The last day of school for RBHS’ senior students is Wednesday, May 15. This date is a day off from being two weeks before the rest of the school’s students get out Tuesday, May 28.
“[The early out for seniors, or] senior week is a gift,” Columbia Public Schools (CPS) community relations director Michelle Baumstark said. “We could require you keep the same schedule as all the other students, but we don’t. So tradition prevails.”
Baumstark said no extra days would be tacked onto the senior’s schedule because of school winter weather cancellations. She said the school will report senior’s attendance through the Friday before graduation, which is Saturday, May 25, and senior attendance will be counted with senior activities.
The tradition of 12th grade students leaving school earlier than underclassmen has been senior Zainab Ibitoye’s end of high school perk to look forward to since freshman year.
“Who wouldn’t be happy to get out of school early?” Ibitoye said. “I think it’s really good to be done with school so I can just relax and get prepared mentally for graduation. We, or most of us, have done so much hard work this year and getting out early is like the ultimate reward.”
Before she was a senior, Ibitoye enjoyed the two weeks seniors were not in school because of the extra parking spots available, and a pleasant reminder that she would too have the opportunity to end school earlier than others. With a smaller class size in the last two weeks of school, Ibitoye found benefits which made the end of the year easier.
“Last year I remember in precalculus we were able to get a glimpse of calculus AB during the time where seniors were gone,” Ibitoye said. “But also in other classes some teachers utilize it as a supervised AUT, which is also helpful because I could study for other finals.”
While the counseling staff is not involved with the decision for the last day of school schedule, they are responsible in ensuring all RBHS students have met graduation requirements so they can walk across the graduation stage.
“We do need time to make sure that the names in the graduation program are accurate,” director of counseling Betsy Jones said. “Counselors are working with students during that time if they need to complete work in order to earn credit.”
Jones said the date of senior’s last school day does not change because the graduation date is pre-planned for several years. Along with that, senior finals and activities require 12th grade students to get out earlier than other grades.
“I am so very thankful for counselors and administration for letting us go early,” Ibitoye said. “Now that we can have that time before graduation to destress and really enjoy our last few weeks.”
How do you feel about seniors leaving school earlier than other grades? Let us know in the comments below!