Study halls are prevalent at OHS

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Students working productively during their study hall

Derek Klecker, Writer

When students receive their schedules in August, some students may find a class on theirs that they are not interested in taking. Other students may feel like they just need a break in their day to finish homework. Owatonna High School offers study halls to their students in all grade levels. A study hall is offered during every skinny and every block during the day to ensure all students have that option if they choose. Many students at OHS take a study hall at some point during their four years of high school. 

A study hall is a quiet place where students get time during their school day to work and do whatever they want. In recent years, OHS moved their study halls from the small group forum and classrooms, to the media center. Ms. Hollie Jeska, an assistant principal at OHS, said, “I think moving it to the media center has helped student behavior a lot. I think it’s just the atmosphere, it’s quieter just in general and I think some of the other places maybe weren’t really great for studying.” The media center also provides students options to read books or go on computers if they don’t have anything to do during this time.

I think moving it to the media center has helped student behavior a lot. I think it’s just the atmosphere, it’s quieter just in general and I think some of the other places maybe weren’t really great for studying.”

— Ms. Hollie Jeska

There are many reasons why students would decide to take a study hall. Some of the most common reasons are; dropping an elective that they don’t want to take or doesn’t interest them, needing some extra time to stay caught up because of the rigor of their other classes or the activities and athletics they’re involved in. Junior Braden Leonard said, “With having soccer during this first quarter, I have been able to get all my schoolwork done during my study hall.” There are also other alternatives instead of taking a study hall. These alternatives, depending on your grade level and credit situation, include; senior privileges, project passes, options, internships or mentorships.

While study halls can be very beneficial when used for the right purpose, students still have to be carrying seven credits within the school year. These credits are equivalent to seven semester long classes. Ms. Jeska said, “Every student has to carry seven credits to be a full time student, so you could never take more study halls that would bring you under seven credits.” Students also need to spend at least three-fourths of their school day within classes. Ms. Jeska said, “Let’s say you have four block classes and one of them is a study hall, you could do that but if there was another class you felt you needed to withdraw from you couldn’t do that.” Study halls open opportunities for students to better their schedule for themselves.