Some schools are taking steps to address the problem of overscheduled students by setting homework-free days, teaching relaxation techniques in physical-education classes, among other efforts. Officials said a growing number of students are reporting anxiety, depression and issues related to insomnia -- problems believed to be connected to their schedules, which include jobs, sports and other activities besides school. The steps brought praise from Bill Doherty, professor of family social science at the University of Minnesota, who said that while the world is more competitive, the effect on students can be minimized.

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