Is There Equity in Senior Study Privileges?


Ciara Callanan

Seniors have the privilege of leaving school early if they have a study during the last block of the day

Ciara Callanan, Staff Writer

At Scituate High School, every underclassman looks forward to the “Senior Privileges” granted in their last year–including the ability to leave campus during their study block. However, it is less common knowledge that this privilege only applies to those lucky enough to have first or last block studies. Many seniors at SHS have not been so lucky, and this issue has been brought to the attention of administration. 

Senior Abby Norris describes this problem, stating, “Students that have an F Block study are able to take full advantage of this privilege, with the opportunity to leave early three times per schedule rotation. Students with a D block study can only come in late once each rotation, which often means they never get to sleep in some weeks.” Not every student receives the same advantage. 

With help from her homeroom on creating the outline, Norris brought her views to the administration, requesting a revision to senior privileges. She argued that senior year is the year to prepare for the outside world, and allowing students to gain more freedom before they go into their lives would be very beneficial. Whether getting a job or going to college or a trade school, there is little to no structure compared to what kids are used to. Seniors can be taught time management and responsibility, which are crucial to life after high school graduation. Norris said she “went to administration, hoping they would see what the benefits to this plan would be, aside from solely the ability to leave during the day.”

The administration was initially very impressed with the thought put into the reasons for this change; however, there were many concerns. Their main hesitation was regarding safety. Students who enter campus at the beginning of the day are put under the school’s supervision until 2:46 PM. If students get in a car accident or have a health issue while off campus, it is still the school’s responsibility to respond. But this raises some further questions: Does this apply to students at the end of the day leaving before 2:46 PM? Does signing in and out of the school mean signing out of their supervision? 

Front desk supervisor Kathleen Ward cleared up the confusion. With the current policy and process of seniors being able to come in late or leave early, everything is running smoothly. Ward has the attendance list of the study block at the beginning and end of the day. She uses this to check off students when they come in and out of school. Parents sign permission slips allowing students to leave for their studies, essentially taking them out of the school’s supervision. Ward fears students’ attendance and credit being impacted if they leave during middle-day study blocks. Ward simply wants everyone to attend school and have the best high school experience possible. Adding in the ability to leave campus in the middle of the day would be more complicated and [possibly cause more harm than good. 

Due to the SHS schedule rotation, D block falls mostly in the middle of the day. Senior Logan Dunn shares her frustrations with the inability to leave and simply “go home, grab a coffee, or something to eat when all [her] work is complete.” She believes it’s unfair because she did not have a say in when her study was and feels she “should have the same privileges as other seniors.” 

The debate continues on whether this is an issue of equity, safety, or accountability. As the administration continues to work to create a healthy and engaging environment for all its students, the senior class is looking to have a fulfilling final year.