Early Release

Lesley Septimo, Student

This year has been a difficult year. Most seniors already began struggling the second week that school began. It was not because they were lazy, but they were given a lot of work along with the task of college research. This year seniors have to focus on getting accepted to colleges that will eventually leave them in debt. They also have to get involved with extracurricular programs. Part of the work given to them were from unnecessary classes for students who are not reaching out for an advanced diploma. These extra classes may look good but were not even optional in which case shouldai??i??ve been according to school protocol (). In other words, seniors have and will continue to fight for their right to choose optional classes, cut unnecessary classes from their schedules and leave early, or take classes that will benefit them such as study hall, economics or a college help class.
Most of us do not know what college to go to. This is a stressful issue that is obviously addressed to us since freshman year. But it is not an easy decision or something that can be figured out in a small amount of time. We need to focus on our current work from high school classes which is overwhelmingly packed with work from classes we donai??i??t need.
College classes:
There is no doubt that College advisors offer help but lacks a 1 on 1 attention. Programs that do offer the help are either too far away or end late. An example of this proving both points is Bottom Line. It is located in Brooklyn and starts at 5PM and ends at 8PM . Being that it is far away and unacceptably late(especially to those who live in dangerous areas), it is not a choice for seniors and if it is, itai??i??s a challenging task. With access to college class at school, itai??i??s a useful accessory and less time consuming. The class may not count as a credit, but will be worth it in the long run. This can also help the college advisor help students by not having missed or less time for student applicants. Students will not regret going to a college because they will have taken a course that will help them apply in time and not a stressful class that they donai??i??t need.

Study hall:
Now study hall is a good way to make up work missed from classes, review, do homework that is often avoided due to being tired, access to help in any course, a break and more. A common claim to why it is not offered is it does not help students because they do nothing. What that claim often ignores is that teachers are responsible for whether or not they are on task just like any other class. Yes they may not be accountable for how much work or what work they do, teaching them a topic, but it is easy to recognize whether or not they are doing work. If that is not the case, students who donai??i??t work in the class should be given work, a grade deduction against their other class or simply cut from the class. It is not said that they shouldnai??i??t be allowed one break for 5 minutes or less within the period because letai??i??s face it; Students run back and forth straight to classes and are expected to be on task/focused as if they are not human. Seniors need time to refresh, each class teaches lessons within lessons for 45 minutes and then the only time they get to breathe(which is also not true because those stairs cut it down) is the 2 or 3 minutes within the class transitions, where another 45 minutes resume on a different topic. Lunch is not a substitute for study hall and will never be because it is not an equal space among students based on the usage of it. Lunch is used to eat and converse with other students about topics other than class (almost prohibited in all classes unless it is related to group activities). Some students arenai??i??t capable of just jumping onto another subject so 5 minutes not being a lot of time, shouldnai??i??t be a big deal. Itai??i??s a head start and allows studentai??i??s to process critical thinking.

Leaving early:
Many seniors are in favor of this option because it offers cutting all unnecessary classes or sessions and gives them a lot of time to do their own things on their own time. These ai???thingsai??? can be jobs, college research, catching up on sleep, family time, homework, hobbies, extra curriculars and more.
It is even pointless to offer regents when students who have barely even passed the subject avoid it, fail it. And if not, move onto another class/subject with a grade of 65. For instance, a student took the geometry class and got a 65 on their regents. Despite being told they ai???neededai??? a grade(75+) that would prevent them from having to take a class in college theyai??i??d have to pay for, they were placed in a more advanced class which was Trigonometry. Logically, if struggle exists in the first level and is there is still struggle in it after testing it out, why would risk or defeat not be a predictable end result to it all.
Teachers wonai??i??t have to deal with seniors who are disrespectful to them because they donai??i??t want to be in that class. Vandalism (yes we saw the ai??? TCS REFUSES TO HELP KIDSai??? on the door before it was washed off) will not be an issue. Seniors wonai??i??t be cutting classes( which is happening more often than usual) to avoid these classes they donai??i??t need nor asked for. Seniors with great grades and behavior are slacking because they are tired. They are cooperating in other activities such as College Now, sports teams , attempting a club,etc. This option would result in positive attitude towards the school, seniors getting more involved, being on time and seniors will be ready for college.

Overall
Seniors are not giving up. They are transferring to schools offering these options, skipping, choosing sleep over homework they donai??i??t value, trying their best to cooperate, coming in late instead of being absent ai??i?? There is a universal agreement that school in general is not a place to learn anymore. It is the place for students to struggle and to accept failure under the unspoken pseudonym, ai???Passingai???.

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