Viking Time will officially start this Wednesday. These sessions take place after second period for a duration of 30 minutes, and a strict sign up policy has been implemented in which students are required to sign-up for a specific teacher or area of the school. Certain areas, such as the auditorium, are prohibited, but many places including the cafeteria and gym are available.
Viking Time was piloted at the end of last school year in order to help students manage time and enjoy their education. This flex time has since become a county-wide initiative, with every high school implementing it once a week.
“I think the idea of Viking Time is good in that it’s a good way to use your time wisely,” said junior Malik Islam.
Many other students agreed with this statement, including senior Shay Stewart. “I thought it was great that we had a break in the middle of the day, but I think the way they executed it was really poor,” she stated.
One of Stewart’s initial concerns with the program was the short amount of time students had for work and clubs; however, this year Viking Time has been increased by 10 minutes, giving people more time to complete makeup tests and quizzes.
Although many enjoy the extra time during the day, a significant amount of the student population think that the sign-up policy is not helpful or effective in any way. The policy works by requiring everyone to sign-up for a location in order to prevent students from wandering the halls.
“If you want to have a study group, then it shouldn’t always be in a place where teachers [are],” freshman Darshan Varia said. “It would be easier to gather in places like the auditorium.”
Sophomore Gracie Hammond agreed. “I don’t like [the signup policy]. I don’t think it really helped anyone. I think that it put more pressure on people, and then they felt like they didn’t want to do [Viking Time] because there was so much formality.”
All Howard County high schools have implemented similar programs, such as Centennial’s “Eagle Time,” which started during the 2014-2015 school year.
Centennial junior Kayleigh Hasson said, “We had [Eagle Time] once a week for 30 minutes between second and third period on Wednesdays. It was so successful that last year [the administration] changed it to twice a week.”
“I personally find it very helpful,” Hasson continued. “I use the time to talk with a teacher, catch up on homework and studying, and go to club meetings.”
This program seems very similar to Mt. Hebron’s, but there is one large difference.
“We’ve never had to sign up for wherever we’re going, but I’ve heard rumors that it might happen this year,” Hasson stated. “It was kind of hectic in the beginning, but eventually most people found a place to go and stayed there the whole time.”
“We did have some problems with students wandering the halls,” Hasson added, “but the principal makes a lot of announcements over the PA, and teachers stand out in the halls to prevent that.”
For now, Viking Time sign-up will remain in place as students make the adjustment to this new schedule.