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Students and Staff React to Power 50 Changes

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Olathe West adopted the new district-wide lunch system at the beginning of the school year. This lunch system allows students to socialize and study while eating, but Olathe West has already had to make some adjustments to the way it runs. 

The new schedule allows for a 50-minute break in the middle of the day to eat lunch, socialize, do homework, and meet with teachers. Olathe West calls this time Power 50.  

“[Power 50] Is meant to take away the pressures of student-athletes, people that are involved in activities and clubs so that they don’t have to go to those activities, go to those clubs, go to those sports and then have to go home and then do homework,” said Assistant Principal Josh Umphrey.  

As of Sept. 25, Power 50 has gone from allowing students to eat almost anywhere in the school, to more restricted locations. Students are now only able to socialize on the first floor or on the learning stairs. The second-floor blended-learning labs are reserved for quiet studying where students are allowed to eat, but there is no longer food allowed in the conference rooms. The third floor is a no-food area where students will be able to have peer tutoring or meet with a teacher. All classrooms throughout the school are off limits unless a student is invited in by a teacher.  

However, contrary to popular belief, the recent changes were not because of disrespectful behavior. Many worried that certain acts of vandalism caused the changes to Power 50, however, Umphrey explained that it was to refocus the time on academics.  

“The original intent of Power 50 was always to be like an academic hour, so I don’t know if any specific event caused it to change, we wanted to make it more like an academic study environment… so that’s kind of why we thought these changes were necessary,” said Umphrey. 

While it was not meant to be a punishment, some students do not see it that way.  

I believe it is a punishment for those who didn’t do the right thing”

— sophomore Dylan Vickers

Vickers sees the recent changes as a way to keep students from further damaging the school but he is also concerned.  

“… the more restrictions that are put on us the more it will make us lash out,” said Vickers. 

Students have reacted to the Power 50 improvements in many different ways. While some see it as a punishment, others, like junior Dee Bagby, see it as a potentially very good thing.  

“Since… we now have a quiet place without food and stuff on the third floor,” said Bagby. “I think we can be more productive.”   

The new changes have reshaped how students feel about and spend Power 50. Changes were made to meet the original intention of a free academic period.  

“This is how it was…originally intended and we just had to have some time to roll it out correctly” said Umphrey. 

 

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