How a daily study hall helps students

Common Sense Editorial

Homework is the number one cause of stress in teenagers, according to a study by the Better Sleep Council. 74 percent of teens cite homework as their most prominent stressor. While this school has made efforts to reduce stress within students’ lives, an effective approach would be to introduce a much-needed study hall into the schedule.

With students participating in extracurriculars, sports, clubs and AP classes, finding time to do homework or study for tests is tricky. With a study hall, students will be given time to increase their productivity and improve their grades.

When designing their schedules, students are often faced with a tough decision. Should they use their last empty slot to take that extra AP class that could potentially impress colleges, or should they take a “break period” to ensure that they don’t get tired or worn out throughout the day? With a study hall integrated into the schedule, students will be able to use their study hall as a break period, allowing them to take more challenging classes without being overly exhausted. “I took some classes this year that were easy so I have more time to do work for harder classes,” sophomore Matthew Koplan said. “If we had [study hall] I might make my schedule a little harder.”

Though the benefits of a study hall are numerous, the most significant issue is time; how would another period fit into the school day? Adding an entire 45-minute period would cause big changes to the schedule, but a shorter period would not be as significant. A 30-minute study hall added to the schedule could make first period 46 minutes and all other periods 42 minutes, including lunch. An even shorter period — like Cabin John Middle School’s 17-minute “Pride” — could still give students adequate time to do homework and study for tests. ¨I loved Pride at Cabin John,” junior Gabi Giro said. ¨If we have study hall next year I don’t think it needs to be 45 minutes. It would still be good if it was shorter.¨

Another argument to be made against study hall involves lunch. While lunch is a possible time slot to do work, there are disadvantages. Doing homework while sitting on the hallway floor is uncomfortable, classrooms during lunch often have other students loudly talking and the library doesn’t allow eating. One period every day that ensures a slot of time dedicated to working would make lunch more about eating. “Whenever I have to do work during lunch, I never actually eat anything,” sophomore Jacob Kravitz said. ¨For retakes I don’t eat at all, so if its the whole period then I don’t get time to eat anything.¨

Study hall would not only benefit the students, but the teachers as well. Students will be less likely to try to do work for other classes during class causing them to miss instruction if they know that they will have an opportunity to get their work done later at school, as students who like to finish their homework in school would still be able to without missing teachers’ lessons in the process.

Let’s hope that administration makes the right decision and adds a study period to next year’s schedule.

5 of 5 editorial board members agreed