Written by Caroline Huang and Claire Mason
The Aragon administration chose not to offer study hall as a course for the 2017-2018 school year. In previous years, students with a free class period during the day had this option to study in the library.
“The new study hall policy is that there is no study hall, except in special circumstances,” said assistant principal Lisa Warnke.
Study hall was a class designed for students who had a hole in their schedule. They recieved extra time to work on homework or study. Students had access to the computers in the library when other classes were not using them and could collaborate with each other while studying. The librarians supervised study hall in all periods. However, the class did not have a certified teacher to supervise.
“It was a class that we were offering but there was never any teacher for it,” Warnke said. “So we realized that was an issue and that doesn’t really work.”
Anna Lapid was the only certified librarian monitoring study hall. However, she splits her time between Aragon and Capuchino and isn’t always available to oversee the students. The other librarians cannot supervise the class on their own.
However, lack of supervision was not the only factor in the decision not to offer study hall.
“Any class we have at this school is supposed to be a class where you’re learning and you have a teacher. Study hall is not that,” said Warnke. “Students who want that type of period should just have a shortened school day.”
Students had three main options to fill the class period in which they originally had study hall: enroll in another course that was offered during the free period, shift their schedule for a first or seventh period off, thus being able to start school later or finish earlier or become a teacher’s aide.
Despite these options, students still had trouble balancing their schedules. Many were unable to get a first or seventh period off, and others discontent with having to take another class in place of of a free period to work.
“Study hall is really useful for me because I have access to computers and textbooks,” said senior Julia Lee. “The library is a really good work environment in which I can concentrate and get my work done.”
However, while study hall provided an opportunity to complete school work and study for classes, not all students used their time in study hall productively, which contributed to the administration’s decision to remove the class.
“In study hall, people screwed around more often than they worked,” said senior Joshua Prado.
“I would definitely say that there were students who didn’t use their time academically in the library,” Lapid said.
In years past, sophomores participating in an Aragon sport were given the option to go to study hall instead of physical education on their block day. With study hall no longer being offered, at this point in the year, athletic study hall is not an option for the student athletes.
“[Athletic study hall] is something that we’re still looking at a way to try and continue,” said assistant principal Ron Berggren. “We [the administration] like that as a break for student athletes and we would like to figure out a way to continue that. Fortunately, it is only block days, so if it just means we get coverage for those two days, that might be a possibility.”