Privileges extended to juniors and underclassmen

___________________

By Jui Bhatia, Beats Editor School administration extended lunch privileges to all grades and late arrival and early dismissal privileges to juniors in response to the pandemic. The changes provide students with more flexibility in their daily schedules. The extended privileges allow all students to leave the building during lunch. Students can go anywhere as...

By Jui Bhatia, Beats Editor

School administration extended lunch privileges to all grades and late arrival and early dismissal privileges to juniors in response to the pandemic. The changes provide students with more flexibility in their daily schedules.

The extended privileges allow all students to leave the building during lunch. Students can go anywhere as long as they return in time for their next period, but most head to their house, car, or a restaurant. Also, juniors and seniors can come to school late if they do not have a first period class. Likewise, they may leave early if they do not have an eighth period class.

Assistant principal and administrator in charge of transportation and privileges Dr. Patrick Boyle says that the changed privileges give students the opportunity to eat in a different location as a precaution against COVID-19.

“Because of the social distancing requirements that we put in place, we decided to give lunch privileges to all students, only because they’ll have the option (to leave campus),” Boyle said. “They can go out and have lunch or someone can pick them up and they can go home if they don’t have a car here.”

To use their privileges, students must complete a student privilege form and obtain consent from their parents. The form allows students to use their virtual ID card to swipe in or out of the building through the main lobby. This electronic practice helps ensure that the administration has a record of the exact time a student leaves and enters the building during the school day.

Many students feel that these privileges allow more comfort. In particular, athletes like senior Alex Stern find the early dismissal and late arrival privileges very convenient. 

“I like leaving early because I’m able to get home before I go to practice. It makes everything a lot easier because I get to change and get all my stuff,” Stern said. “Even though it’s really crowded at the end of the day and it takes a while to get out (of the building), it’s worth it.”

However, the enticing benefits of extended privileges are countered by drawbacks in various cases. For example, as more students can now use privileges, lines to leave and enter the building are long. According to junior Sejal Kaushik, this leads to many students facing issues with time.

“The only (issue) is that lunch privileges are a bit hectic because you have to go, eat and come back and there’s a huge line all the time,” Kaushik said. “I feel like that already wastes 10 minutes of your time so that’s more rushed.”

Additionally, even though lunch privileges have been extended to sophomores and freshmen, many are avoiding them because of how inconvenient they are. The time crunch mentioned by Kaushik contributes to the decision as well.

“We don’t have a car, and the nearest place to eat is pretty far away. It’s a waste of time to go out,” sophomore Leila Boucetta said. “(Lunch privileges) are useful if you can drive and if you have a longer period to go out, but not really for freshmen or sophomores.”

Regardless of whether students use their privileges, Boyle warns that they are not permanent — there is always the possibility that privileges will be retracted as circumstances return to normal.

“The privileges for the underclassmen are a COVID-19 response; this is not our traditional program,” Boyle said. “This is not a right, it’s a privilege.”


Jui Bhatia can be reached at [email protected]

© 2021 Spoke.News. All rights reserved.