of the chicken sandwich; senior Matthew Calvario has had great experiences with it in the past. “This is a fine meal, it has the carbohydrates and the protein I need for, you know, my daily caloric needs,” Valvario said.

Packed Lunch

Senior Dillon Brooks’ lunchbox typically stores his favorite food, lasagna. Brooks likes to have the same lunch every day to keep his meals consistent throughout the year. (James Bowles)

Students who buy school lunches have always had divided opinions on the meals. Some options have remained popular with students while others have been favored less by hungry patrons. This created an incentive for students, including junior Lalith Radesh Penumatsa, to pack their lunch. “[I bring] anything from burgers to sandwiches,” Penumatsa said. “[If I do get school lunch, I get] mozzarella sticks or [the] good pizza like last week’s.”

While most students simply bring lunch because they want to eat their own food, some, like senior Nora Nabih, believe the school lunch tastes off. “I think you can tell it’s been frozen,” Nabih said. “Like the time they had dumplings, I didn’t try them because I was wary of them tasting weird.”

Overall, the student consensus of lunch is that it’s there when you need it. Not all students are able to pack or make lunch before school starts as pointed out by Calvario, so the extra money spent on lunch is needed. “When families cannot make proper meals for their kids, the one dollar extra is fine,” Calvario said.

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About the Contributors
James Bowles
James Bowles, Managing Editor
James Bowles is a senior and is the Managing Editor for The Blaze. In his third year on the paper staff, he still thoroughly enjoys his experience working with everyone associated with The Blaze, and wouldn’t give it up for just about anything. When he compared his previous experience with the student paper as a staff writer versus his current position as an editor, he denotes that both are crucial positions for the paper to run smoothly, though he does appreciate the pseudo-mentor role he has as an editor. He’s also incredibly grateful that the paper has allowed him to spend more time with his brother in academia. One word of advice he hopes to be helpful to the newcomers of the staff is to just hang in there; you will struggle to get in the groove in the beginning, especially when it comes to the more unconventional sides of this work, like photography and interviews, but the knowledge will slowly creep on you, and soon you’ll be able to self-guide through it with ease.
Muhammad Reda
Muhammad Reda, Staff Writer
Sophomore Muhammad Reda is a returning member of The Blaze as a Staff Writer. He enjoys photography, which is a major reason for his interest in Newspaper. Outside of school, Muhammed enjoys reading and listening to all types of music. Muhammad’s main goal this school year is to thrive and do better than he did the previous year. . Muhammed enjoys hanging out with The Blaze staff, because he enjoys the company and how they encourage them to work harder. Muhammed strives to become a photographer for The Blaze in the coming years.

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