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Teachers’ Responses to Last Week’s Senior Skip Day

The library was oddly quiet on Monday, February 4th. With over three quarters of the senior student body absent from school, the building enjoyed a rare day of near silence. Yet while the librarians enjoyed the lack of routine “second semester senior sass,” it is obvious that the rest of the school’s administration did not share their relaxed outlook.

The reason for this lack of seniors can be attributed to “Senior Skip Day,” a tradition in many American and Canadian high schools where most of the senior class skip school on a pre-determined day.

But perhaps more interesting than the apparent absence of seniors from the Friends Academy campus was the variety of tactics that teachers used to lure students back into their classrooms. Teachers offered various rewards to students who attended their classes on “Skip Day.” For example, Mrs. Knight told her Calculus students that they would be allowed to work together on a test scheduled for that day if the class had full attendance. Also taking a more positive tack, Mrs. Garry gave her class the opportunity to write a short in-class essay in lieu of a longer one due next Monday, if they were in attendance.

Others used bolder tactics to get students to attend. For instance, Mrs. Clark declared a quiz was in order. The questions on this quiz were unlike other quizzes in that some are unrelated to math. “Do you have graph paper?” “Do you have a calculator?” and “Do you have a pencil?” are some examples. Incredibly, this quiz was worth 2300 points (twenty-three times as much as a typical test). For those who showed up on “Skip Day”, this quiz proved to be an exceptional way to boost to their average. Anyone who skipped on “Skip Day”, however, will have to make up the quiz – except their set of questions will be an considerably more difficult than those presented on “Skip Day”. Unsurprisingly, nearly the entire class showed up.

Mr. Lape took a more retroactive approach, reprimanding his class via email. “You have inconvenienced me and other teachers by your actions. It’s only fair and just that you expect inconvenience,” read part of one missive explaining that his students would have to take a missed test the following day before or after school, or during a free block to avoid losing points.

Others were more subtle. “Thank you for my free period.” wrote Mr. Crocco in an email to his students. “At some point before you graduate I will schedule a meeting with those of you absent and never show up. Viva la revolucion.”

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