Marching band members granted athletic study hall

Diane Makovic, Copy editor

For the first time, marching band students at LT are receiving an athletic study hall. It began this semester and will last until the final home football game against Hinsdale Central on Friday, Oct. 12.

“It was something that was brought to our attention last year that we weren’t doing,” Scott Eggerding, Director of Curriculum and Instruction, said. “We looked into it and saw that it was permissible, so we brought it to the board.”

The Illinois School Code allows school districts to give athletic study hall to marching band members, Band Director Mark Dahl said.

The parents of students in marching band have been asking the band directors for an athletic study hall for their children for a long time, Eggerding said. The administrators and teachers did research on the topic, and more than 50 percent of high schools in Illinois were giving athletic study hall to their band members.

“Every school does things a little differently, and some schools allow students who are in the band to take a class in place of PE, some don’t have anything or some are just out during the season,” Eggerding said. “I think our students knew kids at Hinsdale, in particular, who had the opportunity, and we didn’t, so they just naturally asked.”

LT’s marching band practices during band classes in school, but also has three-hour practices on Wednesday nights from 6:30-9:30 p.m. In addition, the drumline has extra practices on Mondays from 6-8 p.m. and Wednesdays from 5:30-6:30 p.m. before the whole band practices. The number of hours that students are in marching band practice exceeds the hours required for one semester of PE, Emma Dahl ‘19 said.

“Kids are busy, and as adults we want to help make things easier for them,” Mark Dahl said. “I think it was a common sense solution by the school district to implement the waiver.”

The mandatory marching band season ends after the football season ends, but band members voluntarily play at basketball games and march in local parades, Aman Penmetcha ‘20 said. Out of the 50 performances the band students give each year, over 20 of them directly support athletics and represent the school in parades, Mark Dahl said.

“I am proud of the significant amount of time the band students give to support the school and community,” he said.