New study hall schedule changes


State lockdowns. Masks and constant handwashing. Social distancing.  COVID-19 has brought many changes throughout the world, and here at Etowah, that includes a brand-new lunch schedule.  

Pre-pandemic, lunch at Etowah was an hour, and Teachers as Advisers (TAA) was held every Monday. This year, due to the spread of the COVID-19 virusstudy hall was added and is now a 30-minute time period that splits lunch in half. At the halfway point, students transition from the TAA classroom to lunch or vice versa.  

 “I thought it [TAA] was a weird transition at firsthowever, as I went through the year, I got more conditioned to it, and I think it is a fine way to spend TAA although I still do like the old way,” Will Brenneman, junior, said. 

 Study hall was added during lunch to limit the number of students in the cafeterias. Some freshmen were unaware that study hall was added this year, resulting in confusion as to its purpose. 

“I was surprised to find out lunch was an hour last year. I guess it is just one more thing COVID-19  changed,” Kylie Gibbs, freshman, said.  

Jennifer Jones, assistant principalwas tasked with creating some of the lessons taught during study hall. Due to the number of students not using study hall effectively, she and the other administrators are working on adding activities that teach students important life skills. 

One of our goals is to really embed what we are going to call an adulting curriculum. We are going to try to utilize the study hall time to facilitate that process. I think the time will go to good use,” Jones said. 

During study hall, students tend to be on their phones instead of doing homework. Some say TAA is not needed because students do not use the opportunity to work. These individuals believe it would be useful to have more time to eat. 

“I would rather have a full hour of lunch because I never see students studying in study hall. I also get to pick who I sit and eat with during lunch,” Cheryl Njuguna, freshman, said. 

Other students use study hall to do homework and prepare for tests, and they appreciate the extra work time.  

 “Study hall gives me lots of time to do homework that I would rather not do at home,” Erik Lopez Figueroa, junior, said. 

For more information on the potential changes of study hall, students and staff can contact Jones.