Re “In Homework Wars, Student Wins a Battle: More Time to Unwind on Vacation” (On Education column, April 4):
As a 15-year-old high school sophomore with a demanding course load, I read your article with interest.
On regular weekdays, my evenings fill up quickly with daily homework assignments and extracurricular activities. My weekends are my opportunity to catch up on projects and essays, review notes and study for upcoming tests — which leaves hardly any time to relax.
Spring break is a rare occasion for me to unwind, reflect, rejuvenate and prepare for the onslaught of work when I return to school. It’s the only way I keep going.
In an effort to ensure racial diversity, the school system here in northern Westchester County is set up in an unusual way, its six school buildings divided not by neighborhood but by grade level. So all of the second and third graders in the Ossining Union Free School District attend the Brookside School.
But some minority students, the black boys at Brookside, are set apart, in a way, by a special mentoring program that pairs them with black teachers for one-on-one guidance outside class, extra homework help, and cultural activities during the school day. “All the black boys used to end up in the office, so we had to do something,” said Lorraine Richardson, a second-grade teacher and mentor. “We wanted to teach them to help each other” instead of fight each other.
While many school districts have long worked to close the achievement gap between minority and white students, Ossining’s programs aimed to get black male students to college are a new frontier.