SHORT HILLS, NJ - For months the Millburn community and the Board of Education have focused on the reports of epidemic student stress. Members of the public have come forward with their concerns regarding late posts on Google Classroom, and tests and quizzes not being returned before the next evaluative element and other stressors. In response, BOE President Emily Jaffe has created the Health and Wellness Committee.
Previously, the BOE tasked members of their Student Liaison Committee to determine stressors and look for potential remedies to present to the board. These students include Seniors Ben Goodman, Sarah Bressler, Junior Sarah Yih, Sophomores Ross Bell, and Victoria Werner, and Freshman Biren Pramanik. At the Health and Wellness Committee's first open forum, the students presented highly anticipated data from a stress survey conducted in early January.
The anonymous survey was taken by about 40% of Millburn High School and consisted of 12 questions.
The group of students discovered that, on average, almost half of the school sleeps for 6-7 hours each night. Studies have shown that the recommend sleep per night goal for teen-aged students is at least eight hours per night. The data collected also indicated that the students may not just be procrastinating their homework causing the lower sleep stats.
About 50% of the students responded to the survey by saying that, on the average school night, they spend 3-4 hours on homework and 1-2 hours studying for tests.
In their presentation, the students made it clear that many MHS students believe a significant portion of their daily homework load is "busy work." 76% of the surveyed say excess homework is their primary stressor. On account of the qualitative and quantitative measurements taken, the group of students proposed less homework as a solution to the stress problem.
Also, the Liaison students recommended a more organized mode of communication between the teachers of different subjects to prevent overlapping exams on the shoulders of the students. An overwhelming majority of the surveyed admit that multi-exam days are extremely stressful.
However, the root catalyst triggering stress among the MHS student body is grades and GPA. With that, the students proposed the gradual abolition of PowerSchool or limited access for students and parents. With the findings, the BOE and the Wellness Committee along with the public will continue to work to find reasonable solutions to combat student stress.