Graphic by Alice O’Neil and Lou Ward
Nearly every year since the open senior study hall was implemented, it seems a rumor is started about juniors or underclassmen getting it as well.
More often than not these rumors have been born from the wishes of juniors with little basis, but in recent years, the administration has seemed open to the idea and discussed multiple plans that would give others the opportunity to leave school during their free period.
Two years ago, Arlingtonian wrote a story that reported that some in the administration had the idea of giving IB juniors an open study hall. The rationale they gave was to help students manage the course load of their IB classes. In this issue, we wrote again about the administration’s proposal to give all juniors an open study. Principal Kip Greenhill says he hopes to give students more experience with time management before college, and that giving students two years of open study hall would accomplish this goal.
Every year we hear the same lukewarm response from the people involved in making it a reality. It may happen, but they still need to get more input from the staff, work out the details and the like. No one ever seems to really say they are going to make it happen.
It is about time a decision is made. Giving juniors open study hall would have numerous benefits for many students who feel overwhelmed by their courses. The extra time would be useful for finishing assignments that may not necessarily be possible to do sitting in a chair in the cafeteria. Additionally, the time could be used to help juniors prepare for standardized tests.
Some seniors feel that doing so would be unfair to them. After all, they had to trek through junior year, through the standardized tests and AP classes, without the benefit of an open study hall. However, would they be any worse off now, if juniors this year were given the opportunity of an open study hall? The answer, of course, is an unequivocal no.
Whether or not the administration sees the issue the way we do, the fact remains that the issue needs to be put to rest. The endless rumors have gone for long enough and we need to decide whether it is important that juniors learn time management as Greenhill wants, or whether the coveted privilege and responsibility should be reserved only for seniors as it has been.