Part 7: Return to Full School at DHS?

The Lunch Situation


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Making lunches safe may be one of the most difficult tasks when DHS returns fully.

As DHS patiently awaits the two-week notice for full in-person learning from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, careful preparations are being made to safely seat students during lunch shifts. 

Approximately 900 students, or 300 students per lunch shift are being factored into the lunch plan, as explained by Principal Ross Thibault. As a result, students could be shifting their routine 1st, 2nd, or 3rd lunch to another shift. “We need to make sure that the lunches are balanced. We are looking at the current breakdown of how we are distributing what classes go to what lunch and make sure it is balanced,” said Mr. Thibault. 

To help balance the nearly 300 students in each lunch shift, in addition to the cafeteria, outdoor options, as well as the Auditorium and stage, LMC, and band room are going to be used to seat students. As modeled throughout the hybrid schedule, the cafeteria will be at capacity before other locations of the school are used to seat students for lunch, said Mr. Thibault. 

The QR code scan at each lunch table has been “over an abundance of caution” and may be disappearing in the near future, according to Mr. Thibault. The QR code was a quick identification method for Administration to use, being able to identify who was close to a COVID positive student. However “by definition, because students are six feet apart, [students] are not actually a close contact,” said Mr. Thibeault.

There will be further consulting and collaboration with the Dartmouth Director of Public Health Chris Michaud before a final decision is made. 

Mr. Thibault praised the students of DHS for their cooperation and adherence to the COVID-19 protocols implemented throughout the school and for extracurricular activities. However, in order for the in-person return to be successful, “students must consistently follow the well established mitigations and protocols,” he said.