Stable group should not be mandatory in distance learning

Truman Lapp, Staff Reporter

library
The library at the new school may be used by students during Mustang Block or other times during the school day not filled by academic classes when in person learning resumes. Lasso writer Truman Lapp argues that in distance learning, non-academic times during the school day such as Stable Group is unnecessary. (Photo by Charlie Adams)

At first, Stable Group was meant to serve as a time for students to get work done, socialize with classmates, and generally take the edge off of school activities. But are they still serving the same purpose during distance learning?

Recently, Stable Group has consisted of minimalist slide presentations that relay information that most people already know. In one case, students were required to watch a five minute video: “Top 10 Schoology Hacks.” Was this information needed? Could this time have been better spent by simply giving students an extra hour to keep up with their schoolwork?

The Lasso put out a survey a few weeks ago asking students to reflect on their stable group experience. Students were asked on a scale of 1 to 5 (1 being the worst, 5 being the best) how much they enjoyed stable group sessions. Over half of the 30 students who participated in the survey responded with ones and twos. Furthermore, 65% of students surveyed said that they couldn’t think of a single important purpose that Stable Group is currently serving.

With these results in mind, it’s obvious that a change needs to be made. But what change is that? When asked what alterations could be made to the overall stable group model, junior Will Rambo had this to say:

The activities should be optional unless they concern the entire body of students and their education. Other than that they feel like filler designed to waste our time when we could be using that time to socialize or do schoolwork.”

“Not all Stable Group leaders are on the same page, or are not confident in how to oversee the personal project,” another student said. “‘Disconnect Day’ is lost on some advisors, or they choose to spend it awkwardly talking about weekends. That is precious time that can be spent catching up on the mountain that is schoolwork. At the very least, Stable Group should be cut to 10-10:30am instead of the full hour block.”

Of the students surveyed by The Lasso,  a whopping 83% think that Stable Groups should not be mandatory. And why should they? We’re not getting any extra time to work. If anything, they’re taking up extra time with things we don’t need. The School’s administration team has taken a step in the right direction in dedicating Thursday’s Stable Group time to clubs and extracurricular activities. But according to the students, that’s just not enough.

Opinion articles in The Lasso reflect the opinion of the writer(s). They do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Lasso Editorial Board or of George Mason High School.