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The North Star

Following the news since 1972

The North Star

Following the news since 1972

The North Star

Study halls have a new look at North this semester

Senior Chayeng Xiong plays a game of uno during study hall with senior Tristan Steed.

Starting second semester, study halls will be divided into grade levels, operating under merit study hall expectations.

The study hall change was needed to balance the amount of students in study halls, Assistant Principal Tyler Umentum explained. 

“Due to our current course offerings, our study hall numbers in various hours were significantly larger than others. Merging the two allowed more flexibility for students to enroll in study halls and make class rosters more manageable for study hall supervisors.”

Study halls now divide lowerclassmen from upperclassmen, with the commons being for freshmen and sophomores and the cafeteria being for juniors and seniors. Umentum noted this was established to make the sudden transition easier on counselors and students as well.

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Because the change was so recent and needed to be implemented quickly, separating the study halls by classes made it easier to make the change to student’s schedules. Counselors were able to know right away where students would be placed.” 

Umentum added this was necessary to avoid overloading study halls, which were crowded with all grade levels combined.

“Even if students were to drop a class to pick up a study hall, we avoid overloading one study hall over another with having them split by grade level.”

Originally, study halls were separated into two categories: Merit study hall and study hall.

Merit study hall was only available to students who met the Good Standing criteria (good behavior and attendance), had a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher, and had no D’s or F’s on their recent quarter/semester report cards. 

Now, all study halls operate under merit expectations, which means students have access to food and beverages from the snack shack as well as their phones and chromebooks for non-school work-related activity. Students can also have their study hall in the media center (with approval from a staff member).

Regular study halls had no GPA requirements, but students were prohibited from using their cellphones and only had access to beverages from the snack shack.

Many students appreciate the study hall change. Senior Vennie Xiong said the current study hall is significantly better than the older versions.

“It’s a lot better than when they separated it. I think it [separating study halls] was unfair. Merit was good grades and you can do whatever you want, and the regular study hall had no phones, no talking.”

Senior Zasha Hodge noted the merit study hall requirements, and how she felt they were unfair also.

“Even if you do have good grades, sometimes you don’t get into the merit study hall and then you’re stuck with nothing.”

While students appreciate the changes, Olufunke Akinleye, a study hall supervisor, admits she doesn’t think as much work gets done.

“I like the changes. The students definitely like it, but I don’t think as much work gets down. My pencils used to fly. Now, they sit here.”

 Brynn Hartzel, special education teacher, sees an improvement in behavior, and also enjoys how cellphones are no longer monitored.

“[It’s] definitely more relaxed. The students can sit with their friends. Some kids play games with their friends, some do homework. I have not had any behavior issues, and I’m happy I don’t have to monitor cell phones.”

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Dominic Centner
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