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North Star Take: Seniors Should Be Released From School Early At End Of Year[Editorial]


By The Editorial Board

It’s the last day of school of the 2020-21 school year. The class of 2020 anxiously sits in their seats, awaiting the final bell of their high school career. The past two weeks have been filled with movies, parties, and busy work. AP tests are over, and many seniors who take these tests have already covered all the material needed for their classes and will not need to take many finals at the end of the year.

With the changes to the 2020-21 calendar due to Missouri’s new school start date law, the end of the school year could be extended into the last week of May. It could potentially move into June past graduation, depending on the amount of snow days next year.

Here are three reasons why we believe the class of 2020 should be released from school five days early at the end of the year.

Once AP Testing is Finished, There is Little Material Left to Cover in Class

Many AP teachers look to cover all the material for their class before the AP tests to help their students succeed on their exams.  Even though the end of the school year could be at the end of May or beginning of June depending on snow days, dates for AP tests remain during the first two weeks of May. This could result in two weeks of school after AP tests have finished.

Letting seniors out of school five days early would still allow them time to finish up any remaining second semester finals while reducing the time spent sitting in class with little content left to cover.

Many Things Need to be Finalized Before Graduation

If enough snow days occurred during the 2020-21 school year, the last day of school could be pushed beyond graduation on June 5. There are many things that must be finalized before seniors can graduate, like honors points, cum laude titles, A+ eligibility, and second semester grades.

Graduation is always held on the first Saturday in June at the Family Arena for all three Francis Howell high schools. The date of graduation cannot be moved, as Francis Howell has a contract to host graduation on that specific weekend.

By giving seniors five days off before graduation, this would give the counseling and registrar’s office plenty of time to ensure that everything is up to date before seniors walk across the stage and give their diplomas.

Underclassmen Could Use the Time to Prepare for the Coming Year

Underclassmen would still be able to use class time to review and do other enrichment activities to help prepare for their future years at FHN. Underclassmen could work on school service projects, like helping to clean the school, or write letters to Veterans through organizations like Bright Flight. Classes like Publications could plan for next year’s newspaper, yearbook, or web content. Counselors could meet with students to discuss next year’s classes, extracurriculars, and plans for after high school. Using this time would be a great opportunity to build the FHN community and get students excited for the year ahead.

Avoid the busy work, parties, and boredom that comes with the end of the year. Make sure seniors are ready for graduation by allowing them to end the year early.