The out to lunch policy if you’re late


Entrance to iSchool on Spring Street

Nina Rivas, Reporter

From trouble waking up in the morning to subway delays, there are many reasons why students may be late to school. If you are honest with yourself, being late is always a concern. It is important to most students that they arrive on time. However, at the iSchool, students have even more of a reason to do so.  

iSchool students are usually allowed to go outside the building for lunch. This is taken away if you arrive to school late. The school day starts at 9:00 a.m., and if students swipe IDs in after 8:59, they are considered late. This impacts all students at the school, and although it does encourage them to be on time, it has some negative effects as well.

Kids were consistently coming to school very late and the school decided there should be some sort of consequence for this. 

Ms. Leimsider, the assistant principal at the iSchool said, “When the school first opened, we didn’t have a lateness policy. Going out to lunch we always saw as a privilege, it’s not a guarantee that everyone gets to do that. We feel very strongly that privileges are given to students who are able to do the things we expect them to do in school on a daily basis. Our lateness started to get out of control so we started instituting the policy. When that initially happened, the lateness dropped drastically.” The policy was put into place about three years after the school had first opened, according to Ms. Leimsider.

The policy solved the problem that is intended to, which was bringing down lateness. The policy keeps going out to lunch a privilege rather than something all students are just given. 

Chloe Jen, who is a freshman, said, “I think they have the policy to encourage punctuality and create a better learning environment. The policy stresses me out in a way that makes me want to come to school on time.”

Ms. Leimsider also said, “I think kids like going out to lunch, especially in the warmer weather. I think it’s a privilege that not every high school kid in New York City gets. It’s a nice neighborhood and there’s food all around, so I do think that people want to get to school on time to be able to go out to lunch.”

Many other high schools throughout New York City have similar policies to make sure this privilege isn’t taken for granted. Some schools include Bard Manhattan, Brooklyn Millennium, and many more. These high schools policies work the same way as iSchools. They give students the privilege to go out to lunch, and taking it a way if they are late. 

Freshman Lucy Sheldon said, “I don’t think the policy has any negative impacts. You get a reward if you are on time which is going out to lunch. If you are late, you just don’t get anything. It’s not like anything is really being taken away.” 

The luxury of being able to go outside, especially when the weather is nice, is not something that everyone gets to experience. Although it has many positive impacts on the school, it also has some negative ones. 

For example, Ms. Leimsider said, “I think there are always unintended consequences that happen. I think sometimes when students know they’re going to be late they’ll go to the deli and get an egg and cheese, or they’ll go and get a coffee. Now they are showing up to their class 20 minutes later than they were initially going to if they had just come straight to school.”

The policy is disliked by many students because it keeps them stuck in a small and crowded cafeteria, and they not able to go outside for lunch with friends. Students also dislike the policy for other reasons.

Jen also said, “If you are late to school and were planning to go outside to get your lunch, you have to either rely on friends to bring you in food or use the cafeteria. Some kids might not end up with food, and end up being hungry and unproductive in the afternoon.”  

The policy was intended to keep kids in classrooms when the are supposed to be. However this can have an opposite effect it ends up making students less productive in the afternoon. 

There are downsides to making students stay inside if they are late, such as students arriving even later than they would have, or them not being able to get as much food as the would have liked. 

However overall it helps the school run more smoothly. Students would be late more often if it weren’t for this policy.