Three fifty five

Gavin Bhulipongsanon, Staff Writer

Have you ever watched the clock on the wall, begging for it to turn to four p.m.? Well, what if you could leave earlier? For seniors, this is now the reality. 

Recently, principal Ann Bonitatibus implemented a policy that allowed seniors to leave the school as early as 3:55 p.m., whilst other students were stuck leaving at 4:00 p.m. 

“I had the leadership of the senior class approach me, and they asked about [an early dismissal],” Bonitatibus said. “Before making a unilateral decision myself, I made sure that I checked with the administrative team, security, and the Activities Office, to make sure that everybody could be on the same page.”

Students and teachers reacted to the policy in various ways.

Zachary Yashar is a senior who frequently benefits from the policy. In his spare time, he can play baseball, volleyball and go swimming earlier.

“After school, there are a plethora of school activities occurring, including soccer, football, language honor society meetings, and other activities,” Yashar said. “I think [the new policy] is nice, and it’s a fun way to honor seniors.” 

Dhatri Parakal, another senior, added that the policy alleviates crowding. “I have a couple of [things] that I keep in lockers near the front,” Parakal said. “[The policy] lets me grab my stuff [early], walk out and get better seats on the bus.”

It’s not just seniors who recognize that the policy is effective. Freshman Mikaela Nowinski also believes that the policy is beneficial.

“I think [the policy] is fine. However, it doesn’t really affect me,” Nowinski said. “The seniors have been here for a long time, and given that it’s their final year, I believe that they should enjoy it,” 

Sean Burke, who has been a Jefferson counselor for 19 years, believes the policy doesn’t go far enough.

“Seniors have put a lot of blood and tears into [the school],” Burke said. “Five minutes is nice, but why not make it thirty?”

Parakal disagreed, and said that the policy should only be extended up to ten minutes.

“That is really funny though, [and I do] love Mr. Burke for that,” Parakal said. “[However] that would mean we would have to lose one of our eighth periods.”

All in all, people agree with the policy’s implementation, with some vouching for the policy to be expanded. 

“We felt that it was a win-win because we knew seniors would like something a little special and [would enjoy] getting out a teeny bit early,” Bonitatibus said.

Nevertheless, seniors are excited to leave school early so that they can finish errands, meet up with friends, and continue working at Jefferson.