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Staff Ed— Study halls turning into glorified play and nap time

courtesy of Jake Festenstein

courtesy of Jake Festenstein

Staff Ed

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A big decision is to be made in your upcoming study hall. Does getting a jump start on homework sound good, or should I finish that big project? You know what, nevermind, the next level on Angry Birds is just too important.

Students nationwide are now choosing to take a study hall. This course selection is popular if students need additional time for homework because of a busy schedule. Unfortunately, this tremendous resource is being abused by students who choose to spend the time doing unimportant tasks.

Whether it’s iPad games, Netflix movies or just a 50 minute nap, study hall has become less work and more play. Students are not recognizing the valuable time a study hall gives to them.

“I understand that we all lack motivation or ‘need a break’ from time–to–time,” Dave Haubrich said. “Part of when I try do in my study halls is to encourage students to manage their time positively and appropriately.”

Because students do not use their time wisely during study halls, most students are restricted to only one study hall per semester. However, for some there is a loophole. If one takes the zero hour gym course, that individual then has the option of having two study halls, as one is credited by the gym course.

Offering students who take this course two study halls may be practical for some, but not all. Allowing students to take two study halls may not be the most productive choice for everyone, but considerations should be made for those who have an overwhelming amount of AP classes or college level courses. The decision should be made on an individual basis.

Students get sidetracked with one 50– minute free period, let alone two. Senior Mike Kleczynski has been involved with the zero hour gym program for two years, and he has experienced having two study halls many different semesters.

“I’d be lying if I said that all my time goes into school work with my two study hall courses,” Kleczynski said. “But with having two, I do try and focus hard enough to where I get as much work done as possible.”

There is no doubt some students do face an exhausting work load and the necessity for a study hall is there. Some students can face the struggle of taking multiple strenuous classes, and still have after school activities to focus on before homework can even be started.

“Because of my zero hour gym program, I am thankful to be able to have a study hall,” senior Logan Kelly said. “With the amount of work I have in school, sports and a part time job, I definitely see it as a need more than a want.”

There are always going to be pros and cons with the necessity for study hall courses in high school. The decision of slacking off or doing work may appear easy to some, but the choice may be difficult for others. Next time you find yourself struggling on that level of Angry Birds, ask yourself a simple question: Could I be getting something more important done right now? That answer is, undoubtedly, yes.

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