Gretna High School music teachers Pat Ribar and Brandon Shostak have partnered with cafeteria staff for an interesting study.

Held Oct. 14 through Oct. 18, National School Lunch Week centered on, “What’s on your playlist?” as this year’s theme.

GHS’ vocal music teachers are working with food service to play music in the cafeteria during lunch periods in efforts to observe reactions.

Would students eat faster if more fast, upbeat music was playing?

Or would the music have an effect at all?

The study was slated to begin late last week, but was pushed to this week.

As schools across the nation celebrate National School Lunch Week, more students are choosing to eat school lunch over a packed lunch than in previous decades.

As the number of students continues to rise throughout Gretna Public Schools, there is a huge need for people to staff school kitchens this year.

Kitchens desperate for help include Gretna Elementary School, Whitetail Creek Elementary School, Gretna Middle School and Gretna High School.

“It’s a fun job and it’s perfect for someone who needs to be home with their children or those recently retired,” said Sharon Schaefer, Gretna Public Schools Food Service Director.

GPS cafeterias have begun to implement new menu items that are on trend with what’s popping up in restaurants nationally. This year, chicken and waffles and Cuban sandwiches have been worked into the menu.

“We like to lead them to try new things,” Schaefer said.

In the spirit of trying something new, cafeterias throughout GPS are hosting occasional Fear Factor Fridays, in which they offer a new, maybe weird or different item, for students to try.

In September, students sampled Zante currants, a different version to a raisin. On Halloween, they will be able to sample dragon fruit.

After an item is sampled, staff members try to work them into menu items throughout the year.

“We try to do different things to get the students involved,” Schaefer said.

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