With the school year starting to wind down, many students are beginning to look to graduation and the last day of school. Term 6 and the first week of AP testing both begin on Monday, May 6th, making the end appear closer than ever. After the two-week window when students redeem their college credit, many AP classes coast to the finish line, making it seem like a lot of seniors are just waiting a month longer than necessary to walk away with their diplomas.
Unlike the oldest of the students, however, the rest of the school has to attend four more days of school than 12th graders. Three out of the four extra days are set aside for finals, but the last day that’s left over once finals are over doesn’t seem to serve a purpose.
The last day of school has been different in the past couple of years. A few years ago it was treated as a field day-type of event; another year there was a long assembly, and there have also been times when it was just a normal schedule with shortened periods.
Many teachers tend to treat the day also as a finals make-up day, which aids students who were absent during any of the three finals days. This allows the students to not lose a large percentage off their final grade for not being able to make it into school.
Some teachers offer last-minute extra credit opportunities to help give grades one last push to get students from that B+ to A- or A- to A. For teachers that are not administering finals though, the day is a late spring cleaning – this option represents most instructors.
Because there is nothing to do for students, a lot of teachers “tell you to skip,” as Sophomore Owen Leffel words it. Some students like Matthew Sturgeon attend because they are “able to hang out with friends and relax without the stress of any work.” Others are pressed into attending by their parents.
Teens that do go to the last day of school are often recruited by their teachers to assist in cleaning up classrooms, which leads learners such as Derek Grose to question, “What’s the point [in going to class]?”
In a 25-student poll (roughly the size of one class), 17 out of 25 (68%) reported they don’t attend the last day of classes. That statistic may not seem too overwhelming, but it means that only about 32%- less than ⅓ of students- show up compared to a near 100% of students on a normal school day.