Senior Activity Day Moved to Fall Semester



Carly Zhou, Staff Writer 

Senior Activity Day was moved from the spring to the fall semester this year in conjunction with the changes to the testing schedule for the PPSAT, PACT, and PSAT. Despite criticism from seniors that the date was inconvenient due to coinciding with college applications, participation remained the same as previous years. 
According to Assistant Principal Mr. Matthew Pate, the reason behind this date change was “to have something for the seniors to do as [the administration] tested freshmen, sophomores, and juniors.” The testing schedule for the PPSAT/PACT/PSAT was moved from spring semester to fall semester by the district.
Students were aware of this date change, and even though some opted out of attending the planned Six Flags trip, many still took advantage of the free day. 
“Giving the seniors this particular day off is a logical choice due to the testing going on in the other grades,” senior Katherine McPhie said, “ and even if many seniors are choosing to work on college apps instead, I think that they still appreciate the day off.”
 Many seniors, such as senior Anthony Liang, felt that the date change for Senior Activity Day, which was previously held in the spring semester, made the event less enjoyable due to coinciding with college applications. 
“I think [having Senior Activity Day take place during the fall] takes away a lot of the fun element because we have [college] apps in the back of our minds,” Liang said, who bought a ticket for Six Flags. “I can see kids brainstorming ideas for their personal statement on the line for roller coaster rides”. 
Senior Katherine McPhie agreed, and believed that the date change to first semester “essentially change[d] the atmosphere of the day”. “It doesn’t really feel like the same type of thing at all. I wouldn’t be surprised if seniors just created their own ditch day second semester anyway despite the official change,” said McPhie. 
Despite student opinion, participation has not changed significantly. 
“If you look at the last three year trend [in signups], this year is right in the middle of what we have seen,” Pate said.
A total of 173 seniors signed up for Six Flags, out of  566 in the senior class, which is about 30.6% of the senior class who opted to participate. Previously in 2018-19, 201 out of the 642 seniors opted to go to Six Flags, 31.3% of the senior class. And 2017-18, 29% of the senior class opted to buy tickets, which is about 195 students out of the 674 senior class.  
The testing date change was made by the district, and admin made the decision to move Senior Activity Day in accordance with the testing schedule. According to Pate, the administration has not yet determined if the date change will be permanent.
Despite the setbacks posted by the date change, many seniors still opted to participate in Senior Activity Day. 
“I want to spend time with my class,” said Liang, “because it’s one of the few times we will be with each other other than Prom or [Senior] Sunset”.