This school year, Novato High introduced allotted time for office hours as part of the new schedule. Office hours were implemented for three reasons: consistent academic support from teachers, group or individual studying, and a time for wellness, counseling, and check-ins with the administrators. Overall, it was put in place to help students become more successful in school.
Office hours are on Tuesdays and Wednesdays of every week. On Tuesdays, it is after first period block from 9:30 a.m. to 10:10 a.m., and on Wednesdays, it is 9:30 to 10:10 a.m., following second period block.
Most students at NHS spend their office hours making up tests or finishing homework.
Regardless, students have taken it upon themselves to ditch campus or sleep in when starting second period.
Tyler Abreu, a senior, shared his thoughts on students potentially ditching.
“If you wanna ditch office hours, enjoy the thirty minutes you get to drive away from school before realizing you need to drive right back for class,” said Abreu. “I’ve heard stories of people saying ‘let’s spend office hours at Stafford or let’s go to the skatepark.’ It is literally a forty minute period so you are not gonna get anything out of leaving the school because you will have to come back.”
Some students still utilize it as a time to get away.
“I ditch during office hours to go grab a quick coffee or get some fresh air outside of school,” said an anonymous student. “I look at it as a good way to balance the stress of school. It makes me feel independent, unlike the suffocating feelings I experience while on campus.
“When I ditch office hours I normally go to peets, grab a coffee, and work on music or schoolwork.”
Senior Sebastien Foisy is one of many at Novato who have mixed views on office hours.
“Office hours are not entirely a bad thing because they help students focus on their school work and get work done during school hours rather than at home,” said Foisy. “However, I think forcing us to stay on campus is a little bit unfair because not everyone has that much homework and wants to do that with their time while being confined in school.”
Abreu added, “My first time actually going to office hours and spending it in a class to make up a test was awful. Due to everybody in the school not taking office hours seriously, and just hanging around and making too much noise, it was too much of a distraction to get anything done even if you tried.”
Office hours have benefitted the teachers at Novato because it allows them to give make-up tests out to students who have had previous absences, rather than having to chase them down. Many teachers only allow their students to make up their tests during office hours which is making their job less stressful.
The success of office hours has already been noticed by teachers, including Kathryn Korff, an English teacher at NHS.
“I have been happy with how office hours has gone in my classroom so far,” explained Korff. “I have many sophomores coming to get help with class assignments or get help with their essays. I also love that so many of my last year’s students have dropped by my classroom for a quick chat during office hours, way more than have done so in years past. I love talking to my current and former students in a more relaxed environment.”
While teachers love office hours, the students appear to be divided for now. In the end, office hours have made school easier for many people on campus and should be a wonderful addition to Novato High.