Meridian High School Student Newspaper - The Lasso

The Lasso

Meridian High School Student Newspaper - The Lasso

The Lasso

Meridian High School Student Newspaper - The Lasso

The Lasso

Don’t undervalue early release Wednesdays

On early release Wednesdays, students lose 30 minutes of each class, as well as lunch, stable group, and Mustang block, and get out 3 hours early. (Photo via Schoology)

On Nov. 1, members of the FCCPS School Board held a forum on the learning stairs regarding changes to the school start times and an increase in the frequency of early release Wednesdays. A new schedule is under consideration, which would increase the frequency of early release Wednesdays potentially resulting in some months with two such releases.

Not only would this allow students more free time and more time to study and work on homework, but it also supports student mental health.

High school students take a lot of classes, and those classes assign homework. While each individual assignment may not seem like much, the work can pile up between classes, making students’ lives incredibly stressful. Giving students more time to catch up on that work would be very beneficial.

“As a student, this gives us more time to catch up on homework, so overall I think it’s a good thing,” said sophomore Pia Nath. 

The time to catch up on homework may also help to better student mental health. It is a well known fact that mental health issues have become more and more prominent among teenagers. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control, 42 percent of students polled in 2021 reported feeling consistently sad or hopeless. 

The stress students feel from homework is one of the largest contributing factors to poor student mental health. According to a study by Stanford University, 56 percent of high school students consider homework a primary source of stress. The time short Wednesdays give to catch up on homework could help reduce that stress.

Additionally, Meridian provides a wide variety of sports and activities, which makes the extra time to do homework even more important. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 79.9 percent of high school seniors participate in some sort of extracurricular activity. These clubs are not only opportunities for students to explore interests and meet new people, but they may also be helpful later in life. They can offer valuable leadership experiences to students who likely would not have had the chance to learn those skills otherwise. 

However, as students spend time in clubs, learning new skills and making friends, they have less time to do homework, which can make even the most hardworking students overwhelmed. Adding extra short Wednesdays would give those students valuable time to work on homework, allowing them to balance their extracurricular activities with their classes.

Short Wednesdays also give students time to destress and do things that they enjoy. Students can use the time to hang out with friends and explore their hobbies. Between homework and extracurriculars, students do not get a ton of time to do those things during the week. This leaves weekends as the only time to do these things as opposed to  

Although there are some drawbacks to the arrangement, such as families needing to provide childcare for their students, middle and high school students are mature enough to stay home alone for a few hours. 

“I agree, needing to arrange more childcare is a very legitimate issue,” admitted sophomore Mia Sabo. “However I don’t see it affecting many people at the high school level.”

Increasing the number of short Wednesdays would be incredibly beneficial. It could help to decrease the stress levels of overworked and unhappy students, allowing them to truly do their best in school. Not to mention how it would make it easier for students to participate in extracurriculars and help out at home.

It isn’t even a question. A new schedule with increased short Wednesdays is a fantastic idea. 

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Anna Goldenberg
Anna Goldenberg, News Editor
Anna is a sophomore, and this is her second year writing for the Lasso. Every few months she will become obsessed with a shiny piece of media, so her interests change a lot. She also likes reading, baking, and her dog.