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Apr 12

‘Tis the Season for Senioritis

If you are a high school administrator, you most likely are aware of a condition common among high school seniors often referred to as “Senioritis.”  It generally becomes more prevalent in May or June, but cases have been reported as early as March. This condition appears as seniors realize that graduation is near and they will soon be independent, free spirits able to sleep in, and not have to attend classes and follow rules developed by narrow minded educators.  Sound familiar?

Symptoms of this condition as seniors approach the end of their twelve years of public education are the tendency to occasionally miss school, put forth minimum effort in classes and, in general, just “shut down.” While not all seniors become a walking zombie, enough do and in doing so make guidance counselors and administrators wish for alternatives to the last semester of senior year.

As a high school principal, I had often considered options to avoid this time of limited productivity for many senior class members and being able to provide some appropriate and positive learning arrangement.  The use of alternative schedules, eliminating study halls in grades 10 and 11 for students to pick up extra credits to finish early or devise any other opportunity to maximize learning time prior to grade 12 was under consideration.

Apparently, this concern is shared by others even in higher education. A recent article in The Huffington Post brings this issue to light. Marc Bernstein at Fordham University ‘s Graduate School of Education in his recent article ‘Is All of 12th Grade Necessary for All Students?” proposes  some  avenues to avoid  “chronic senioritis”. You may access this article at:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/marc-f-bernstein/is-all-of-12th-grade-nece_b_3032371.html