The Benefits of a Partial Day Schedule For Seniors

Sophie Castro, Editor

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High school students are notoriously stressed, whether it be because of a rigorous sports schedule, a demanding boss, or too much homework; students just never seem to have enough time, but with an arrive late/leave early open campus policy, students can make more effective use of their limited time. 

An arrive late/leave early policy dictates that seniors who have filled all their course requirements are permitted to either come to school late or leave early. Seniors would either come a period late and take all their required courses in the afternoon, or take all their required courses in the morning, and leave school at the end of ninth period. This way, students won’t be required to take unneeded electives to fill their schedule and can use the time outside of class to their advantage.  

“That would be great, right now a lot of people just take filler courses and don’t pay attention at all and that translates into other classes,” said senior Cole Janes. “It’s not helping them at all in the long run.”

Like Janes, senior Gavin Maisonneuve agreed. He said, “There’s no point in us being here, taking filler classes is just a waste of time, like if someone has to work,  they should be allowed to leave school to go to work.”

While our school does have a work release program, actually getting work release is difficult and often requires you to meet with guidance counselors, fill out numerous forms, work a certain number of hours a week, and get signatures of work confirmation from your boss.

Having to jump through all of these hoops often deters students from applying for work release, and even if students do take the trouble to apply, their applications are often declined, forcing them to work around the school’s demanding schedule. However, if students were able to leave school early, they would be able to work more convenient hours.

In addition to having more time for work, an arrive late/leave early policy would also allow more time for studying.

Tuscarora High School in Frederick MD practices a come late/leave early policy, and student Katie McDermott said “I don’t have a first period three days a week, so some days I will wake up early  and study for tests and work on homework. That extra time is so helpful to catch up or get ahead in your other classes. Every student I’ve known or talked to love that we have the opportunity to do this.” 

Along with Tuscarora, many high schools across the country are practicing an arrive late/leave early policy, including Elizabethtown High School, a school just one hour away from here. 

These schools often view this policy as a privilege, and require students to maintain a clean behavioral record, as well as a high grade point average (GPA) in order to leave school early or come to school late. Therefore, this policy would not only motivate students to do better, but also only be accessible to those who are responsible enough to use their time outside of school wisely. 

While there may be some scheduling concerns with this system, for example, if one of a student’s required courses are only available tenth and first period, that student would be in-eligible for the arrive late/leave early schedule. 

However, while it may not be fair to that one student, in the big picture, this new schedule would be extremely beneficial to almost all students by giving them more freedom to be productive outside of school.