Open Campus Possible For Rider’s Future

Nicole Mercadante

Every day for lunch, kids hurry to their cars so they can fill up on fast food. This year there has been quite the buzz on Rider having an open or closed lunch. Where the rumor started, no one knows, but whether students do or do not leave for lunch, Rider is still a closed campus.

However, that could eventually change.

Principal Judy McDonald and the site based decision team met just before school started, where they discussed having a flexible lunch. The site based decision team is a committee of teachers, parents, and community members who create ideas to help improve the school. McDonald then proposed this idea to the school action plan. The school action plan takes the ideas from the site based team and puts them into action.

Superintendent Dr.George Kazanas said that in no time soon Rider will have open lunch privileges, but that the site based team will observe the lunches to see if there is reason to change. Several things are taken into consideration when deciding to change a school policy, such as how it will affect the students and quality of education.

“In general our campus is closed due to time, along with safety issues and the economic impact on the cafeteria,” Dr. Kazanas said.

Since no official decisions have been made and no rules have been established, the site based team is still considering many options for a movement toward an open lunch one day.

“I want the school to be as innovative as possible with their decision,” Dr. Kazanas said.

Assistant principal Monte Thacker said some of the discussion for a potential open lunch has included rules that could resemble those of advisory period, such as only applying to juniors and seniors who are in good standing.

However, at this point this is all simply discussion. Rider remains a closed campus for now.

“I understand why students leave,” Thacker said.”We just have to enforce the rules.”