Open VS Closed Campus

Open VS Closed Campus

Emina Hergic, Writer

There are many pros/cons to off-campus lunch at Centennial High School.

Here at CHS students have the liberty of leaving campus during lunch, but it is a prerogative advantage that you must be eligible to obtain.

With COVID still around, it has become quite practical for schools to initiate this policy, as it helps spread out students, leaving more space for social distancing in the cafeteria. Although this advantage is convenient for students who prefer not to eat school lunch, it has its positives and negatives. Sometimes, taking a break off-campus is necessary, especially with all the stress being placed on high school students today, leaving school grounds definitely gives them the opportunity to take a breather, and go out.

It also gives students a chance to prove that they can be trusted by adults, use this responsibly, and abide by school protocol. Despite the fact that there are a few students who go against school rules/regulations or fail to abide by options offered in the cafeteria, the majority use it responsibly. Less students getting school lunch also saves administrators money, which can be used towards other school resources.

Lunch permit applications are available at the front office, and the criteria for off-campus lunch is as follows:
-You must be a Junior/Senior to leave campus
-Have at least a 2.0 GPA/be on track to graduate
-Have good behavioral standing
-Juniors must also have a good attendance and use this advantage responsibly

I personally believe the pros outweigh the cons, and the freedom of being able to leave campus is sometimes much needed, especially with limited lunch standing. You must have no unpaid fees, and you need a signed parent permission slip (drivers will need a valid parking permit).

Off campus lunch privileges can be taken away for any of the subsequent reasons: excessive unexcused tardies/absences, GPA drop below 2.0, suspension, or transporting students who are not allowed to leave campus.

Below, I have also included a short interview with our principal, Mairi Scott Aguirre.

Admin Interview Questions
Interview with Mairi Scott- Aguirre, Principal at CHS

Q1: What do you expect from students leaving campus during lunch?
A1: “I expect them to be safe and to return on time”

Q2: Have you ever faced any issues giving students off-campus privileges? Have you ever had to take any disciplinary action?
A2: “Yes, there have been issues, because people are off when they’re not supervised, my bigger worries and concerns are making sure students are safe. I’ve had kids get hit by cars, since people can access illicit substances off campus.”

Q3: Would you say the majority of students use this advantage responsibly? What could they do better?
A3: “I think that most students do use this advantage responsibly, as I mentioned before safety is the top priority, so manage your lunch time well, and don’t rush back to class-be safe/responsible.”

Q4: Would you say the school board has gotten more lenient with allowing students to leave campus? Have a lot of rules changed?
A4: “Rules haven’t really changed, this specific rule changed before I became the principal here. A student brought it to the school board and got it changed. We did loosen our criteria, but we didn’t have to take it
back to the school board for that.”

Q5: What’s the policy of off-campus lunch? Do certain students have to meet specific requirements to leave the school campus during lunch?
A5: “Yes, there are forms available in the office with all the specific criteria that must be met.”