The Berkeley Carroll Blotter

Studying: 1, Lounging: 0

Sara Tobias, Opinion and Humor Editor

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New this year at Berkeley Carroll is a mandatory study hall for ninth and tenth grade winter student athletes. This recent decree states that students on the Varsity or JV Girls’ and Boys’ Basketball teams must report to the Study Atrium no later than 4pm if their respective practices start at 5pm or later. The students are able to leave the study hall fifteen minutes before the start of their practice. This controlled environment gives them a quiet place to get their work done as well as a place to stay contained and safe. Mr. McGrath, the Athletics Director, addresses the need for this study hall by saying, “it [basketball] is the only sport at Berkeley Carroll where there is a gap between the end of the school day and the start of practice.” Over the years, teachers have noticed drops in student athletes’ grades during the winter season in particular. This is because practices sometimes run as late as 7:15, giving students a small window of opportunity to complete their homework and study for assessments. Ms. Epstein, the Learning Specialist at Berkeley Carroll, expresses that “the after school study hall is designed to put a little more structure in place for winter athletes, and it’s designed with the students’ best interests in mind.”

However, most students have differing opinions. “I think that Berkeley Carroll should be encouraging us to learn to manage our own time, not manage it for us. It’s our responsibility to keep [up] our grades and do our homework,” says an anonymous student athlete. Students’ playing time is threatened by not showing up to study hall or showing up late and attendance is kept track of very closely.  In fact, every week there are papers on the Upper School Athletic Bulletin Board that show who should be in the Study Hall and what time they should leave.

Although the study hall is designed to get work done, some students work better with each other. The student athlete quoted before goes on to say, “It’s especially helpful to have an older or fellow student explain something when it is unclear, and the study hall eliminates this possibility.” Before the mandatory study hall was put in place, the Study Atrium was still open for any athlete who wanted a quiet place to work. The students had the choice whether to do their work independently or with a classmate. However, some students were choosing not to do their work at all. It can safely be said that this study hall benefits some students, but also can be a hindrance on the learning of other students.

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