As students plan their upcoming schedules, juniors may find it helpful to reflect on the schedules of seniors past.
Many seniors like to take late arrival and early release as a break from their otherwise difficult schedules. That can either help or hurt a student depending on how they use their time.
A student must have enough credits in all academic subjects to be able to have early release or late arrival. Senior study hall is considered a privilege, and is only available to those who have good enough grades and no obligations.
Students should use senior study halls to help them if they need extra time. A South guidance counselor, Mrs. McGroggan, said that it can be helpful for students who want to work more, have a lot of homework, or have a family member to take care of. She also stated that it is “useless” to students who only use their extra time for watching TV, sleeping, or just goofing off.
Most students say they use their time for extra sleep and homework.
It may be helpful to take a regular study hall instead of a late arrival or early release. Mrs. McGroggan says students are still “in school mode”, and it is easier to get work done in the library.
Competitive colleges are less likely to accept students who take senior study halls. Colleges look at schedules for senior year, and value students with similarly rigorous schedules.
Since students are not taking classes that help prepare them for college, Mrs. McGroggan says students could be developing less than desirable habits that they “take with [them] to college”. One senior with early release, Destinee Allen, says she uses her extra free time for “sleeping and Netflix.”
Teachers expect even more on students to get their homework done when they know the student has early release or late arrival. There would be no excuse for not doing homework since the student would have more time outside of class.
Students who are taking a senior study hall could be missing out on finding a subject they didn’t know they enjoyed. Taking electives instead of study hall is a “great way to learn something new,” said Mrs. McGroggan. Students frequently take senior schedules at the beginning of the year and then electives after. Many enjoy the electives and wish they had taken more.
Late arrival and early release are only available to seniors because most underclassmen do not drive, so they would not have any way of getting home. According to Mrs. McGroggan, “Any underclassmen would take the chance of senior schedules anyways because teenagers act on impulse and think it’s just an easy way to get out of school. They however may not be thinking about how it could be affecting them in the future, as it will limit their ability to take upper level classes and other electives.”
Senior study hall is a privilege, and students can only have up to four in a school year, one per marking period. This privilege must be applied for, and students must stay on track in school to keep this privilege.