Staff Editorial: Hall for All

Our Position: The proposed bell schedule changes for next year, including the addition of a 25-minute study hall period, will be beneficial to students because it will provide them with a chance to finish short homework assignments or seek help for larger ones, as well as conference with teachers or make up tests.

Think back to a time in the recent past (or last night) when you didn’t finish a homework assignment the night before it was due, so you were frantically trying to finish it during class, and then all of the sudden you were missing material and trying to catch up. Let’s be honest, we’ve all been there. But what if you had a study hall, and could rest assured knowing you could finish it then?

The proposed bell schedule changes for next year and the addition of a 25-minute study hall should provide us an opportunity to start homework assignments or seek help from teachers if we have any questions during the day.

So what can you actually get done in 25 minutes? For the majority of us, whose nightly quarrels with sanity extend beyond a mere half an hour, it won’t do much as far as time consumption goes. Twenty-five minutes is just a small chunk of the hours upon hours normally spent on enhancing our education at home. But let’s think about the positive side. If it means we finish our homework 25 minutes earlier and get to go to bed, then it’s a godsend. We cannot be expected to spend the amount of time teachers want us to on homework when we go to practice everyday after school or to clubs and come home exhausted. Twenty-five minutes, although not life changing, will allow us all to at least take a much-needed breath.

Proposed “homework help centers” would focus on specific subjects and would be staffed by an administrator who specializes in that field. So now if you completely blank on how to do that math problem or physics diagram, you can take it to one of the centers and get help on it before class, instead of doing what so many of us do and simply not do the problem.

Another key aspect of the new bell schedule plan is the elimination of split lunch periods. Let’s be honest, while everyone loves these split-lunch classes, they are often plagued with a lack of productivity and are shorter than other class periods. With 25 minutes before and after lunch, it is oftentimes hard to get work done since absolutely no one is focused on class and everybody is just itching to go eat. If you’ve had a split-lunch class before, than teachers saying “we’ll get to it after lunch” or “we don’t have enough time to start that now” are all-too-common phrases. Although as students we hoot and holler over such proclamations, the harsh reality is it takes away class time to learn. Pretty soon the split lunch periods are racing to catch up with all the other classes. With their removal, the playing field should become level.

Overall, the proposal is a good idea. Climate surveys revealed that “amount of homework” is the number one source of stress in the lives of our peers, so it’s good to see the administration is acknowledging that. While 25 minutes is certainly not enough time to significantly reduce stress, it will allow students to seek help during the school day and work on material while it’s still fresh on their minds. All in all, this change will prove to be one for the better.