Study Buddies

Sophie Chau, Staffer

A flurry of activity signals the end of another day as students rush out the doors to get home and get on with their lives at home. Some students, however, go to study halls to get extra assistance in classes or get work done quietly. In order to provide more resources for students, LASA has recently rolled out various programs to give students that opportunity, including the new after school study program.

The after school study program runs from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. every day after school. English study halls are in room 260 on Monday and Thursday, math study halls are on Tuesday and Wednesday in room 210, science study halls are on Tuesday and Wednesday in room 234 and social studies study halls are on Monday and Thursday in room 276. AP World History teacher Adam Escandell helps out with the social studies study halls. He feels like the study groups are good opportunities for students to take advantage of.

“First off, there’s a teacher who’s available to you, and that can be somebody who’s here to help with any homework that you have, so people can benefit with getting help on homework,” Escandell said. “Also, people might benefit because it’s a dedicated time when you can make up any work that you’ve missed.”

The study halls are an option for students who don’t have time to go to office hours or other opportunities to talk with their teachers. Math teacher James Laughead is one of the teachers who helps run the math study halls. According to Laughead, the study hall serves as a way to normalize seeking out help for students who might otherwise not ask for help. If there’s a standardized program in place, he thinks it can be seen as more of a casual thing to attend for students.

“It’s really hard to convince LASA students that it’s okay to ask for help, so that’s a big initiative of ours, and it sort of always has been,” Laughead said. “It’s really tricky to break through that barrier.”

According to Laughead, many students are still reluctant to attend these study halls. Another problem is that he feels as if not many students know about this program. Additionally, the administration worries that students also might not feel comfortable talking to someone who isn’t their teacher. To boost attendance, the administration has tried various things to get the word out about this program, which have been met with varying degrees of acceptance, according to 9th grade assistant principal Alexandra Salinas. She is behind efforts to promote the project to students and make sure parents are aware that students have options for help.

“We’ve emailed parents, put signs in the halls and bathrooms, and counselors and administrators are promoting the study halls to students,” Salinas said. “We’re also encouraging teachers to promote the study halls to students.”

Sophomore Adryanna Sanchez-Briseno went to the math study hall because her teacher wasn’t available to talk after school. Briseno met with Laughead to get help.

“He helped a lot trying to make me understand the new possibility to answers,” Sanchez-Briseno said.

Sophomore Sally Edwards has attended chemistry and social studies study hall sessions. While there, she was able to get help on chemistry and find support from peers. Edwards believes that study halls are a promising opportunity, and she hopes that many students will take advantage of the program as she did. She thinks that the study halls will become a valued part of LASA once more people start attending.

“We all kind of bonded over our… mutual dislike of the chemistry problems,” Edwards said. “That was kind of neat, and that was fun.”