According to a recent study, students at Lyons Township High School report a higher degree of stress than students at other suburban high schools, which has district officials thinking about ways to reduce stress at the competitive high school.
he district used an outside company, School Perceptions, to conduct the survey.
In response to a survey distributed to high schools around the region, 79-percent of LTHS students reported that academic stress is a problem. Seventy-five percent of the school’s teachers and 53-percent of parents reported experiencing similar levels of stress.
What are LTHS students stressing about?
Students report homework loads of four to six hours an evening as the primary cause of their stress, especially for those taking advanced level courses.
Teachers say family problems and competitive college requirements are causes of student stress, followed by homework, according to the Tribune.
Despite feeling stressed about homework, most students and their parents agree that LTHS schools prepare them well for college.
"When they're juniors and seniors in high school, they're experiencing what their parents did in college," Kate Brogan told the Tribune, whose two daughters recently graduated Lyons Township High School and whose son is a senior there.
Dist. 204 officials are also considering steps to removing some of the academic pressure from students at the competitive high school where the average GPA is 3.27.
For example, the district is thinking about eliminating class rankings, steps other high schools have taken; also, introducing a mandatory 25-minute study hall by 2015, Scott Eggerding, the school’s curriculum and instruction, said.
A student with a 4.0 GPA might rank 200th in her class. Eliminating class rankings might take some of the heat off students from taking AP classes, Eggerding told the Tribune.
Finally, the district wants to do a better job of educating freshmen and sophomore students about what classes to take, where there is a trend to take the most difficult classes.
About 800 of the schools 4,000 took the Chicago Tribune survey in fall 2013. Students answered questions about overall satisfaction with the school, fiscal management, bullying, communication and other details. LTHS nswers were compared to aggregated national responses.
This story has been updated with new information.