MCPS Should Add a Study Hall Period to Each Student’s Day

Nyasha Marufu (Cartoonist)

Nyasha Marufu (Cartoonist)

Abrahim Karzai and Angel Benjamin

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by: Abrahim Karzai

We all know the struggle. Coming home from a tough day with piles and piles of homework, you tell yourself, “I’ll get to it after dinner” or “I’ll get to it when this show ends.” Of course, that’s never the case and you end up doing it closer to midnight than you want. You think, “If only I had a study h

all period where I could knock out a good chunk of my homework.”

Why don’t we?

It just does not seem logical not to have a study hall. Excluding those with a half day schedules, a student has seven classes. Assuming your electives do not give you homework and you take a foreign language, you have homework in science, math, English, social studies, and whatever foreign language course you are taking. According to a report by Edweek’s Samantha Stainburn, an average American student receives thirty-five minutes of homework a class. That adds up to three hours a day.

If there were a forty-five minute study hall session every day during school, students could knock out a solid amount of homework. Of course, there are days where students do not always receive that quintessential three hours of homework, but how many times have students gone through those weeks where there is a quiz almost every class period? The study hall can be used as a period to

…well study. Having the opportunity to study 45 minutes before a big assessment, I can bet money students would not not pass that up.

Of course, some will argue that study hall does not fit in the school scheduling. Of course the idea of an extra forty-five minute class period based strictly on studying and getting homework would, more likely than not, become an issue with scheduling. However, one possible scenario to counteract the issue is this: Give students the opportunity to possibly have a “Study Hall” elective. This way, it would not become an issue of adding a forty-five minute session to the school day and would also give students the option to whether they want to have a Study Hall implemented in their classes or not.

As a student who knows the struggle of having to deal with homework, unit tests, AP Exams,foreign language presentations, vocab quizzes, and other homework and study challenges that the average Montgomery County student faces, I would absolutely sign up for a forty-five minute session dedicated to my homework. I know I am not alone.

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by: Angel Benjamin

Back in the day, study halls were included in the student schedules and were regarded as just another part of the school day. These periods usually consisted of completing assignments, receiving academic aid from teachers or other students, or simply studying.

Of course, in some cases, study hall was just a filler for an empty space in a schedule, but for those who used the time effectively it was important.

However, in this age, the original purpose of study hall can easily be accessed through the internet. Over time, the internet has evolved with several advancements allowing it to better provide accurate information for students. One can even acquire online lectures and tutorials that aid in studying and learning material.

Besides, some students may take advantage of study hall time that is supposed to be reserved for solely academic purposes. In today’s schools and in everyday life technology is a major part of one’s day, especially teens. The vast majority of teens have cell phones that provide not only contact with people, but that provide almost constant distraction. With such easy access to online content, games, and social media, students in study hall can easily get distracted from completing the work that study hall gives them the opportunity to do. Although there are certainly students who already use their technology during school hours and in the middle of classes, it does not make much sense to provide a sort of free time frame where they can simply do the same thing and not have much development or progress.

According to the staff writers of The Charger, a high school newspaper in Illinois, study hall periods are “being abused by students who chose to spend the time doing unimportant tasks.” The abuse they are referring to could translate to the extreme use of technology that I mentioned above. It is simply a waste of time for students and others who need the academic help of study halls if others are simply doing whatever they want. If it is clear that the time will not be wisely spent, it shouldn’t exist. The staff writers also mention how study hall has become “less work and more play” and that students are “not recognizing the valuable time a study hall gives to them.”

If MCPS were to add a study hall period to each student’s day, then surely there would be students who either take advantage of the opportunity or distract others who are in need of the academic aid that the period was designed for originally. Study hall does not need to be brought back. It will not be wisely used, and there are many who can gain the same support at home through technology that they would get from a separate free class period.

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