High school students that choose to take Advanced Placement (AP) examinations often need extensive study time in a quiet environment. Such a setting is not always available to students, as houses and public libraries are often crowded and loud. During the weeks of both first and second semester finals, the library, along with select other school facilities, is kept open until 8 p.m. to provide students with a healthy study environment. Additionally, many teachers schedule sessions in the library or other resource centers to meet with students and answer questions. Beyond the academic advantages posed, snacks and dinner are available for students. All of these added benefits culminate in an environment that fosters a reflective, studious work ethic.
The Campanile believes that Palo Alto High School facilities, primarily the library, should be open after school during the weeks of AP testing as they are during finals week.
Currently, Paly’s library remains open until nighttime for the “dead weeks” before finals and the weeks of the finals themselves. During these times, a flood of students take advantage of the library’s numerous resources. The opening of Paly facilities during AP testing weeks should be relatively simple as the librarians already run a particularly successful system, and nothing should be changed logistically.
Numerous studies have concluded that increased consumption of nutrients is positively correlated with increased cognitive function. Funding for snacks, as well as dinners, could possibly be obtained from the Associate Student Body.
Another key facet to the success of the library’s provisions during finals week is the availability of various teachers in order to aid students. Having teachers from AP subjects periodically show at during weeks of AP testing would be extremely beneficial to all students within a subject, regardless of whether or not they have that specific teacher.
Additionally, The Media Arts Center and the Social Studies Resource Center are two other locations that, while differently sized, are home to countless studying students throughout the year. These environments could be managed by the librarians, and could house this studious environment in addition to the library. While it may be even more difficult to manage, these extra facilities will offer more quiet seclusion.
The Campanile regards the availability of Paly facilities during finals week as extremely beneficial to students and believes that extending the opening of these facilities to AP testing week would further aid students during the difficult tests.
With any luck, this new program would be just as successful as the one that has been implemented for first and second semester finals, and a truly helpful environment would be created to facilitate the learning and studying of AP students at Paly.