Ever since the assembly on Monday January 8, when Director of Counseling Ms. Ilana Reyes announced to students that all rising juniors and seniors must sign up for a full slate of seven classes, there has been quite a stirrup of unhappy rising seniors and juniors.
“I was kind of shocked and confused … just mad. What the heck? Why do we have to do this?” junior Maeve Keating said after attending the assembly.
The explanation Ms. Reyes and other members of the GM administration gave to students was the difficulty in creating schedules for students. They must build schedules around the different classes that students plan to take each year, so when students sign up for study hall and then decide they want to take a different class once school starts, it makes the process much harder to arrange.
“We are not realistically completing our master schedule when so many students sign up for study hall as an extra one,” Reyes said, referring to the task of balancing class sizes based on student course requests. “We’ve also found that [taking a study hall] is the easy answer, but there are so many great classes here that are available and when study hall is taken out of the equation. It allows people to look at what else they might be interested in taking.”
However after the assembly, students only heard that study hall was going away. This disappointed many, and created a number of misinterpretations regarding the availability of study hall. “[I thought that] there was only going to be select few people who could get study halls, almost as though the system is going to be competitive,” junior Maddie Mohler said.
But this is not the case at all, according to Ms. Reyes. “Many students need study hall; they have a lot of things going on with all their classes and we want those students to access study hall.”
To many, study hall is an important block to take, and they are passionate about taking one during their senior year. “It’s going to be our senior year and if you want to take one or two study halls that should be fine,” Mohler said.
However to Ms. Reyes and the counseling department, the concern arises when they feel that students are not taking advantage of the resources available to them. “Part of what has spurred the changes coming for study hall is that we have students taking two and three study halls, it’s like, why are they not accessing what we have to offer in our building?” Ms. Reyes said.
The rumors flying around the school are mostly false; however, there will be changes to the study hall system for next year.
“It’s going to be an individual decision between the student and his or her counselor,” Ms. Reyes said. “For seniors it will be an easier process. We are hoping not to have underclassmen take study hall unless they absolutely need it. Seeing students taking more than one study hall will be few and far between.”