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Should Students Be Allowed To Skip Senior Year?

Kristen Ferrara

 

Senioritis is a serious condition. Once the illness takes hold, students are incapable of completing their homework assignments or focusing during class or even, in some cases, arriving to class on time. Is this disease curable? Offering alternative paths for high school students to follow their senior years could allow students to optimize their time and curb the frustrations of teachers, thus alleviating the effects of senioritis.

Many seniors take blow off classes. Some load up on electives, others take classes below their intelligence levels. Core classes - math, English, science, social studies - are sometimes treated with little regard. Both of these realities are frustrating to teachers. Educators who teach an elective may be annoyed by the fact that students are not passionate about the subject at hand, while educators in core subjects are in a dilemma as they do not want to fail their students but, at the same time, do not want to give good grades for sub-par work.

This is also disadvantageous to students. Kids who could use their time to earn money for college, begin college early, pursue independent research projects, volunteer in the community, or have internships are forced to sit in classrooms studying topics they do not care about and, potentially, to butcher the GPAs they earned over the courses of their high school careers.

Hudson High School has taken considerable steps to address this issue. Some seniors have participated in work programs in which they attend high school in the morning and leave for a job or internship in the afternoon. Seniors also have the opportunity to devote an entire class period to an independent research project; during this, students are given the liberty to write their own syllabi and pursue topics of choice. In addition, Hudson is offering freshman the option to attain an Associate's Degree from Angelina College by the time they graduate; Mrs. Robbins in pioneering in classes to prepare these pupils for their workload.

However, there are still areas where this endeavor could be improved. Evident in the new paralegal program and the freshman working toward 2-year degrees from AC, counselors have become more efficient when informing students of their options, but knowledge about class requirements is still limited. Although end goals have become more transparent, the pathways to reach these ends are slightly opaque because alternative routes are not broadly discussed when counselors meet with students. Encouraging counselors to engage students, as underclassmen, in conversations about alternative options for their senior years would clarify for students what classes are necessary and which route would be most beneficial for them. Also, administrators and counselors could meet with community members to discuss potential internships and volunteer projects the school could offer its students. This would give seniors many more options, numerically and attractively.

A wide variety of choices coupled with clear prerequisites would ensure fulfillment of the time of students as well as that of teachers. The cure for senioritis is allowing students to have flexible schedules they are passionate about; the solutions above would ensure this reality.

The opinions expressed in this portion of the e-news are written by students for training purposes only. They do not express the views or opinions of Hudson ISD staff or Hudson ISD District Administration. Please use the comment section for any concerns, agreements, or details with additional information.


Parking Passes: The Uncredited Privilege

Kristen Ferrara

The joys which accompany driving are counterbalanced by price. The freedom to go wherever one’s heart desires is hampered by the cost of gas. The ability to explore rough terrain is met with the cost of repairing damage, assuming one’s vehicle is not designed for such activity. The right to park at Hudson High School for an entire year is sold for fifteen dollars. Although hardly comparable to the amounts of money spent on gas or car maintenance, that last chunk of change is a source of complaint for many students. This is a shame as the money raised is given back to students, the process makes our parking lots safer, and dissenters come from some of the most fiscally sound families at Hudson High School.

    Every semester, the principals of HHS reward students who have maintained perfect attendance with lunch at a local restaurant. Students have been taken to Chili’s, Logan’s Roadhouse, and even Outback Steakhouse where delicious meals were served, including steaks, burgers, and other quality foods. These outings are funded with the money raised by selling parking passes. That fifteen dollars students are required to invest only once out of the entire year is used to treat deserving students to a special experience. How awful. In addition, funds are used to reward the class that wins the yearlong spirit competition, among other events throughout school months. Every bit of money invested in parking passes is given back to students in some form or another.

    Many forget about the information turned in with that fifteen dollars; this includes an insurance policy number, a driver’s license number, and specifics about the particular car the student wishes to park. Providing this information promotes the safety of students. HHS faculty checks the policy numbers to be sure cars are insured. This prevents students from illegally driving to school, endangering themselves and others, and ensures that, in the event of an accident, those involved will be able to pay for damages. Providing details about the vehicle at hand is an additional safety blanket as unknown cars in the parking lot can be easily identified or, in the worst case scenario, reported to authorities.

    If one, or one’s family, has enough money to buy a car, pay for gas, and afford insurance, setting aside fifteen dollars should not be an issue. Students forget how privileged they actually are to have cars; many kids at HHS and millions of teenagers around America do not have vehicles because automobiles are too expensive to invest in and upkeep. Complaining about money when one has minimal money problems is like complaining about being ugly when one is obviously beautiful. It is annoying and insensitive; do not be that person.

    Fifteen dollars is the price of two great lunches for deserving students, entertaining events throughout the year, safety in the parking lots, and a year of unlimited, quality parking at the best school in Angelina County. Deal with it or walk.

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