Say Goodbye to DEAR

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We, the students of Centreville High School, petition against the activity of DEAR, Drop Everything and Read, every Friday, including the cease of the bands pep rallies during the football season. Bring back our time during Friday plus, and bring back pep rallies.

Since the start of DEAR time, students have had less school spirit, have had less time to complete assignments that are due, and have had less time to study before their tests. Tension between students and teachers has risen, as teachers are taking DEAR time too seriously, when students have more productive things to do.

Assignments that are part of a student's grade or a test that they will have during the day are more important to study than a few pages in a book that could potentially be read during that period of time. Many students have activities outside of school that prevent them from completing their homework or having adequate study time, such as sports or a job, and that time during plus should be a period that the students can choose how to use.

For example, as a senior in high school, I wake up at 6:30 AM every morning and get to school by 8:00 AM. When school releases, I speed walk to my car, where I then go as fast as possible, legally, to my job after school. I arrive to work by typically 3:30 PM. I am then at work until 7:30 PM, Monday through Friday. Tuesdays and Thursdays I drive from Centreville to Herndon to pick my younger sister up from the barn that she volunteers at because my parents are unable to. On days that I don't pick my sister up from the barn, I like to go to the gym after work, as that is the only time that I am able to exercise during the week. This puts me home at about 9:30 PM, Monday through Friday. Once home, I then eat dinner and wash my dishes, which takes until about 10:15 PM. Once done with dinner, I do my chores, which leaves me at about 10:30 PM. After my chores are done, I go upstairs to shower and get ready for bed, which once done, leaves me at about 11:15 PM. So it is about 11:15-11:30 PM when I am finally able to be off my feet, sit down and relax for the day. But it doesn't stop there, because then, I am faced with the student's nightmare: homework. Once done with my homework, it is about 1:30-2:00 AM. On Saturdays, I then work from 2:00 PM until 8:00 PM, with Sundays being my only day off. This leaves me with about four and a half hours of sleep during the week, and one day of rest on Sundays.

I am aware that the workload is one that I agreed to, but I'm not the only student agreeing to such time consumption. My story is one that is similar to the Centreville High School senior. Many students at our school play sports, have jobs, or have other outside activities that they participate in. Not only do many students of Centreville High School participate in outside activities, but many students take honors and AP classes. Typically, an honors or AP class has two to three hours of homework a night, and with four classes a day, students who take four AP and/or honors classes each day, might have an average of eight hours of homework each night. Eight hours. Although this estimation is rather high, and teachers don’t usually actually assign two to three hours of homework every single night of the week, sometimes they do. A student who has eight hours of homework in one night, who gets home from school at 3:30PM, wouldn’t be finished with his or her homework until 11:30PM, without any breaks. This doesn’t include dinner time, snack, breaks, sports, jobs, naps, or other outside activities.

Although thirty minutes every Friday morning might not seem like a significant amount of time to teachers for work to be completed, to the tired student, thirty minutes is everything. Thirty minutes is an extra thirty minutes to go through flashcards one last time for a vocab test fifth period. Thirty minutes is an extra thirty minutes to finish the last assignment that is due seventh period. Thirty minutes is enough time to get started on the six page math packet assigned to be completed over the weekend. Thirty minutes is a precious time slot to help get ahead.

In the words of Centreville’s principal, Dave Jagels (@DaveJagels), “It helps improve our literacy.” (2/10/17, 4:43PM. Tweet). Although this is the goal of DEAR time, many students aren’t reading during this designated time period. They are daydreaming, whispering to their friends, or hiding their phones and playing on them. DEAR time, which was created with the intent to improve students literacy, isn't serving its purpose. There is not any real way to make students read, or to determine whether or not a student is actually reading, and students who need their literacy rate improved aren't even participating in DEAR. Instead, they are using the time provided on those Friday mornings to do things much less productive. Since teachers are adamant to the strict, "Nothing on your desk except a book" concept, students who don't participate in DEAR time now can't even do homework or study if need be.

DEAR time has not shown any significant benefit to the students of Centreville High School.

We, the students of Centreville High School, petition against the activity of DEAR, Drop Everything and Read, every Friday, including the cease of the bands pep rallies during the football season. Bring back our time during Friday plus, and bring back pep rallies.

 

 

 



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