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STAR Time Examined

Leading learning and owning their path: 70 percent of students requested or selected by teacher; 30 percent random assignment
STAR Time Examined

NHS’s STAR time aims to help students improve academics among other things; “It’s intended to be whatever students need it to be,” Associate Principal Mrs. Lewis said.

Starting during COVID, Edficiency (scheduling software) is still new to NHS. With a wide variety of uses, Edficiency allows students the opportunity to get help from teachers, complete make-up work and go to club meetings, Lewis explained. 

It also gives music classes an opportunity to get extra rehearsal, give students the opportunity to meet with counselors or college recruits and gives a great time for full school assemblies and fairs, Lewis continued.

During an interview, Lewis expressed that more strategic planning on both the students and teachers end would lead to a smoother, more efficient STAR time. More communication between staff and students would allow for teachers to be more prepared and students to get the help they need in a timely manner.

With the freedom to choose comes the responsibility to take ownership in their learning; however, this proves to be a struggle for some students. 

In the month of October, Lewis further explained that on average, 70 percent of students were either requested by teachers or made their own request to see a teacher while 30 percent allowed for random selection. This information shows that although some students are not making selections, the majority are leading their learning and owning their path. 

Based on data from the University of San Diego, the National Center for Education Statistics found that high school students on average receive 6.8 hours of homework per week. According to Dr. Sam Goldtein and Dr. Sydney Zentall from the Learning Disabilities Association of America, the benefits of homeworks are best received by the students who do the homework correctly. This leads to higher quality academic achievement as well as higher motivation and skill levels. With all the other activities going on in a high school student’s life, STAR time is a great option to use to alleviate the stress of all this homework. 

After talking with students from other schools such as Oshkosh West, Xavier, Kaukana and Freedom High School, it was revealed that Neenah is not the only school allowing students time to receive help from teachers — thus proving the importance of this time period and how necessary it is for student success. 

Created to be a diverse period of time allowing students the freedom to choose where to go and who to see, STAR can be an overlooked time period by some or valued time controlled by NHS students. 

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