By Ann Marie Shambaugh
The lunch room at Zionsville Community High School might be a little less crowded next school year. The ZCS school board approved a change to the student handbook April 13 that will allow seniors who meet certain criteria to head off campus for lunch on designated days.
The new policy requires that students have at least a 3.5 GPA and parent approval to leave campus for lunch. ZCHS Principal Tim East told the school board that he expects about 200 members of the senior class to qualify. They would be spread over three lunch periods, meaning that 67 or so seniors could head out for lunch any given period.
East said he hopes that the new “senior privilege” will serve as motivation for students to make good choices and teach them skills that will be useful after they graduate from high school.
“We want to help them learn to manage their time,” East said.
ZCHS junior Ryanne Stanfield said that she and her classmates had been hoping the school would one day allow seniors to leave campus for lunch.
“It would definitely be good motivation for seniors to keep their grades up and to stay eligible in order to go out to lunch with friends,” she said.
ZCHS students on track to graduate and in their fourth year of study may, with parent and administrative approval, elect to participate in the Senior Privilege Program. This program is designed to allow students to experience the privileges and responsibilities that will accompany the higher degrees of freedom they will have in the next stage of their lives. Qualifying seniors meet the following criteria:
• 3.5 or above grade point average during the 6th semester
• enrolled in coursework that yields at least 6 credits
•enrollment in at least one Advanced Placement, dual credit or career certification course
• have no suspensions during the 6th semester
• have no more than 7 days (49 periods) of absence during the 6th semester
Qualifying seniors exercise the following privileges:
•may sign themselves out and leave the premises for medical or legal appointments
• may sign themselves out of study hall for self-directed preparation in designated common spaces
• may leave campus during their lunch period on designated days
Source: ZCHS student handbook updates