DEAR Administrators

Smoke Signal Editorial Board

Oh, DEAR; not this again.

On Wednesday, Pascack Valley held its second Drop Everything and Read (DEAR) session of the 2017-2018 school year during Pascack Period Session A. Students were expected to remain in their homeroom classrooms and read quietly.

The first DEAR session of the year was on Oct. 25, taking place during Pascack Period Session B. 

DEAR was first implemented last school year. It took place during three Pascack Period sessions, once each in September, December, and January. Originally, DEAR was set up to be a silent reading time for students and teachers outside of their classes.

It is true that high school students do not have much time to read independently anymore, especially those taking rigorous courses and who have hours of homework each night. We understand the importance of reading and we appreciate that it is encouraged by the administration.

However, free time during the school day is scarce, and many students like to use Pascack Period to visit teachers, complete homework, study for assessments, and collaborate on group assignments. Students should take the initiative to independently read on their own schedules rather than being forced to by the administration during school.

During the last DEAR time, some students commented on how their teachers did not enforce DEAR time, while others expressed discontent over their teachers making them read.

Last year, students were allowed to go to a teacher or quietly study during DEAR instead of reading. This year, though, attendance is being taken and all students have to report to their designated homerooms to read.

As young adults who will shortly be starting the next chapter of their lives where they will have to make their own decisions, students should be able to choose how they want to spend their free time during Pascack Period.

So DEAR administrators, please take student opinion into account and eliminate DEAR time.