50 minutes isn’t ‘early release’ for seniors

By Ranine Jaber

Notre Dame Prep introduced the option of skipping either A period or H period in lieu of taking a study hall at the start of the 2014-2015 school year. However, seniors only get a taste of the cake— 50 minutes is not even an hour. Yet, other schools across the nation release seniors early depending on the remaining credits they need to graduate.

Why would students want to waste money and time to take unnecessary classes? Seniors should be given the privilege of being released early like most other students on neighboring campuses.

At NDP, students are required to attend 7-8 classes a day, despite whether or not they have already met the credit requirements.

A lot of the time, students are left to sign up for random, extra classes just to fill up their schedule. According to senior Bella Sydenham, she takes an extra two classes “just for fun.”

Sydenham takes Evolution of Pop Culture and Street Law, which are 42 minutes each. If she didn’t have to take these electives, she could be leaving school at 11:44 a.m. like high schoolers at public schools nationwide.

“If we could leave school earlier, we would be able to spend our time more efficiently. Getting a job would be a lot easier since our availability would be much more open,” senior Anastasia Deffigos said.

For seniors at NDP with underclassmen siblings, the single free period makes it difficult to plan or do anything without having to return 50 minutes later to take them home.

“It gets annoying because it restricts me from doing what I want to do because of the time restraints. I always have to worry about rushing back to school to pick up my younger sister,” Cate Haugland said.

State law requires that seniors be in school a certain number of hours for the year in order to be considered as credible. However, if the school could incorporate the Gold and Purple schedules for everyday use, then students would be in class for technically longer, while still leaving early.

Seniors should be given the option of deciding their release, parallel to the credits left needed to graduate. Furthermore, if a student only has a few credits needed to complete, then he/she may leave after those classes. Once students correlate few credits with early dismissal, they will be encouraged to work harder in school to retrieve these benefits as a senior.

On the flip side, English teacher Maureen Treadway said, “As a parent, I wouldn’t want my kids driving around, doing whatever they want, while I’m at work.”

However, considering that these students are going off to college the following school year, they will most likely have full, unsupervised freedom from their parents.

Therefore, this fear is nearly meaningless, especially for parents with students going out-of-state for college.

Being released earlier than simply a class period would be more beneficial to students who want to spend more time with family before leaving to college or for those who want to make more money on the side.