HS study halls?

<p>Do your kids take a study hall/free period? What do you see as the advantages/disadvantages in having a study hall? D is begging for one junior year, but I think she should take a full schedule. Thanks!</p>

<p>I would have liked for my daughter to have a study hall. Our district does not offer this, as the room would have to be staffed, but not fill a graduation requirement.
So instead she comes home early as often doesn't have a full schedule.
I think they can be too tired to do their homework after school and takes more effort and more time than when it is fresh in their mind.
Also, the environment of being at school, can be more conducive to studying than home on the kitchen table or in a room with a lot of distractions.
As long as she is on track with graduation requirements then I would listen to her wishes</p>

<p>I would say that it depends on how high your D is aiming in college admissions. For very selective colleges it is important that your D be seen to be taking the most rigorous curriculum available to her. A transcript showing a bunch of study halls or fluff courses will be less likely to get the "most rigorous" designation.</p>

<p>Emerald, is your daughter a senior, and what and how many classes is she taking? There are some seniors at my D's school who are taking only three or four classes and leave early even though there are study halls.</p>

<p>Coreur, she's aiming for the UVa/Rochester/Miami/Georgetown axis, does not want to apply to any Ivies (I think she should look at LACs too). Next year she'll be a junior and will be taking AP English, AP US history, AP Environmental Science, Spanish IV, German I, Anatomy & Physiology, and she wants either Creative Writing or Art and a study hall. No math because she's barely passing Pre-Cal now and that will be her 4th year of HS math (so far she has all A's, one B in an AP class, and barely got a C in math last semester) and she doesn't want to take Physics because of the math involved. (She's had Honors Biology and Chemistry). The HS has SAT prep as an elective, with a pass-fail option, and I think she should take that instead of a study hall since her sophomore PSATs were 66 CR and W, 53 math and she refuses to do any kind of test prep. The block scheduling allows them to take 8 classes. What do you think?</p>

<p>I think 7 classes is <em>plenty.</em> I wouldn't worry about the "most challenging" curriculum because that will be applied to senior year more than anything. </p>

<p>If it were my daughter, I would see if there's a way for her to sit in on a Pre-Cal class. I know she wouldn't want to hear that and I wouldn't go for the credit, but if she's taking Pre-Cal as a soph, barely passing and has a 53 on her math PSAT (albeit her soph ones-- but she had plenty of math prep), I would make her beef up a bit. Of course, she could always take AP Stats and then not have math senior year but I would rather knock out a course (the second science or the second foreign language) and have her take a math class even if it's just sitting in on one.</p>

<p>The kids current school has a required study hall for all h.s. students.<br>
Their old school had 'honor pass'- a free period that the kids could use as they wished (but couldn't leave campus), They could go to the cafeteria, computer labs or library, meet with teachers, hang out with friends, etc. If their grades dropped, they were required to replace honor pass with a monitored study hall.</p>

<p>In both schools, a student can take an eighth class instead, but it is not encouraged and not the norm.</p>

<p>I would encourage kids to take a study hall. Both kids had plenty of rigorous courses, and got a lot of work done during that time.</p>

<p>My children's high school has required IL (Independent Learning), for all students for one period each day. All students (with a few exceptions) take the same course load: English, History/Social Studies, Science, Math, Spanish, and IL. Students plan in advance how they're going to be using their IL, via the educational plans they create in the fall. So, for example, my daughter uses hers for Japanese and additional Math practice. </p>

<p>IL is supervised by the school's principal, so it's not easy to goof off. Students have to be working silently or in small quiet groups. Because it's required, there isn't any problem with needing to take a more rigorous course load instead -- all students are taking the same rigorous courseload (all AP's the last two years), so they really need the study time.</p>

<p>Study halls? I WISH we had them. There is no such thing in our school system. Everyone is required to take 8 classes per year even if the only class they really need by Senior yr. is Eng. 4. No one is allowed to leave school early unless in the dual enrollment program at the Comm. college (which S2 did).<br>
For kids with heavy after school committments (mine played football) a study hall would have been much more useful than some of the worthless electives they took. Our system requires 28 credits to graduate but most graduate with 32 due to the 8 course/yr. requirement.</p>

<p>I think the "most rigorous curriculum" designation has many interpretations. It sounds as if your d's junior year schedule will be quite challenging, with 3 APs, 2 languages, and 2 sciences. I wouldn't consider Creative Writing or Art as fluff courses (not that it's up to me, of course) - students should pursue their interests in high school, and I think that holistic admissions offices like to see this.</p>

<p>Although your d has 4 years of hs-level math (I presume through Pre-Calc), I wouldn't be comfortable with the idea of foregoing it entirely from this point on. You don't mention your d's possible senior schedule. Will she take a math then - possibly AP Stats, which really does seem to be accessible to less math-minded kids? I think that doing only two years of math in hs, even if the basic math curriculum has been maxed out, would be considered a negative at schools like UVA and Georgetown.</p>

<p>Even if your d is resisting the notion of test prep, her chances at the schools she likes will be stronger if she can raise her PSAT/SAT scores (though they'll probably increase next year anyway). Would she consider an informal self-prep program? I can see why she'd rather have a study hall than an SAT prep class. </p>

<p>My current senior's schedule does include two (horrors!) free or study periods per day. She's taking AP Calc, AP Lit, and AP Bio; college-level Econ and Sociology (cooperative programs with a local university), and electives in Child Psych and Legal Studies. It keeps her busy, but no one would consider it the most challenging possible curriculum. Which, thankfully, did not keep her from being accepted ED at W & M, a school that does want a rigorous curriculum. D had already done 4 years of a foreign language (opted out of AP Latin), and chose AP Bio (had already done AP Chem) over any physics at all (instructor issues at our hs). I was worried about her schedule, but it didn't keep her from being accepted at her first choice school. Though I don't know how narrowly she squeaked in!</p>

<p>My d's school has 7 periods per day, none being study hall. All are required classes (math, science, social studies, language, religion, and then pick two from either a health/fitness, computer science or fine arts) and noone is allowed to leave early. It is a small, private catholic prep school.</p>

<p>From my experience, if your daughter is 'begging' for the study hall, perhaps she feels a little overwhelmed, and if 'made' to take a class, she may resent it and not do as well as hoped. It is also a time to catch up with peers, not as easy to do as we parents think. Even though there is plenty of IM'g and cell phones, this is actually a time for face-to-face contact, which I think is to be encouraged in this age of faceless communication. It seems as though she will be plenty challenged with the proposed schedule. Junior year is the start of a busy time for HS students.</p>

<p>My high school senior has a "senior study hall" first period and loves it. She uses the opportunity to finish studying for tests, finish homework, meet with friends to work on group projects, make up tests/quizzes (after she had been out sick), or even to schedule doctor appointments (first appointment of the day). I am all for them but, she is very happily going to attend an instate third tier university. If she had aims for a first tier I really couldn't tell you if they would have cared.</p>

<p>Califa, if you from CA like your screen name suggests she should consider taking an a-g elective that might give her additional uc "points" if she is planning to apply to any UC other than Riverside and Merced. People w/ great stats have been shocked by their rejections but a lot of them just took the required number of a-g and didn't go over that amount. Getting more increases your odds of acceptance.</p>

<p>Our school does not have any study halls. All students take a full load of 7 classes (one class being phys ed/health for 9th, 10th & 11th grade). I know a lot of athletes would probably appreciate one. The athletes tried to petition that during their season they could get a study hall during phys ed, the reason being that they were obviously getting exercise. It was turned down. The administration said the kids wouldn't meet the "time in learning" requirements if they had study halls (phys ed counts as "time in learning" because it has a certified teacher AND a curriculum). But I think the truth is that the phys ed teachers adamantly opposed it - if a lot fewer kids were taking gym, then we'd need fewer gym teachers.</p>

<p>Find out why your D is begging for one. If she has lots of EC's, including sports, she may need the time. Or does she just want a chance to socialize? I find with my D that half the time she chooses her electives based on what her friends are taking and the chance that they might end up in class together. I know that's how she chose which foreign language to study!</p>

<p>It's very, very rare to not take an off hour at my high school. A full schedule of difficult classes is simply overwhelming for even the best students. Add on EC's and any possible make up work from being sick or going on vacation and you will not keep up.</p>

<p>Both my older kids had study halls. At our high school they are basically considered a free period. My oldest would come home (block scheduling so it was 90 minutes plus lunch). My 2nd through his 504 it was required that if he had a study hall it was first thing in the morning or last period of the day. Either he went late or I picked him up. Very few kids sit in study hall. I hated the free periods. Unfortunately due to budget cuts after freshman year no student was guaranteed a full load.
My youngest in middle school has a study hall that I like. It is in a classroom with about 12 kids and they are required to do homework or read.
I support a study hall if it is to get work done. Not as a free period to hang out with friends or sleep late.</p>

<p>Based on admissions decisions I've seen, I think that "most challenging" really means "challenging enough."</p>

<p>The more serious students at our HS generally try their best to avoid study halls. They are sort of like recess but without the recreational value or any serious attempt to monitor the behavior of the students.</p>

<p>My school had study halls built into the schedule, no matter what kind of course schedule you were taking. Sometimes students taking more than one or two "extra" classes (photography, computer programming, or other classes that don't meet every day) would only have study hall two or three times a week, but most students had one or two study hall periods every day. Students on "honors" were permitted to sign out of study hall and go to the library, where you had to remain quiet, and students on "high honors" were permitted to sign out and go basically wherever they wanted. We had seven periods a day, not block scheduling, and students usually took five core academic subjects and one or two extra classes that only met a couple of times a week.</p>

<p>I was thinking about this the other day too. But my D's situation is slightly different. If she takes 6 AP/Honor courses, she's required to take a study hall period, which is the 7th course. I hope colleges will not look upon this negatively. How should she address this requiremnt in her college application? I look at the school profile and it does state that the school recommends 3 AP/Honor course, but it doesn't state anything related to this requirement.</p>