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Study hall usefulness has students divided

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Study hall usefulness has students divided

Junior Alexander Pulido gets a head start on his workload for the day.

Junior Alexander Pulido gets a head start on his workload for the day.

Cali Abramson

Junior Alexander Pulido gets a head start on his workload for the day.

Cali Abramson

Cali Abramson

Junior Alexander Pulido gets a head start on his workload for the day.

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Integrated into the block schedule last year, study hall is required for every student. Providing opportunity for those with too much on their plate to take a breath, many see this as a necessity. However, the mandatory hour of restricted freedom is seen as not only a blessing but also a curse.

Leaving the decision to mandate this hour of freedom to the individual schools, the Broward district provides this option for every school in the county. Assistant principal Derek Gordon, primary manager of this year’s master schedule, brings some light to why Western made the switch.

Gordon said the hour was mandated in order to “bring more personalized attention to each student.” The block sets time aside for teachers and staff to focus on the individual achievement of their classes.

Senior Jenna Bates is one of many who cherish the required hour of silence. Taking advantage of every second given, Bates uses the time period to work on schoolwork and said the time makes her life “a whole lot easier.” Bates is currently taking five AP classes on campus and one online. Aiming to be at the top of her class, Bates uses her study hall to help juggle her challenging courses.

“Study hall provides me with a necessary break during a stressful day,”  Bates said.

While helpful, Bates said she would not request a study hall on her schedule if it was made optional. If given the opportunity, she said she would have taken more challenging courses to help boost her GPA in preparation for college. As it stands now, she said she doesn’t have enough room on her schedule.

Taking the mandatory period of silence from a different point of view, band director Johnnie Tracey believes the relatively new study hall provides students with a much-needed slot in their schedules.

“I think it is extremely helpful,”  Tracey said. “However, some students look at it as a free hour to do whatever they want.”

Tracey believes the study hall has potential if enacted properly.

“It provides [students] with extra time to make up tests and receive the help they need for other classes,” Tracey said. “If I was in their position I would definitely take advantage of it.”

Junior Alexander Pulido thinks differently from Tracey and Bates. Pulido thinks the workload teachers assign is tolerable to bring home.

“[Study hall] is just pointless to me,”  Pulido said. “Teachers rarely assign that much homework.”

Pulido believes the time restriction is too much for those with rarely any work to do. While Pulido isn’t a fan of the way things are, he has some ideas for improving the arrangement.

“[You’re] basically stuck sitting in a chair for an hour and a half doing nothing,” Pulido said.  “Western should look into how Cypress Bay handles their study hall.”

Cypress Bay offers selective ‘privilege’ hours for juniors and seniors, providing them with the option to either come to school later or leave school earlier instead of going to an assigned classroom for the block. This provides students with windows to fix a botched sleep schedule or get some work done in their own home. If study hall was made optional, Pulido said he would not request it on his schedule.

“I might as well take a class that’s going to do something for my GPA than sit around wasting my time,” Pulido said.

Out of 50 students polled, 64 percent said they would not request a study hall if it were made optional.

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