Upon the completion of the Moran Fine Arts building in 2004, the school made the decision to change the daily schedule from seven periods to eight periods.
This change was made in part to create time for art courses but also to give to all students the advantage of a study hall period.
Study halls are used by many to cram before a quiz, review for a test or throw together the unfinished homework from the night before.
Unfortunately, not all students make use of their study hall period – nor do some really know how to study or how to make use of such a period.
For example, there are always several students who would rather chat with their friends than work on any assignments.
Unfortunately, those trying to work may be distracted by the frequent chit chat. Those talking may be penalized but it makes more sense to separate these individuals from the start, which may be done with help from a “free” period.
Students may better benefit from a free period than from a study hall for a number of reasons.
Free periods can help eliminate time wasted in study halls by allowing those who want to work to focus and allowing those with a bit too much energy to stretch their legs elsewhere.
The LRC, along with several classrooms, could be made available for students wishing to study, while the courtyard and cafeteria could be made available to all others.
Exchanging study halls for free periods would make better use of each student’s time by greatly increasing the variety of tasks that can be completed.
Several other private high schools in the Houston area include free periods in their daily schedules, including The Kinkaid School, Episcopal, St. John and Strake Jesuit.
One possibility for facilitating this adjustment would be to use the same requirements that already exist for Eagle passes, which are currently only granted to seniors.
Students who maintain the proper average could be given the free period choice instead of having a study hall.