4 Ways Duchesne Helps Students Decrease Stress in High School

Written by Hannah Gilmour, Duchesne Upper School Student

Math tests, sports practice, English papers, choir rehearsal, college applications — these are just some of the many things that are happening daily for a high school student. With so much going on, high school can be very stressful. The faculty and administration at Duchesne know this as well, and that is why they understand how important it is for Duchesne to create new methods and strategies for helping students control their stress levels.

1.     8:30 a.m. Start Time

Teenagers’ natural circadian rhythm makes it much more difficult to fall asleep and get up as early as required for most schools. In fact, teen minds aren’t even fully functioning until much later in the morning. This is why Duchesne decided to make the switch to a later start time, 8:30. It allows high schoolers to sleep in longer and give themselves time for their minds to get going. Sleep helps our brains stay alert and awake, which is crucial for succeeding in school with less stress. With sleep being so crucial to us physically and mentally, the extra 30 minutes before school is so appreciated.

2.     Mod Schedule

A big move for Duchesne starting in the 2020-21 school year was implementing the mod schedule, a new schedule designed to help students have less work, less stress, and more free time. With only four classes per day, this schedule allows students to leave more time to spend time with friends and family, relax, explore hobbies, catch up on homework, and of course, sleep!  Personally, I have really enjoyed the mod schedule because it has allowed me to devote more time and focus to specific classes.

3.     Free Periods and AAA

Duchesne’s high schoolers are encouraged to have free periods in their mod schedules to give them more time to get work done during school so that they can create a healthy balance between school and home. Getting the majority of my homework done during my free period has definitely helped reduce stress, especially when most high school students, including me, don’t get home until late in the evening because of sports and clubs.

4.     Quality over Quantity (No Busy Work)

The teachers at Duchesne are very conscious of how students learn and practice new skills. They know that busy work is not the way to do that. With this in mind, students are given quality work to do that requires a more in-depth understanding but also attempts to decrease the workload.

Overall, Duchesne has made many modifications to accommodate their student’s needs. These stress-decreasing efforts allow students to have greater academic success because we have more time and especially more quality time to get work done and also have fun. Duchesne’s administrators understand the stresses of a high school student and work to make it as smooth as possible so that we can appreciate and enjoy our high school experience.