Saturday, October 16

District representatives discuss homework free weekends and future mental health support

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As the school approaches the end of the first quarter, discussions regarding changes surrounding homework have circulated throughout board meetings of important district representatives. 

On Sept. 13, MVLA’s Board of Trustees moved to revise previous rules about homework, especially regarding mental health.

The Board’s original intent was to put three homework-free weekends in place throughout the year, one for Homecoming weekend, Memorial day weekend, and March’s quarter break. 

MVHS teacher David Campbell spoke at the board meeting to bring to light certain issues with regards to the mental health of students. Instead of advocating for less homework on three occasions, he focuses primarily on the stress that taking too many AP classes can put on students. 

Students work on homework assignments during tutorial

“If we truly want to make a change, we need to limit the number of AP classes our students take,” Campbell said. 

Campbell conducted a survey, which garnered over 200 responses, about sentiments regarding MVHS’s mental health support. The survey was answered from a variety of teachers, school psychologists, and seniors. 

Through the responses given, Campbell created a case for a revision of mental health support in the school. 

“The unfortunate reality of MVHS mental health support is that it’s fundamentally crisis response based instead of preventative,” Campbell said.

Due to recent calendar changes, MVHS and LAHS schedules were unaligned during homecoming weekend. Should homecoming weekend have been homework free, MVHS would have 4 days of homework-free weekend while LAHS would only have 2 days.

 In light of this, the board moved to remove the homework free-weekend on homecoming weekend, and promised to resume discussion of academic mental health issues in future meetings.

“Just because a student’s transcript shows all A’s doesn’t mean the student is ok, safe and healthy,” Campbell said.

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About Author

Gavin is a junior in his third year in Oracle. He serves as a staff writer for the Oracle. Outside of school, he enjoys playing piano, hanging out with friends, and eating.

3 Comments

  1. This is not okay. The district could just as easily add an extra homework free weekend to LAHS’ schedule. This just shows how the academic rigor overrides the health and safety of the students time and time again. Even if the number of AP classes a student takes is the majority of the problem, the district needs to look at the students’ current needs given that there is no limit on the number of AP’s yet. It is an incredibly stressful time of the year, especially for seniors, and stealing a homework free weekend away from students who feel they are on a never-ending cycle of school, homework, and studying, is uncalled for.

  2. The board’s decision to remove the homework free weekend is incredibly counter-intuitive. Currently, the reality of our school is that students are taking an overload of AP classes, and until the school decides to set a limit or make a change, that will persist. Instead of taking away the homework free weekend that overwhelmed students look forward to, why not add a homework free weekend for LAHS as well? Time and time again our district and board make decisions that clearly detriment students, all while claiming to care about the mental health and wellness of our children. After reading this article and hearing about this decision by the board, it is disturbingly evident that our district is not doing what they can to protect our children. It is two extra days of not having homework, which is practically nothing for the district, but incredibly important to students. Until the school makes a change as to how many AP classes students can take, the district should not be taking HW free weekends away from students.

  3. This is really important to students!! There are so many mental health issues due to school and other things in a students’ life, so why make school difficult and stressful for them to the point where they can’t handle things. Also, I think this goes beyond just limiting AP classes, honors classes and homework amounts are stressing kids out as well. Many students are also trying to take as many APs to get into colleges, so limiting that may make things worse for students who want the challenge of taking many APs. So, I think it needs to be a conversation about stress on students to a more fundamental level — like the requirements for college.

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