How the Temporary Removal of NEST is Impacting North Point’s Students


Selena Kooy-Bernal, Staff Writer

At North Point High School, NEST is an hour-long lunch period that allows students to not only eat and socialize, but to get help from teachers, reassess tests and quizzes, catch up on work, study, be active in clubs, and much more. Unfortunately, North Point has had to remove NEST and return to 4-block lunch schedules because students were not all able to get lunch. Due to COVID, cafeteria workers are short-staffed, causing slow lunch lines. Not to mention North Point is a huge school, with over 2,000 students currently attending.

Upon hearing the announcement that NEST is called off until further notice, students were audibly upset. Throughout classrooms, students and teachers both were shocked, upset, disappointed, and even angry at the announcement. Many students at North Point want to think of other ways to at least offer a lunch to everyone, as that is the law, while still getting to have that hour period of lunch time. But as for now, NEST’s temporary removal is still causing major issues when it comes to students getting lunch. Current North Point Senior, Michael Onianwah, says, “Lunch is 30 minutes, and for people like me, that is not enough time to eat.” Michael returned to third block on Thursday, September 16 with his lunch uneaten. In that moment he explained that he was towards the middle to back end of the line and by the time he got his lunch, it was time to go back to class. So, lunch block or NEST, students still are reporting little to no time allotted to actually eat their lunch.

Another big issue that students are bringing up is reassessment opportunities. North Point is the only high school who offers student reassessments. These reassessments fell under NEST time. Without NEST, students are growing worried that they won’t get those beneficial opportunities to turn a bad grade into a good one. Stemming from no reassessment time is that students have no club time. Club schedules fell under NEST time. So, clubs like Skills USA, Best Buddies, Mock Trial, Key Club, etc. won’t be given that necessary time to meet during NEST, causing a ripple in student’s extracurricular activity schedules. Even if they meet after school, student athletes might find that their club time meetings conflict with games, practices, and even work for those who are working. Ultimately, NEST removes a lot of the opportunities that make North Point such a student-focused school.

Another current North Point senior, Noelani Gibson, shares her reaction to the NEST announcement, “I hope the school works to bring NEST back. I know many students use that time as motivation to get through the day. That hour is almost essential at this point. We get to meet with teachers, friends, and so much more. North Point students are also following the QR code rules and heavily enforcing the mask policy.” And finally, North Point senior Rose McKentry says, “I just think it isn’t fair on the students because we don’t have a study hall. All the other Charles County schools have a study hall throughout the day to do work and get help on said work. We can’t do that anymore. By the time I get home and start work, it’ll be too late to at night to get teachers to respond.”

North Point students thrive on that sacred NEST time, and believe it or not, students really use that time wisely. With the absence of NEST, students are growing more and more afraid of not being able to get what they need done and ultimately enhance their school life. Students know that the North Point administration wants us to have NEST just as much as we want it. Our only hope is for us to get that time back soon.