Star Periods, Are They Working?


Punxsutawney Area High School has replaced homerooms with Star Periods as part of a new Block Schedule. Although it does have its perks, it also has its drawbacks. 

Manny Barbazzeni, the school principal, said, “We are looking at different things that need to be tweaked”. 

One of the main concerns of students and teachers is school clubs. Due to the new star periods, school clubs have to meet less and more clubs on the same day. 

Andrew Tygert, Spanish teacher and Bible Club adviser, said, “ I wish that clubs could meet more regularly.”

Becca Martin is a sophomore that is in Treble Choir, Robotics and Bible Club. She doesn’t like that “every club meets in the second star period, so it’s hard to be in multiple clubs because they all meet in our ‘free’ period.” According to Martin, “this is an issue for many students, and they should make it so clubs can meet in both star periods and on days other than Friday”.

Another issue with star periods is that “it is taking students time to figure out how to use it productively,” Ryan Hayden, a Earth Science teacher and star period homeroom teacher, said. 

“The block schedule makes it hard to keep track of work,” senior, Gavyn Anderson said. 

Zaden Gould, freshman, said, “Mrs. Pack reminds people of assignments, this makes it easier for us to become better at doing our work.”

A goal of star periods is “act as a guaranteed study hall and gives students an opportunity for success” Barbazzeni said. Already some students are becoming more responsible. 

Gracyn London, seventh, said “If your work is done, the last star period is a time that we are allowed our phones.” Not all teachers do this, but it does work as a good incentive to help students put more effort into adjusting to star periods. 

“STAR period is not awful, but it isn’t good,” Maggie Guidice, freshman, said. “It is nice having two short periods instead of one long 70-minute period. Having two short periods breaks up the time and makes it feel more productive.”

Although the new homeroom-study hall combo makes less time for clubs and students are still adjusting to it, it does have many perks. 

Barbazzeni said that a goal of STAR periods is to “devolve relationships with teachers and students.” So far, it seems like this goal is a shared goal and is working nicely. The goal will be meant by 9-12 grade having the same homeroom teacher each year. 

Tygert said he likes the idea of having the same set of students.

Hayden said he doesn’t have the same students each year, but he said he thinks it is important to connect with the students.

Sarah Pack, family consumer science and homeroom teacher, said she likes being able to develop relationships with the students.

Many students from different grades like London and Martin both said they like the idea of having the same homeroom teacher each year. 

Anderson said it would be nice” to have the same teacher each year. 

Guidice and Gould also like having the same teacher each year. They have Mrs. Pack, so they are “excited to eat leftover food from cooking classes.”

All in all, STAR periods have their perks and drawbacks but the perks outweigh the drawbacks. Mr. Barbazzeni said, “In time we will be able to see the benefits of STAR periods”.