By Julio Nieto
Imagine being able to eat your favorite lunch in the Del Essig Garden or catch a quick nap before going to Algebra 2. This could be a reality if Argo had open campus. Open campus is when students can leave during open periods, including lunch and study hall. 28 percent of high schools nationwide offer this to their students. There are many points of view to consider, and here are what some of your peers and your Principal, Dr. Chris Covino, have to say.
Dr. Covino admits that open campus “might be a good idea,” however, he is cautious. This wariness comes from experience. While working at a school with open campus, a student was struck by a train during school hours. Dr. Covino also mentioned the varying levels of maturity between freshmen and seniors as being a concern. He feels it is the school’s responsibility to keep all students safe, even after the last bell rings.
Rockwell Reynga, an Argo senior, says, “I feel that it should only be open to seniors”. He continues to say seniors are more mature than the underclassmen and are less likely to make poor decisions. “Just as long as you have a way back, a fast way back, and make it in time for school, then there should be no problem.” He thinks that there could be a sign in sheet, and that a dean or student supervisor could stand outside to make sure no one other than students enter the building.
Xena Romo is a junior at Argo High School. When asked whether she believed that all students should be offered the opportunity to go off campus, she said, “open campus should be for everybody and not only for privileged students.” Senior Julian Meza disagrees and thinks “Students with good grades, attendance, and behavior are the only ones that would be allowed [this privilege].”
Xena defends her stance, stating it would show the teachers how responsible the students could be. She considers this the freedom students want and thinks open campus should be something taken into consideration by either the deans or administration.
Argo did have an open campus in the past; there was a morning class and an afternoon class that would switch off so that more students could learn within the hours of 8 and 3. The school was filled with more than it could handle; making this type of schedule necessary.
The current policy at Argo Community High School is that students are not allowed to leave the building from 8:00 a.m. until 2:55 p.m. without a call from their parents. It does not allow the more than 1,900 students who attend Argo High School to leave if the need arises.
In order for the policy to change, the school board would have to get the opinion of the community to find out if the Village of Summit is ok with letting a number of students roam the streets of Summit.