Board votes to increase homework free weekends


Rohan Vaswani

The Mountain View – Los Altos Board of Trustees voted unanimously to increase the frequency of homework free weekends in the 2021–22 school year. However, many MVLA staff members believe that an increase in homework free weekends alone isn’t enough to improve the well being of students, and that further steps need to be taken by the MVLA District.

The Mountain View–Los Altos Board of Trustees unanimously voted to increase the frequency of homework-free weekends in an attempt to reduce student stress during the school year on Monday, September 13. They also publicly recognized September as suicide prevention month.

The first homework-free weekend of the year will take place at the end of the first quarter on the weekend of Saturday, October 9. Teachers will not be allowed to assign any homework due on the class day following students’ return from a homework-free weekend or administer tests that day. Subsequent homework free-days will take place during the March quarter break and Memorial Day weekend, alongside the already standing homework free weekends during Thanksgiving break, December break, February break and April break.

“Homework-free weekends are great. They are little relaxation breaks from all the APs and harder classes that we take during the year,” a member of the Los Altos High School Associated Student Body and junior Ayjay Bentovim said.

According to Mountain View High School’s teachers’ union president Dave Campbell, the union was not consulted in the decision of establishing additional homework-free weekends, violating California’s Education Code and the contract between the MVLA District and the teachers’ union. 

While these revisions come in an effort to improve students’ wellbeing, over 200 teachers, psychologists and counselors expressed in a survey that homework-free weekends are not enough to reduce students’ stress, and that further steps need to be taken by the District. 

Campbell suggested limiting the amount of Advanced Placement classes students can take per year in an effort to reduce student workload, following continued discussions amongst teachers within the District. He said that colleges evaluate students in the context of their high school, so this cap on AP classes won’t have any effect when applying to colleges. This step hasn’t been discussed by the Board. 

More so, in a show of support and acknowledgment of mental health, the MVLA Board publicly recognized September as suicide prevention month; they recognize that suicide is a leading cause of death among youth and support actions in preventing suicide ideation, attempts and death. MVLA has partnered with the City of Mountain View and the County of Santa Clara Behavioral Health Services Department to provide free suicide prevention training to all students, staff, and community members.

If you are in need of immediate support, please call the Santa Clara County Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-823-TALK [or 4204], contact the crisis text line by texting RENEW to 741741, or call 911 and request a Crisis Intervention Trained officer. If you are concerned about another student, please fill out the MVLA Student Referral Form

For more local community resources, please visit this link