Changing Times Appear on the Horizon


Photo Credit: Photo Credit: Kelly Streaser

With the advent of Homework Free Night on the horizon, it’s your time to get informed and join the conversation.

by Kelly Streaser, Advertising Manager

On Monday, March 25, the follow- up meeting about schedules and pressures took place in the media center.  This time a major focus was combating the overwhelming amount of work students sometimes face. One idea was looking into a type of block scheduling that could help students learn how to better manage their schedules and give them more time to get their work done.

Mr. Arlotta, Mr. Purciello, a few teachers, and a handful of students recently visited River Dell High School (a school that has a block schedule) to see what it was like and what people thought of it.

The specific type of schedule examined is one that contains eight periods but only six meet each day. There are three in the morning, a school wide lunch, and then three in the afternoon. Also, the time block that a class meets changes each day, so students who are not “morning people” have a chance to experience classes at different times of the day when they might be more productive.

Sophomore Brandon Shaw was one of the students who visited the school, and he had a high opinion of their schedule. He said that even though they ran into problems, such as school closings during hurricane Sandy, they were able to tackle them better than schools with traditional schedules such as ours. Shaw believes that this type of schedule will help to teach students time management skills, which will help prepare them for college.

Another student who had the opportunity to see River Dell High School was sophomore Hannah Daschil. She noticed that students had more free time at lunch, so they were able to do things such as go to teachers for extra help. Mr. Arlotta noted that their lunch was a more relaxed environment. He expressed that a different type of schedule could help students better utilize their time.

Then Mr. Arlotta made an exciting announcement. “I guess I’ll reveal it here first,” he began, getting everyone’s attention. Then he went on to explain a “Homework Free Night.”

The idea is pretty self-explanatory: it is a night on which teachers cannot assign any homework to their students.  This allows students to relax and do something other than homework all night. This could be family time, going out with friends, or even just relaxing at home. These nights could occur every semester, or even every quarter, depending on the response. Mr. Arlotta told the group that he wanted to try the first Homework Free Night on Thursday, April 11. Mr. Arlotta wants some feedback on this idea, so if you want to voice your opinion, please vote in our poll on the home page.

This meeting was a great opportunity for students, parents, and teachers to voice their concerns about the many different aspects of school and scheduling problems. It was once again a nice reminder that our school administrators and staff are willing to work through the problems that students face. If you want your opinion to be heard on these issues, you can comment on this article and don’t forget to vote in the poll!