Senior year: this year of high school requires the most time management from students. Whether it be leading clubs, captaining a sports team, applying to colleges, balancing a job, or taking difficult courses, this year proves to be the most difficult for many. At a time when students are supposed to be able to act like fully-functioning adults, Seniors at J-DHS should be given more privileges. One of the best ways to do this would be to give seniors the ability to leave campus during their lunch period, provided they return on time.
While thirty-five minutes may not be a ton of time to leave and return to campus, some students have study halls surrounding their lunch periods. Instead of sitting through these periods, seniors should be able to have a form of dismissal that would allow them to leave at the start of their study hall and come back before their next class. Let’s take a senior that has fifth-period lunch and a third/fourth study hall. This student, given they had the proper documents, would be able to leave at the start of third period and return before fifth period ends. However, this new opportunity would be a privilege, not a right for the student body. If a student has proven to be irresponsible, the school will retain the right to take passes away.
A system that could be used to ensure legal dismissal without giving the school liability over anything that may happen to the student during this time could perform similarly to the system for early dismissal. The permission slip would require the time when the student leaves, the time when the student is to return, the study hall teacher’s signature (if applicable), the student’s parent’s signature, and the signature of an administrator. Once all of the necessary requirements have been met, the student will just have to sign out and sign in at the attendance office. This could also be used as a reward for high-achieving students. If only students who are on the honor roll, currently passing all of their classes, and are attending their classes could qualify for this privilege, it would push students to try harder in their classes.
Senior, Luke Henderson says, “Seniors are able to drive, are trusted by their parents, and probably wouldn’t go too far away to get food. Also, if students don’t come back on time, they should get the privilege taken away. It would be easy to monitor with the attendance signouts/sign-in sheet.”
A second way to implement this would be to have a couple of days carved out during each marking period where lunch periods would be extended for seniors to leave campus, get lunch somewhere off campus, and come back on time. Although class periods would have to be shortened or completely cut out, these days could be scheduled in conjunction with mental health weekends to provide students with stress relief during the day. For the rest of the student body who aren’t seniors, lunch periods would be extended. Especially as we are reaching the summer months and days are getting warmer, it is important that students are getting outside.
It’s important to give seniors more responsibility both academically and beyond. If these are the students attending college, going into the military, going into a trade, or going directly into the workforce, it is important they understand how to manage their time.