After COVID-19 restrictions, AWHS opens campus for lunch breaks


Henry Pratt

Ramy Iskander, manager of Subway’s location in the Red Hill Shopping Complex, making a sandwich for a customer.

On Wednesday, Aug. 25, AWHS administration announced that the campus would be open for students to leave school during their 40 minute lunch break and during periods where students don’t have a class. After almost a full year of virtual learning and two months of in-person learning with closed campus lunch breaks, Red Hill and other nearby businesses now must prepare for an influx of student-customers.

Initially, AWHS was to allow students to go off campus during lunch after Labor Day. AWHS principal LaSandra White said that the early lunch announcement was due to a lack of kitchen staff at AWHS, and that this applied to other schools in the Tamalpais School District as well. 

“I think the larger campuses were having even more struggles than we were and so, as a district, we decided we would make the decision to open campus earlier,” White said.

White said that despite this new announcement, students are still expected to be respectful while off campus. She also stressed that students must follow business rules to limit the risk of transmitting COVID-19. 

“We just ask that students follow all the protocols they should be when they’re in the local business, and we hope that the local businesses can share with us if that is not the case,” White said.

Ramy Iskander, manager of a Subway located in the Red Hill Shopping Complex, says that he is excited about AWHS campus being open during lunch. Iskander also wants to make sure that the students who buy lunch from his store are respectful, as he has had problems in the past with students who attend AWHS and patronize his business aside from off-campus for lunch.  

“We get some [AWHS] students who come in here and they just don’t clean up [after] themselves, you know, they leave trash for us to pick up,” Iskander said.

AWHS’s lunch break is about 40 minutes long, with a five minute passing period before and after. Because of this schedule, Iskander wants to create a way for students to call in their order before coming to their business. Normally, Iskander would use Subway’s mobile order app, but Iskander prefers a system where customers can place their orders hours in advance.

“I can even have a form completed so they can check off how they want their sandwich done, and then just call it in or text it in, whatever is easiest for them,” Iskander said.

Leya Hermans, AWHS freshman, never participated in an open campus lunch environment. She thinks that the district’s decision to open campus during lunch gives students a “sense of freedom,” and it teaches students to “manage their time.” 

“I thought it was pretty spectacular, it was kinda cool going off campus especially as a freshman, like, for the first time,” Leya said.

Despite this excitement, Leya would like lunch to be longer, as 40 minutes doesn’t seem long enough to her.

The Tamalpais School District’s decision to open campus for lunch, put in place to help kitchen staff, will now open more opportunities for students, eager to patronize local businesses.