One of the most popular senior privileges is the ability to leave school during lunch or during a Senior Independent Period—commonly referred to as “senior independence.”
For the first time in their school career, seniors are able to go off campus and do a variety of activities during school hours. This privilege allows seniors a chance to experience freedoms that they would have as college students.
Besides allowing seniors time to go off campus, senior independence also gives students time to catch up on school work. “It definitely gives me more time [to work on homework] since I’m taking more classes this year that assign a lot of homework,” says senior Hellen Chen. Senior Blaise Takushi, on the other hand, says, “I love Independence and going off campus is a good break from classes for me.”
While there are many fun things that seniors can do using their off-campus privilege, it may not be used as extensively as one may think. While Takushi would prefer to leave campus during every senior independence, he admits that he often has to stay back to get work done.[one_third]
“I feel like the off-campus privilege is getting us ready for college.”
Senior Aaron Lu[/one_third]
Senior Aaron Lu puts a positive spin on having to do work during his senior independence: “I feel like the off-campus privilege is getting us ready for college because in college we have free periods that are like our independence period. It improves your study habits because you can study for tests and get better academically.”
Senior Joshua Namba spends his free time more differently than most. “I usually go down to the YMCA and work out during my independence period,” he says. Senior Taylor White also uses her free time to go the the YMCA gym. “I really enjoy having G period [independence,]” she says, “because I usually go to the gym after school, and going before 3 p.m. usually saves me from some traffic. And the gym is not as crowded [at that time.]”
Like Taylor, many consider the A and G periods prime periods for senior independence. Senior Cole Horita, who has independence during G period, says, “I like having the option to go home early because I can get an early start to my weekend or just go home to catch up on some sleep. I believe it is good that I have a choice because I can enjoy my afternoon or stay at school and study if I have a lot of work.”
Senior Shannon Mau is glad for her A period independence. “I have not yet come to school late,” she said, “but since I have A period independence, I’m glad I have a cushion in case I’m late.”
Once a month, vice principal Ryan Frontiera meets with seniors to remind them about the rules and regulations of senior independence, including the upkeep of the senior area. Additionally, seniors who receive two or more interims—a C- or less—lose the privilege to leave campus during school hours.