It has been a Staples’ tradition for longer than anyone can remember. Some teachers will even confess to having participated back in their day. On a beautiful spring day, when the sun is out and the stress level is down, the temptation to switch out textbooks for beach towels is almost irresistible. And so senior skip day was born.
Counting the blissful kindergarten days, seniors have been in school for almost thirteen years. That’s some odd 2,340 days of school. College admissions aside, graduating high school is a huge accomplishment. Staples’ seniors like to celebrate that accomplishment with one day where they can forget their obligations and blow off school together.
Well, it used to be only one day.
According to various staff members, the last four or five years have seen a trend towards seniors taking more time off, typically one skip day in the fall and another in the spring.
“I think we should take two or three, especially during second semester,” Zac Polin ’14 said. “We have worked hard for the past four years and paid our dues.”
Many seniors agree with Polin, feeling that they have earned the time off. “We’ve all dedicated our lives for the past three years to school, and I think the seniors deserve a day off,” Lea Sellon ’14 said.
Unsurprisingly, this doesn’t sit as well with most teachers.
“I am a big fan of senior skip day. Singular noun,” English teacher Meghan Scheck said. “You’ve earned it, but you’ve only earned one.”
Scheck confesses that she too participated in senior skip day as a high school student and thinks that although taking a day off in the spring is acceptable, it’s not in the fall. “It’s the reward for surviving the big, big stress, which you haven’t survived yet.”
Principal John Dodig agrees with Scheck but mentions another angle of the senior skip day dilemma: senior internships.
“One of the reasons we put senior internships in place was to give them an opportunity to get out of school,” Dodig said. “We didn’t have to do that.”
“[Years ago] seniors were here through the whole school year, and there was one skip day,” science teacher Michael Lazaroff said. “Now, we have internships where seniors are gone for five weeks or more. To add another skip day to that is rather arrogant.”
There are also fewer allowed absences for seniors who wish to participate in internships, so two unexcused absences could endanger a student’s ability to participate.
Some seniors view this as unfair, feeling that teachers should be more lenient. “I believe the teachers should respect senior skip day, and I also think there should be no absence recorded,” Tim Schroeder ’14 said.
Of course, all teachers have different policies on the issue, but the over arching feeling can be summed up by Scheck. “I’m happy to honor one senior skip day; I will not honor two.”
Most teachers simply want their students, who are about to go off into the world of college and adult jobs, to understand the meaning of actions and consequences.
“The most important thing we can teach our students is personal responsibility,” Lazaroff said. “People should be able to [skip], but they need to be willing to take the consequence.”