Assigned Seating From Both Sides of the Lunch Table

The+Bedford+cafeteria+of+years+past+is+a+far+cry+from+today.

The Bedford cafeteria of years past is a far cry from today.

Will Boberski, Staff Writer

For those who still remember the loud, crowded cafeteria of yesteryear, the lunchroom scene this year is strange and empty.

Students are grouped alphabetically, seated two to a table on opposite sides. Yellow stickers warn students not to sit at places within six feet of another student. There are no assigned seats in the courtyard when it is open, so long as there are only two people per table. Many have asked what was the administrative logic behind the assigned seating plans?

According to Bedford principal Dr. Adam Rosen, assigned seating was a solution devised at the beginning of the year to ensure that students remain six feet apart while their masks are off to eat. Distant and distinct assigned seating makes it easier for teachers to see when social distancing isn’t maintained. It also allows administrators to deploy the correct number of lunch tables in the cafeteria. “There are indeed examples and instances of students not sitting at their originally assigned tables,” said Dr. Rosen.

Teachers have allowed students to move so that no student sits alone, and Dr. Rosen notes that some lunch waves, especially those of 8th graders, have taken it upon themselves to reorganize their seating plan. However, this isn’t a top-of-mind concern for him. “Our concern regarding who is sitting at any given table is subsequent to the need for there to be only two students per table; we’ve had no issues with our students adhering to the two students per table expectation,” said Dr. Rosen. 

Looking ahead, Dr. Rosen hopes to let students choose their own seats when Coleytown leaves Bedford, although the two-per-table expectation will probably still be in place. The school administration will continue to adjust their plans based on “field conditions for COVID transmission in Westport and Connecticut.”

Dr. Rosen hopes to make this transition as soon as possible, concluding, “Assigned lunch table seating at BMS is not our tradition.”