The effect homework has on high school students

High school students live busy lives. With school, work, and social lives, it can be hard for a teenager to find free time during the school year. One of the leading thieves of high schooler’s time is homework. Here are a few reasons as to how homework has an impact of high school students.

Having too much homework can affect the social lives of high school students. Students need time in their day to socialize with others and connect with one another. Having too much homework can result in a lack of a social life, and therefore can lead to difficulty paying attention during classes.

Homework can affect the mental health of high school students. According to a study done at Stanford University, 56% of students said that homework is a primary source of stress in their lives. Having too much homework can lead to stress, lack of sleep, poor eating habits, headaches, and exhaustion. Having less homework has also been proven to relax their brain and help them focus more when it’s actually time to work. 

Homework can also affect the grades of a high school student. Some teachers believe that if they assign more work, the grades of students will be better because they have more opportunities to turn in assignments, but this is not true. Having a lot of homework can stress out students, which leads to them being unable to turn them in. This in turn can lower their grades.

One reason students face a lot of homework during the school year is because it comes from many different classes. Most schools have six or seven class periods in a school day, and while teachers may think that they are not giving much homework, the work is coming from multiple sources. This can add up to become a lot of work for students. This problem can be solved simply by having teachers discuss with each other about the amount of work they hand out to students, and creating a schedule where their homework doesn’t overlap with each other to the point where it’s a ton of work.

Homework affects high school students every day, leading them to make decisions about how to spend their time and to stay organized. With the busy lives of high school students, having too much homework to do should not one be of the things stressing them out.

PTSA is raising money for OUR school!

Last year, more than 100 donors/families donated an average of $91 each. This year our goal is 150 donor/families and an average gift of $100. Will you help us reach our $15,000 goal with a contribution of $100, $200, or more?

We are raising money for the little things… the things we don’t really notice… the things that just magically show up right when you need them. 

The Highland Park PTSA is all about the little things, supplies and equipment that the department budget’s can’t cover. These things, from big to small, give our students rich educational experiences. With your help, we can continue to provide the little things.

A small sample of what we used funding for includes:

  • Library books
  • Paints and paper for art students
  • Scientific balances
  • Badminton equipment
  • Chinese reading materials
  • Mountain bike stands
  • Music stands
  • Dissection animals

Just to name a few!

Our goal is to raise $15,000 this year to make sure our students and faculty have the little things they need to be successful, have fun, and build their community. 

Please donate before November 14 by check to the office (PREFERRED) or online at

Thanks for including Highland Park in your Give to the Max plans!

Your Parent Teacher Student Association

Give the Max committee

Athena Adkins

Student athletes

Student athletes are no regular students. They go from focusing on academics to sports in a heartbeat. You’ll always hear someone in your class complaining about running at practise or being sore from morning weights.

There’s nearly 8 million students participating in a school sport in the U.S. Out of that, 8 million, about 490,000, will go on to play at NCAA schools.

Student athletes have a lot going for them. They tend to graduate at higher rates than their peers and their experience in sports also gives them plenty of life lessons that will help them in their future. 

For these students, their work ethic is what truly matters. It’s their psychological commitment. It’s the mind set they have when approaching or leaving a game and practice.

Student athletes have crowded minds. Overlapping thoughts of things they have to do that’s panned around their sport. They must responsibly balance their school work, sports, and social life.

Athletes have to keep their brain going, from waking up for school, to staying up after a practice, to get school work done. Once all that is done, they can finally relax. 

As a student athlete myself, I catch myself thinking; do I go to my practise or do I finish my project? If I go to my practice, that means I have to stay up later to do my project, but if I miss my practice it could show how I’m not committed to my sport.

In class I’ll be thinking about the important game I have in a few hours. At practice I’ll be stressing out about the loads of homework I still have to do.

Even with that, I still have to focus on the task at hand, whether it’s school or my sport. To fix these problems, athletes do their best to manage their time. 

Through these obstacles, being a student that plays a sport can be one of the best things. It comes with so many benefits. When playing a sport, you can meet tons of new people. They can end up being some of your closest friends or just people to know in school.

Playing a sport also keeps you healthy and in shape. Imagine everyday after school getting in a good workout with your team.

The biggest thing a student could gain from being in a sport is what they learn mentally. You get a chance to test your boundaries and see how far you can go.

Could I play harder or run faster?

Can I handle practice and homework? I think you can. 

Is school better designed for girls than boys?

By Charlotte Lane

There is no denying the current data reflects that girls are out-performing boys at all levels in school.  According to the New York Times, boys score equal to girls on standardized tests, however they are receiving lower grades and fewer boys are completing college than girls. 

Researchers involved with the New York Times believe the reason behind this is that boys have a harder time sitting still and following rules than girls, and teachers lower boys grades due to bad behavior.

Sit Still and Be Quiet

New York Times research shows that schools were not created for all different learning styles. Girls mature faster than boys, and this means they can consentrate longer and have better interpersonal skills. Schools are designed for one learner type, it’s not necessarily a boy verus girl issue, it’s a lack of learning style options for students.

The traditional learning style at schools is geared for someone who can sit and actively listen for long periods of time. Research proves that is exactly what girls can do.

What is the Differnce? 

Boys don’t fit in the box of sit, read, and listen to a leture. Boys need to be more physical and learn by hands on learning.

Schools are created for a learner profile that is easier for girls to follow.

According to the New York Times Magazine schools ultimatly demasculinze boys. An exapmle of this is how mucn more young men are yelled at then girls. Unlike boys, girls are much more likely to mimic each other and work as a team. Boys value compentency and group acceptance, and boys prove this by being the most physical, the funniest, or the most disruptive in a class setting.  


Instead of focusing on the differences of genders in school, we should focus on a solution to help boys succeed.

One solution is designing curriculums for more than one learner type as well as allowing for more hands on, kinesthetic learners. Schools need to account for different learning styles and learning speeds.

ACT change

Each year, millions of high school students across the country will be in intense pressure to get a good score and do good on the ACT exam. The ACT exam is usually always mandatory to get into any college.

Luckily, for high school students, the ACT will be somewhat easier next year as students go through the college admissions process. Officials at ACT stated that starting next September, students who would want to improve their scores would be able to retake single sections of the five part test.

The ACT lasts around 3 hours and next September, instead of sitting for all of them again, if a student wants to retake it, they will not have to retake the whole five part test again and can choose which specific section they would want to improve on.

This new change could allow students to avoid doing worse on sections they had taken earlier.

A lot of colleges and universities have made test scores an optional part of applications, but still many students aspire to score highly on the ACT and SAT exams.

The five subsections on the ACT are: reading, math, science, English and writing, which is optional. All 5 are graded on a scale of 1 to 36.

As of right now, scores on the four required sections are averaged into a composite score. Also starting in September, students will get a new superscore that combines their highest scores on the subsections from each time they took the test.

Ed Colby, an ACT spokesman said, “They might think, ‘Why do I have to sit through and take all these tests again if I only need to improve my math score? We’re trying to save them time. We’re trying to save them money.”

Test experts said the changes would help many students improve their scores. This new ACT change will hopefully help students achieve a higher score on their ACT. 

Personal Projects

What is the Personal Project?  The 10th-grade Personal Project is something you do, as an individual, on a topic that interests you. It’s to show the skills you have developed over the years through the MYP Approaches to Learning, and applying them to one of the MYP Global Contexts.

To do your project, you need to complete a process journal. The journal helps to record your information while you’re working on your project. You should use the journal regularly for recording your quotes, pictures, and ideas. This journal will help you to write your final Personal Project paper.

The paper is a report in which you demonstrate your involvement with the project by summarizing the skills and experiences recorded in the process journal. Your paper should have between 1,500-3,500 words.

During the journaling and paper processes, you will be assigned an advisor to guide you on the timelines and requirements. You will meet with your advisor three times: when you start your project, halfway through your project, and at the conclusion of your project.

It is also helpful to find a mentor to guide your process, this person could be a teacher, a parent, or a community expert.

When you finish your project, there will be a Showcase, it is where you share your projects with your schoolmates along with your paper and journals.

Upon completing the project you will be honored at a recognition celebration.

For any questions or help, you can ask Ms. Bonk the MYP Coordinator.


By: Vivian S.

Beginning the morning on Saturday, October 5th, I had no idea what tailgating was. Little did I know what I was in for as I got dressed and was driven over to the school. I was bombarded by a host a booths and clubs, and people were milling about everywhere. 

There was a photo booth there where you could dress up and take photos. 

Girl Unity was there selling beef jerky and promoting their awesome club. 

Leo Brock, Charlotte Lane

The Lacrosse team was there selling donuts and encouraging people to join the team.

The Good Club was there, hosting a giveaway of Highland merchandise and selling some amazing buttons.

Na’Riyah Johnson

GSA was there selling some awesome shirts and handing out buttons, which I would encourage you to get at your next opportunity.

Carrol Williams

The African Student Association was there selling some great food. I especially enjoyed the beef sambusa.

Dance Team was there selling some amazing hot cocoa and doing face painting.

Lorenzo Reyes

HP Environmental was there selling green lemonade. 

Piper Gallivan, Ruwayda Egal

The Senior Class of 2020 was there selling school spirit tattoos and encouraging seniors to take the pledge to graduate this year, offering bracelets to those who signed.

Evan Yang, Duncan Ong, Chenyi Vue, Say Moo, Alysa Monteagudo

Asian Culture Club was there, selling its always amazing egg rolls, and boba tea.

Kara Savage, Bryant Chacon, Sarah Grady, Rayna Axelson, & Lydia Malen

Youth in Government was there selling donuts and coffee.

Carol Gross, Annika Wetzel, Ella Reubish

Woodworking class was there selling keychains, amazing magnets, and earrings. 

Aedon Oberdorfer, Cathrine Carlson

The National Honor Society was there selling t-shirts for it and the Scots Stroll. 

Also present, but not pictured, were:

Lauren Ross, Senam Akyea, Latrese Johnson, Enyonam Donkor, Tarea Taylor, &  Momo Gebreyesus were there with Black Student Union, selling hot and honey wings, chips, and soda. 

Selena Vivaldo Perez, Giancarla Maceda, Jose Mendoza Martinez, Lessa Hernandez, Gerardo Rodriguez, Olga Morales, Daniela Salas, Maetzin Gutierrez, Carlos Gutierrez,  & Belen Lopez were there with Union Latina, and a giant host of its members, selling tamales, donuts, and more.

Tailgating was an amazingly fun event with delicious food and showing off many different clubs and activities. I will surely be going again.

Negative effects of the school chairs

School may not be the most comfortable place on Earth in many ways, but does one contributing factor really have to be the back-aching chairs? Unfortunately, at the end of the day, the bus seats are more comfortable than what we are expected to sit in all day long. 

Rarely do people know the actual effects of these chairs, but I am about to inform you of a few of the real consequences they produce. 

It may be quite blunt to say that focus is interrupted by school chairs, so let me explain. School should be about learning, usually that requires you to pay attention to what your teacher is trying to communicate, but by the end of the day, I am usually more busy trying to get even the slightest bit comfortable.

In those minutes, or even seconds, that your focus has been modified, you can miss little notes or messages from the class itself. Some might think connecting those two things is a reach, but doesn’t it make sense?

Secondly, the chairs provide no support whatsoever. All the chair backs cut-off way too short to fit an average-sized teenager’s back. Eventually, throughout a class, this can cause your neck to bend forward, putting a strain on your lower back. 

These “small” problems can possibly even cause long term back and neck issues after hours, days, and years on end. Not only is it uncomfortable, but it also affects your posture in a negative way and potentially can give you frequent headaches. 

Unfortunately, budgets are fairly small to allow schools to be able to change the chair situation easily. That’s one of the two main reasons for these undersized, plastic chairs. The other being that they are pretty durable. They don’t need to replace them often and they fit the low budget. 

As schools try and adjust to become a more appealing place, by serving healthier lunches and adjusting to different techniques in the classroom for learning purposes, the school chairs should be a priority just as important to the school board. 

Oh how the times have changed

So, as we all know, the St. Paul Public School’s start and end times have changed for all elementary, middle, and high schoolers. Some people believe it’s for the better and some do not. Let us see… 

The reason St. Paul Public Schools are changing times is because they have to maintain their three different bus systems and since they lost some buses, they have to have the buses leave all at different times. 

Some parents are concerned for after school, and their children getting home later, and not having time for homework, and after school activities. I spoke with a few students about how they feel and many students agree it’s for the better.

Parents are saying that with the different times it’s difficult to bring multiple children to schools. 

I met with one student in 10th grade, and they said that it’s nice to have an extra hour of sleep and getting home one hour later was not an issue. The sleep cycle is very important for us and really makes the difference but others don’t agree. 

Another student says that waking up earlier is more refreshing and helps with the rest of the day. They also say the time change interferes with outside of school activities. 

Now, we all know that Highland Park Senior High still has its fun clubs and activities, so at least it doesn’t change that, but we still have to deal with what seems to be an extra hour of our day, and that can make us very slow paced and tired if we don’t get enough sleep. 

The district had been talking about changing the times, so they could eliminate busing costs, so they could move the money to something more practical. 

Instead of being upset about the change we should embrace it. So, remember to get some good rest every night and manage your time well. Best of luck!

The Central/Highland experience

By: Charlotte Lane grade 11

I attended Central High School the year of 2017-2018. Like all incoming high school freshman, I was confused and nervous. I attended Highland Park Middle School and really enjoyed it. There, I made a lot of friends and we were all planning on going to Highland Park High School together.

Unfortunately, things didn’t go the way I wanted and I ended up being placed at Central High School without my friends. This heart breaking change completely blind sided me, but through it I gained perspective on the differences of Central vs. Highland.  

Two different worlds

My first memorable experience as a new student was the Central vs. Highland football game. Being a Central student I sat at the Central student section at the game.

When entering the stadium I felt anxious because my old friends sat on the opposing side, and I found myself wishing to be with them. The Central side was nerve-racking and felt just like what you see in the movies. 

The students were screaming “go home freshman!” and “Highland Sucks!” After 20 minutes I took off my Central sweatshirt and snuck across to the Highland side.

Although I felt comfortable for a few minutes I quickly realized I didn’t belong there either. It is not an uncommon feeling for any new student to feel lost and alone.

Looking back on this time in my life, now being a junior at Highland Park High School, it now feels like a normal coming of age experience. 

So what’s the difference? 

Central is a French immersion school compared to Highland, which is a Spanish immersion school.

Central is also a bigger school with a graduating class of 400 students. The large size teaches you independence, shows you diversity as well as real world conflicts. 

Highland is a smaller school with a graduating class of 300. It is more sports focused and feels more like a neighborhood school.

Both high schools are International Baccalaureate (IB), however my experience has been that Highland integrates and focuses more on the IB program than at Central.

Families pain-stakingly choose their child’s high school for lots of different reasons. Some parents are looking for a challenging curriculum, others are interested in extracurricular activities.

What I learned from attending Central for one year was that both Highland and Central are good schools.

What school is best for you?