OPINION: Manual should have a one hour free period each day


Ofelia Mattingly

In JCPS, regular high schools have six periods a day, each around an hour-long, while Manual has four periods a day, each an hour and a half long. Manual is different from other schools though. With hour and a half long classes and a pretty heavy homework and studying load, it would make sense that Manual students would be more stressed than students at regular schools. 

If other schools can have an hour long class no problem, surely we can deal with an hour and twenty minute classes. It doesn’t really matter if we miss out on ten minutes of class, especially when regular schools have only hour long classes.

Once each grading period, Manual has a Crimson Hour in which students get an hour of free time to correct their grades, take quizzes, have lunch and so on. Crimson Hour has been beneficial to students because it gives them time to relax, check on their grades or receive aid from teachers or upperclassman. A lot of schools out of the district like North Oldham High School have an hour period, which they call Edge, which lets students do what they need to do to increase their grades, have club meetings or to just relax and they still are able to manage to have good grades. 


Crimson Hour already benefits a lot of busy students, and every day it would help even more. That extra forty minutes to an hour can help students prepare and study for upcoming tests that they have to take the next block. A lot of the stress in high school comes from tests, quizzes and projects students have to complete. Students may not have had the time to study before, so this extra time would allow them to prepare and be less stressed than they already are.

“It gives students a chance to relax and or regroup and it allows them to take care of any missing grades or tests that they haven’t been able to do. Not every student has a study skills or has availability after school, so crimson hour is a great opportunity for them to catch up on the things they need to do,” Leah Stewart (10, YPAS) said. “So, it definitely needs to be an everyday thing.” 

In addition, teachers may use this time to get a longer lunch of even plan a little more if they don’t have students in the room during this hour.


Teachers, staff and other students can receive or give help to other students, but they might not have the contact information or they simply can’t reach the person at all unless they are at school. Freshman especially might not have access to upperclassmen’s contact information and might not be able to receive the help they need because of that.

Teachers are always a good source to get help with work that is going on in class and most teachers have classes all day, so they can’t really help. Teachers have a planning period and while most students have study skills, that doesn’t mean they have it at the same time, so that is another problem they have to face. Some teachers stay after school for a limited time, so students that need help also have to stay which can be a problem because they might not be able to get transported home or they would have to miss an after-school activity.

Other students are a good source for help on certain classes, but they have different schedules that might not work with the schedule another student has. That makes things difficult and would make an open hour very beneficial for students.

Relaxation and Interactions

Everybody needs a break to cool down and relax because Manual has hard, stressful classes. Crimson Hour gives a chance for people to interact with other people, which also brightens their mood and makes them happier during the day. It would be nice to have that every day and students would agree. Interacting with people will allow people to relax and lower their stress they gained during the day, that is what a lot of students need right now, especially as the end of the year tests are coming up.

Taking time for yourself is one thing that busy people tend to neglect in the rush and need to complete other tasks. While everyday would not have to be used to work on projects, it would be pleasant for students to have a built in hour where they can refresh and relax.

Not everybody likes Crimson Hour, including many teachers throughout the building, but there are definitely more pros to having an hour each day for people to do what they need or want to do. For a school that stresses excellence among its student body, we should be encouraged to care about ourselves as much as we do our grades and test scores.

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