New Study Hall Rules Aim to Promote Productivity


Rebecca L.

8th grade students working at their desks in study hall.

New rules have been added to the middle school study hall with the goal of training students how to study and manage their time effectively. The rules are a departure from how study hall has been run in the past. Director of Lower and Middle school Zanita Kelly said, “The issue is that there was a lack of supervision, and without supervision there was a lack of accountability [for] where people are and what they are doing.”

On August 25th, a middle school assembly was held to introduce the new study hall rules, which included a ten-minute routine block to plan how to complete assignments for the next hour. Students had to work quietly and independently the entire time without the ability to listen to music or watch work-related videos.  

Last year, middle school students worked in the Mudd Pit and were asked to use signout sheets to roam around campus. This lack of supervision meant there was no accountability for where students were, nor a guarantee that they were taking advantage of the time to do work. Charlotte H. ’28 mentioned that, with the way she heard study hall operated last year, she probably wouldn’t have gotten much work done.

Some students agree that the new rules are reasonable since it helps them get more work done. Although Grace F. ’27 preferred how study hall was previously run, she acknowledged that the new study hall rules help her study with focus. She said, “What they did was for the better.”

Jessica S. 28’ getting work done in study hall.

Mihret K. ’27 said, “I find the rules reasonable, but I do miss being able to play Roblox during study hall.”  

Students and faculty believe that the new rules added to study hall offer more accountability and structure. 8th grade English teacher Mrs. Ramirez acknowledged how study hall time helps provide balance for students and gives students an opportunity to manage their time better. “As a teacher I actually find it helpful to find students to go work with,” she explained. Mrs. Ramirez also explained that the first goal of study hall is to provide an environment and space for students to get as much work done as possible and help with their academic growth. 

On November 1, another middle school assembly was held to discuss more new changes for study hall as students transition into the second quarter. Students are now allowed to use headphones to watch videos for schoolwork, listen to music, or to cancel out noise. Students are also able to make appointments using a special pass to meet with teachers. They will continue to have ten-minute routines before every study hall.  

Dr. Kelly explained that students need the support to know how to study and manage their time especially after the pandemic: “We tend to expect by 7th grade that you know certain things on how to manage your time and that is unfair. You really do need a little bit of training—all of us need some reminders, even as a professional.”

“We knew that we needed some changes and with the feedback we were given. Kids need to be supervisioned, kids need some support with how to manage themselves, and then kids also need you to leave them alone and let them practice the things you taught them,” Dr. Kelly.