Posted January 29, 2020 in Student Newspaper
Author: Kaitlin Bender-Thomas, Class of 2021
Study Hall being taken away for the 2019-2020 school year has become a topic of wide debate among students in the Saint Martin Community. Although rumors about the idea surfaced throughout the school, it was never presumed official until the Leadership Team - Chaz Napoli, Ryan Hurley, John Fay, and Shameka Jones Taylor - forwarded an email to all students declaring a few changes for the upcoming school year, one of which consisted of study hall being replaced with College and Career Readiness class and weekly advisory sessions. This newly formulated idea was announced around June - shortly before the end of the school year - leaving many students unsettled. Junior Ayanna Lyons said, “I feel like we should still have study hall because it helps us. We receive lots of homework so if we had study hall that would help us get through some of our work and enable us to be less stressed. Especially since this is our junior year and everyone says this is the hardest year.” We also heard from Freshman Autumn Foster who said, “I feel as if they should have kept study hall because it’s apart of the high school experience. I was really looking forward to it because when I shadowed, there was a study hall which was really cool to see because I didn’t have that coming from eighth grade.” Many students are probably wondering if this change will be permanent.
We talked to one of the members from the leadership team - Chaz Napoli - to obtain a better understanding. Study Hall was taken away for a few reasons: to provide students with leadership skills, college prep, standardized test prep, work training, and student advisory. The goal that the administration team seeks is to create a culture that allows students to become leaders, better prepare all students for the SAT, provide more work training for Freshmans so that they are better prepared when they go offsite, and provide students with weekly small group sessions with an adult that will ultimately allow them to bond and receive any support that they may need. In the interview, Chaz Napoli stated, “It is my commitment. We will try to figure out a way to get more free time next year and I will just appreciate it if students cut me a break this year and appreciate the opportunities that the class offers.” This should settle the alarm but the student body will undoubtedly be holding Mr.Napoli to his word for the 2020-2021 school year.