Why Students are Opting for Reduced Schedules

By Jesse Linton

Senior year is a fun and exciting time for students, but also requires focus and effort to finish their high school career strong.

Something many seniors choose to do is take a reduced schedule. A reduced schedule is offered for seniors either first or sixth hour, shrinking the school day to only five periods.

There are various reasons students can have a reduced schedule.

“I recommend reduced schedules for students who are working after school, for dual enrollment purposes or if no classes are available that makes sense for student to take, or if no credit is needed,” counselor Kristie Doyle said.

Many seniors are taking classes at Washtenaw Community College to gain college credit, which requires them to get out of school early. Senior Megan Paddock, who was dual enrolled first semester explained her experience.

“I only had the first three hours of the day because I was dual enrolled at WCC,” she said. “I only had class there two days a week, so every other day I just went home or worked. I dual enrolled to get classes that aren’t offered at DHS.”

As well as the other reasons, graduation requirements are also considered. There are specific credits a student needs to graduate and many students have met most of them by the beginning of their senior year.

“I already took all the required classes, so I decided that sleeping in would be better than taking another elective,” senior Alex Golan said.

Assistant Principal Ken Koenig agrees.

“If a senior can get what they need done more efficiently, meaning five hours rather than six, there’s nothing wrong with that.”

The declining number of electives offered is another reason counselors favor reduced schedule for some seniors.

“There are limited availability for classes, and most seniors just don’t have a class to take that will benefit them,” Doyle said.

There currently aren’t any solid requirements for students to be eligible for a reduced schedule such as a minimum GPA, however if a counselor believes a student has questionable graduating requirements or if they failed other classes the previous semester they will discourage it.

“Right now I believe the requirement to be credit-worthy for graduation suffices,” DHS Principal Kit Moran said, adding he agrees that a reduced schedule is a good option for senior year as long as you take your other classes seriously. “I’m glad the state allows us the flexibility with seniors.”