Access for Seniors

Bridget Kennedy, Staff Writer

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Wheaton Warrenville South student Zoe, already suffering greatly from the chronic illness senioritis, talks with her friends during her lunch periods. Little does she know she will fail her AP Environmental Science class due to her lack of motivation. Many seniors are reluctant to admit that having access is beneficial for them. 

The removal of access for Wheaton Warrenville South seniors is not beneficial because of the lack of motivation to keep grades up and the safety issues that come with more student freedom. 

Not having access can prevent seniors from receiving important information that other grades have access to. A large portion of WWS seniors also have late arrival, meaning they start their day with second period, missing morning announcements. “I know lots of people, including myself, who have accidentally skipped an important assembly because I didn’t know about it,” says senior Natalie Harding. It can be hard for staff to hold assemblies during lunch hours and get information out effectively when students don’t have a place to report back to. 

Access was put into place to help teach students how to productively complete their schoolwork in a given school day. Without scheduled time to complete homework, the motivation to do so decreases, not to mention the already low drive first semester seniors already have. Senior, Molly Jamen says, “I think it’s really hard when I’m not required to go to access and try to make myself go to get help. It would motivate me more to go to resource if I had to sit in an access class.” Access can be an important tool to help students practice time management and improve their grades. 

According to Vijay Sharma in the article Importance of Time Management for Students, Time management is important for students to get high marks. Student’s success in studies depends much on managing time efficiently. The habits and morals they acquire during school time and home will stick with them throughout the future.” Mastering the skill of time management will carry over into every student’s lives. 

Students say discontinuing access this year was the best decision because it gives seniors more freedom to socialize with their friends before graduation. Although it is nice to spend time with friends, it is also a potential safety issue. 

Being bored at lunch is inevitable when the lunch periods are 48 minutes long and students end up wandering the school to avoid the cafeteria. “I normally eat lunch outside of the cafeteria, so I can see how people not knowing where I am can be a potential safety issue,” Jamen says. It is important that staff knows where students are in case of an emergency and it will be hard to find a specific person in this situation when they are not accounted for.

On top of that, the school can be liable if a student were to harm other student’s safety. With more freedom comes more danger in our learning communities.  According to Findlaw’s Team of legal writers and editors, “Under the theory of “premises liability“, occupiers and owners of land (including schools) are legally required to keep premises safe for those who are legally allowed to be there. The law generally requires owners and occupiers of land to exercise a “reasonable amount of care” in providing a safe environment on their premises.” Who’s to say someone won’t have the intention of using their extended lunch period to attack the school? Without accountability comes the danger of possibility and by giving students more unsupervised freedom, schools are allowing it to happen. 

Perhaps, instead of instituting access again, the school can find an alternative where students are allowed to socialize, study, and be supervised.

Now, with the new and improved access system, Zoe is able to collaborate with her friends and teachers to pull up her grades and now expects to graduate on time. No super senior swag!