The unrelenting cycle of schoolwork and extracurriculars can take a toll on student wellness, ultimately leading to stress, lack of sleep and anxiety. However, Palo Alto High School is beginning to take measures to revise its homework policy, which include a call for mandatory homework-free holidays.
The recent homework-free Martin Luther King Jr. three-day weekend has been a tremendous help to students, allowing them to relax, unwind and spend time with family. Verde commends principal Kim Diorio, other district administrators and the Paly administration for their forward-thinking changes to the homework policy that prioritize student wellness.
So far, the guidelines have been fairly well publicized, with Diorio sending school-wide emails. While this policy has certainly improved the homework load, poor teacher compliance is compromising its effectiveness. For example, some teachers still assigned homework over the Martin Luther King Jr. three-day weekend, which was designated as a no-homework weekend. However, lack of compliance with homework-free weekends can be ameliorated by increased communication between administration and teachers, and Verde looks forward to seeing the administration continue to take steps to improve mental health.