Standardized testing pushes lunches to 4th period

As+Fairmont+implements+large+scale+state+testing%2C+the+school%27s+lunch+schedule+will+shift+from+5th+to+4th+period+from+Feb.+20+to+March+13.+

Photo: Sam Barton

As Fairmont implements large scale state testing, the school’s lunch schedule will shift from 5th to 4th period from Feb. 20 to March 13.

Starting Friday, Feb. 20, Fairmont students will be eating lunch during 4th period instead of 5th period, a change that will continue through Common Core and ODE testing that starts Monday, Feb. 23, and continues until Friday, March 13.

This unprecedented schedule change is driven by the avalanche of standardized testing that many students are now required to take. Fairmont administrators decided on the lunch period shift so the cafeteria will be available for blocks of testing time in both the morning and afternoon.

Students’ lunch schedules — first, second or third lunch — will change for this period of time, too, based on the location of their 4th period class instead of their 5th period class.

  • Students with a 4th period class in a room number in the 100’s as well 500-529 will be eating 1st lunch: that is all of East Unit and part of South. The lunch time is 10:57 to 11:27 a.m.
  • Students with a 4th period room number in the 200’s, 400’s and 530-534 will eat 2nd lunch: that’s all of Central Unit, the Performing Arts Center and parts of South Unit. The lunch time is 11:22 to 11:52 a.m.
  • Students in the 300’s and 700’s will eat 3rd lunch: that’s all of West Unit and the Athletic Department. The lunch time is 11:47 a.m. to 12:17 p.m.

This change comes with Common Core and Ohio Department of Education testing that is being implemented for the first time in 2015. Kettering City Schools has spent years preparing for their implementation.

Fairmont Principal Dan VonHandorf has been actively involved with Fairmont’s transition to the new state testing system and is one of the architects of the testing schedule.

“Moving lunch to 4th period allows time to clean up from breakfast and get a two-hour testing window before lunch,” VonHandorf said. Testing will resume at 1:05 p.m. and allow for another two-hour testing window, according to VonHandorf.

VonHandorf said this schedule was designed to facilitate testing without intruding on the day-to-day affairs of students who aren’t testing and takes into account variables such as early dismissals, middle school students attending Fairmont in the mornings, and Post Secondary Enrollment students. PSEO students are not responsible for taking ODE or PARCC testing, he said.

VonHandorf says he’s optimistic about the change in schedule and confident that students will easily adapt.

“Any change is difficult. This is certainly no exception,” VonHandorf said. “Like always, we need to be flexible and adaptable to maintain a great learning environment here. That’s one of Kettering’s 21st Century Skills. It will be great practice for us as we work through all of these changes.”