9th grade passes petition for free period

BLACK+AND+WHITE.+Freshman+Elle+Williams+is+working+on+her+black-and-white+photos+for+photography+class.+She+spent+her+first+free+period+in+the+photography+room+developing+these+photos.+It+was+nice+to+not+have+to+check+in+anywhere+before+coming+all+the+way+to+the+art+wing%2C+Williams+said.

Nora Seifert

BLACK AND WHITE. Freshman Elle Williams is working on her black-and-white photos for photography class. She spent her first free period in the photography room developing these photos. “It was nice to not have to check in anywhere before coming all the way to the art wing,” Williams said.

Study hall is no more after a petition, circulated by ninth grade representatives of Upper School Council was approved May 3. For the rest of the week, 9th graders had their first free periods. Previously, 9th grade USC members had been collecting signatures from the grade, advocating to make the transition to free periods during the final month of the school year. 9th grade USC representative Evan Morris said he got 38 of 40 signatures.

Morris summarized his thoughts on the matter. “Free periods allow more freedom to work with others and prepare them for the rest of their high school careers. Study hall is meant to be productive, but sometimes the best thing you can do for your grades, workflow, and, most importantly, mental health, is to take a break and socialize or honestly just relax,” he said.

Many students are excited for the freedom and opportunities that come with this transition.

Free periods allow more freedom to work with others and prepare them for the rest of their high school careers. Study hall is meant to be productive, but sometimes the best thing you can do for your grades, workflow, and, most importantly, mental health, is to take a break and socialize or honestly just relax.”

— Evan Morris

So far, students have been enjoying their free periods, using them responsibly and not disrupting classes. Freshman Dia Chaney said, “I have been using it to see teachers and, if I don’t have work, I just hang out with friends that have the same free period.”

Additionally, students are enjoying the opportunity to visit their teachers and work with classmates more. It’s important to provide students with time throughout the day so they can get the help they need with their work and collaborate with their peers. Freshman Dia Chaney said, “It’s much easier to just go to see the teacher you want instead of checking in first.”.

However, there are some potential negative consequences to this new freedom if it’s not used responsibly. “No one should be roaming the halls loudly and disrupting classes. If disruptive or inappropriate behavior is observed, this privilege will be revoked,” Morris said.

One student who didn’t sign the petition, Mehmet Arey, expressed his concern about this and explained why he didn’t sign the petition. “I honestly liked study hall and just didn’t want change in the last month of school. Plus, if anything bad happens during the new free periods, I won’t be responsible for anything that caused it by not signing the petition,” he said.

While study halls are no longer a requirement for the class of 26′, the freshmen are free to use the time however they want. That includes quietly hanging out with friends or working on homework.