Kirkwood High School has decided that for the weekends following Feb. 16, and March 9, teachers will not assign homework assignments in an attempt to help lesson stress among students and teachers.
With pressures to get good grades, excel in extracurriculars, do well on placement tests and to get into top notch colleges, high school students are more stressed than ever.
Kirkwood High principal Michael Havener realizes this. “We need to make sure we allow [students] time to take a breath and, for lack of a better word, reset throughout the semesters and quarters,” Havener said to stltoday.
According to NBC news, the American Psychological Association (APA) found students are on average more stressed than adults, “[having] reported [stress levels of] 5.8 on 10-point scale, compared with 5.1 for adults.”
The APA also found, “30 percent of teens reported feeling sad or depressed because of stress, and 31 percent felt overwhelmed. Another 36 percent said that stress makes them tired, and 23 percent said they’ve skipped meals because of it.”
Researchers from New York University’s (NYU) college of nursing found the principal coping method students use to deal with stress is through substance use, specifically alcohol and marijuana.
Through a survey NYU found,“Over the 30-day period preceding the survey, 38 percent of students reported getting drunk and 34 percent of students reported getting high on an illegal substance.” These numbers are two times greater than reported national normative samples.
Along with students using unhealthy coping methods to deal with their stress, stress often also leads to other mental health issues such as depression and anxiety.
Because of these disconcerting statistics about stress among students, it is in Webster’s best interest to do something in an attempt to lessen stress among students. In an ECHO poll of 100 students 37 percent reported having a 5 stress level of stress on a scale of 1-5. On the same scale 45 percent of students reported a level 5 of school contributing to their stress.
The effectiveness of homework has been debated for over 100 years, but through a research study conducted by Duke University, homework is only beneficial to high schoolers if the work is less than two hours a night, however, 53.5% of 100 students surveyed by the Echo report having over two hours of homework a night.
Because of this Webster should take a page out of Kirkwood’s book and also try a couple of weekends without homework, access the effectiveness of reducing stress, and go from there.
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