Montgomery Blair High School's Online Student Newspaper
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Sept. 23, 2008

Blair athletes required to attend after-school study period

by Katie Sint, Online Managing Editor
A new administrative policy created by athletic director Dale Miller requires athletes without an eighth period class to attend mandatory study hall. The study periods are held in the health rooms located in the gym hallway from 2:15 - 3:15 p.m. after school.
Juniors Paris Essoumba and Dimitrious Philliou work on homework during a session of study hall. Gili Perl
Juniors Paris Essoumba and Dimitrious Philliou work on homework during a session of study hall.

The new policy was instated to help raise the grade point averages (GPA) of all athletes, according to Miller. "We want our athletes to improve their grades," Miller said.

The policy was not triggered by any sudden increases in low grades, but rather it was implemented because of previous instances in which mandatory study halls helped to improve the grades of student athletes. "The change of policy had been better for teams that had study hall," Miller said.

Varsity field hockey head coach Brook Franceschini approved of the new policy and its potential to help student athletes improve grades and become more efficient. "I think it will help to improve academics and their time management," Franceschini said. "It places importance and focus on academics and grades."

Although mandatory, the study halls have not been enforced for every fall athletic team this school year. The varsity volleyball and junior varsity (JV) volleyball teams, boys' varsity and JV soccer teams and girls' varsity and JV soccer teams have not yet been required by their coaches to attend after school study hall, according to athletes.

Attendance is monitored by individual team coaches, according to Miller. "The coaches are responsible" for making sure that their athletes attend the study hall and for delegating appropriate punishments for not attending, Miller said. "Each individual coach will make those decisions," he said.
Football players in study hall not only have a quiet room to help them focus on work, but also access to computers. Gili Perl
Football players in study hall not only have a quiet room to help them focus on work, but also access to computers.

The varsity and JV football teams have been required to attend after-school study halls in room 119 since Sept. 8, after their first games of the season. The athletes on the team realized the need and practicality of the study hall. "We need to have a study hall because we have a small team and we want to keep everyone on," said junior Johni Meeks. "It sucks to have to go, but I understand the purpose."

Some players have also noticed positive changes in their schoolwork since the policy has been instated. "My grades are better during the football season," junior Dimitri Philliou said.

But the policy has not been without its negatives, according to the players. "There's not really any textbooks to use," junior Daniel Solomon said. "And you don't get to practice as long," Philliou added.

The varsity and JV field hockey teams are also required to attend the study halls after sixth and seventh period. The team members have found the new policy to be a positive way to get work done before practice. "Once it's enforced, it'll be nice to have a quiet place to work," senior Sonya Kaufman said.

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  • humm on September 23, 2008 at 6:23 PM
    Is there a GPA cutoff or something? What about athletes who do have good grades?

    ...and it sounds like these mandatory study halls will turn into social hour for the teams.
  • athlete on September 24, 2008 at 10:21 AM
    i don't agree with mandatory study hall for all athletes if we are all supposed to meet within two rooms. there are so many student athletes that it would turn into social time. personally, i like to go to the libraray if i want to get work done because you have to be quiet and there are more resources to use. i like the idea of a study hall, but once everyone goes, it is not going to help
  • Eli Barnett on September 24, 2008 at 9:36 PM
    Idiotic policy. Nothing more needs to be said on the matter.

    There's a minimum GPA. If the students can't make that GPA, it's the students' responsibility to study on their own time. The school is not obligated to force athletes into study halls because they believe it may be beneficial for them.
  • lasdjf on September 25, 2008 at 8:23 PM
    "increase in low grades" ?
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