I’ve been sparring with my local school board over it’s policy of not allowing high school students to leave during free time and come later for other classes. Currently, if a student were to have just one class at the very end of the day, he/she would have to be at school all day. And since the school is already overcrowded, this doesn’t help.
Here’s a couple quick facts about the school:
-They recently redid the aging cafeteria, but then vastly increased prices on all foods bought there (they claimed that the new cafe paid for itself with $ from previous years of cafe service)
-This is one of those crazy schools with mandatory ID tags that are worn at all times. Also security gaurds and cops just to make the students feel so homey :rolleyes:
-The school once had an open campus back in the 70’s, but then stopped that for no supplied reason.
This quote is from one of my recent letters to the board about this issue. It sums up my initial argument for open campus, with some other issues mingled in.
After having the benefit of speaking to the prinicipal about the issue. He claimed that the main concern was that students would not come back after they left. I raised the point that students who would do that likely already do that by leaving early and not coming back (which is allowed if the student has no other classes). He presented some absentee stats.
97% of students present at start of day,
93% of students present at end of day.
He failed to mention if that accounted for excused absences or not, but did say that these numbers are fairly good.
So will an open campus really translate into a greater number of students leaving? If so, what kind of ordinances can be enacted to alleviate that issue while retaining open campus?
My high school had an open campus and it didn’t seem to cause any problems. It was probably much smaller than your school, though… about 1000 students total.
Frankly, I don’t see why the possibility that students might skip class is such a big deal. I’m sure they do it anyway, and if they don’t want to learn, they’re not benefitting from being held on campus.
My high school is pretty large (around 2,500 students) and we have an open campus. It doesn’t seem to cause many problems, but the way they deal with tardies and ditching is on a credit.
You lose credit every time you are either late or unexcused from class. Six tardies and you have not credit for the rest of the year, but you still have to show up for class in risk of being expelled. Plus, we have extended security at the restaurants and the hang outs nearby, so if you sit there the whole day, they will bring your butt back to class.
my take: kids that would otherwise skip class will not learn anything by being forced into the room. So while I’m certain that a significant number of kids would skip some classes if they had more FREEDOM, I don’t believe it would negatively effect their future.
If I was you, I would realize its just not worth the fight. It sounds like your school truly is run in a crazy and unreasonable fashion, and its simply not a fun place to learn. I would seek education elsewhere.
Treating kids like this makes me sick…I’ll end this rant with some insight from twain: “I’ll never let my schooling interfer with my education”.
My high school started off fairly reasonably. For the first year at least. Each year afterward, the food kept getting more expensive and in smaller portions, the rules slowly got more strict (Was a closed campus for non-seniors, though nobody payed attention to the rule my freshman year. By senior year, they had teachers at EVERY gate making sure everyone leaving was a senior. We were also the only fenced-in school in the area). It was getting pretty annoying by senior year, and considering the events that year, it started getting much worse. My brother was in there for three years after I left, and it kept getting worse. If a teacher had looked through the contents of my binder my last year, especially the last month, I probably would have been suspended. The story I wrote junior year, that earned a place in the school paragon, would have probably gotten me counseling if I’d written it the next year.
Unfortunatly, school staff doesn’t feel very concerned about the student’s opinions of how things are run, and the only thing we could do was to make our way through it despite it all. My senior year, I thought back to the earlier years, my freshman art teacher, who is probably the person who opened me up the most to the creative arts, the english teachers of the later years, who seemed to hold onto promoting creative expression while most others were not (One of whom gave the assignment that resulted in the previously-mentioned story; “Write a horror story.” I doubt there have been many assignments like it since then). But by the end of senior year, I couldn’t help feeling that creativity and expression were dead.
Well, you have my sympathy, but what happens if a student leaves campus during school hours and gets killed in a car accident? It seems to me the school could end up in major legal trouble, since most high school students are minors and the school is responsible for keeping them safe.
“Well, you have my sympathy, but what happens if a student leaves campus during school hours and gets killed in a car accident? It seems to me the school could end up in major legal trouble, since most high school students are minors and the school is responsible for keeping them safe.”
I go to an alternative school off of our main school. We don’t have a lunchroom so we have 1 hour of sign out to get food. Our school has been in operation for 30 years without incident (we only have 200 students though and they all chose to be here, so they don’t want to get kicked out.) The school is essentially run by students, we have democratic meetings every Wednesday where there are proposals and the whole body votes on them. Actually today, the first time in 5 years our democracy has disbanded and there’s now an oligarcy. One of our English teachers is the Queen and three students are princesses. “Down with the Crown” signs are popping up annonymously every where and our History teacher is refusing to let people out of his class for meetings until democracy is restored.
The concept of a student run school really gets everyone involved and makes school much more enjoyable.
I really think it’s disgusting if your Principal or whoever won’t let people leave the building when they don’t have classes. If people just sit around in school and get bored, they’re probably going to get into more mischief that way. Keep fighting for your freedom to leave! Many times the best place to get this changed is going to parent-teacher meetings (PTA) and moaning about how they lock in cells and make you eat rats.
Something no one has mentioned is letting people back in.When I was in high school (and in the high schools I’ve been checking out for my children) there is no leaving and returning.My high school had two sessions. Early session was periods 1-8 and late session (freshman only) was 3-10. After 3rd period, the entrances were closed. Of course, there was also no such thing as being there for just one class at the end of the day. Sophomores and up could skip lunch and get out after 7th period, and seniors who only needed two or three classes were scheduled for them early in the day and then left.
Something no one has mentioned is letting people back in. If you’re going to allow students to enter all day long, you also need to make sure no one else enters.When I was in high school, and in the high schools I’ve been checking out for my children there is no leaving and returning.My high school had two sessions. Early session was periods 1-8 and late session (freshman only) was 3-10. After 3rd period, the entrances were closed. Of course, there was also no such thing as being there for just one class at the end of the day. Sophomores and up could skip lunch and get out after 7th period, and seniors who only needed two or three classes were scheduled for them early in the day and then left.
Schools increaseing treat kids like inmates. There is little respect for the fact that high school students are sentient near-adults who ought to be learing how to be responsible for themselves, not treated like five year old criminally insane squirrels.
My high school implemented the brilliant “tardy round-up program”. On random days, after the bell rang, teachers had to lock their doors. Adminisrators on bikes would roam around campus “rounding-up” all the late locked-out students to the library, where they would be issued Saturday School detention en masse.
Besides have a strangely perky Old West name, the tardy round-up had the additional benefit of making it more sensible to simply skip class if you knew you were going to be late. There were some days that I’d hear the tardy bell as I approuched campus and just turned right around because I really didn’t want to risk Saturday school.
Anyway, the idea is that people have little respect for high school students intellegence. In the rush to impliment more and more control measures to combat pretty etheral threats, they forget that they are entering the realm of the absurd.
My school implemented a closed campus while I was there. The one noticable thing it did was cause more fights, because people would be milling around a cramped campus with people they don’t like, instead of chilling at Taco Bell with their friends.
But more importantly, it took away student’s chance to be responsible. A student that spends too long at Taco Bell and is late every day eventually learns how to get to class on time. This student has learned about limits, time managments, and why one should go to class. The student that is watched like a hawk never learns this. This student never learns that he or she is responsible for themselves and their own education. They never learn things that they will need to learn in the workplace or at college. They never discover the natural consequences of their actions, nor do they discover the difference between actions that are truely inappropriate and actions that are simply not allowed.
Instead of telling kids over and over again that they are caged animals, we should instead guide them to adult responsibilty and give them a chance to exceed our expectations.
I graduated a NJ public high school in the seventies. Maybe things are different now or where you people live.
Our lunch period was 45 minutes. Not much time to go out and get back, even with a car. Yes, it could be done, but no one would want to do it all that often. Why not just bring lunch from home if you don’t like the prices?
And what does the OP mean by
Our school was from 8:05 AM to 3:15 PM. Breaks were for lunch, maybe one period for study hall (where we had to be in the lunchroom or library, quietly studying either way). Everything else was a class of some sort, whether it was Math, Phys Ed, Wood Shop or whatever, but no matter what it was school!!!
All your complaints about the crowded and overpriced cafeteria are plausible, but aside from that, I really don’t know what you’re whining about.
and another thing…
This may well be true of some of them, but not all of them. Be a lttle more careful when you generalize. Sure, there are some hard-core school-haters, but there are other kids who are more borderline, and would prefer to skip class, but will learn if forced to sit there.
A lot of schools nowadays are moving to a college-like class schedule, where different classes are on different days and lsat much longer. This also tends to come with a single, longer lunch period that everyone shares.
The result is that, on certain days, you may have lunch followed by study hall as two consecutive periods, which is quite a lot of time,maybe 2-3 hours. Not everyday, but maybe once a week.
Ok, in this school, students don’t have to take a full schedule. So it’s quite possible for a student to only have have classes for half the day. However, because students have to be there for homeroom (and because the doors are locked), they can’t enter the building once school starts without going to the office and being busted for tardiness or going off campus.
Ok, perhaps there are students who would do this. This is what making open campus a privilege for students who qualify is for. Just set a minimum GPA or some such requirement. And of course, any student skipping a class would have this privilege revoked.
On a side note, does anyone know of a place on the net where I can get some of these absentee stats from.