Unassigned offers ‘a little taste of college’

Unassigned periods for seniors offer a number of benefits and resources


Jordin Baker

Seniors Giovani Buchanan and Cung Cem hang out and finish homework in the senior lounge. The senior lounge was introduced this school year.

Hanging out in the senior lounge, visiting coffee shops and helping teachers around the school are just a couple of the common activities SHS seniors partake in during the school day.  These events don’t just happen before or at the end of a long school day. They can also happen during an unassigned period.

“I think it’s something unique, and I’m really glad that we can afford the opportunity for our kids to have unassigned periods because they can get jobs, come into work early and they can also have an additional period off,” Assistant Principal Andrew Ashcraft said.

 Seniors are figuring out ways to make the most of this valuable time, whether it be using the time towards themselves or towards other people around them. Everyone has their own ways of benefiting from these periods. 

“Since it’s your senior year, you should have fun with it,” senior Sidney King said. “I know it’s important to get your homework done, but go out and get some food or get the extra sleep.” 

Unassigned periods take place during senior study hall periods. These periods last 70 minutes. Seniors are given the opportunity to do whatever they would like during this time, as long as they’re back in time for their next period class. If they would like to leave, they can only exit through the main entrance doors. Ashcraft says that there will soon be a student entryway at door 12, where seniors can leave and come back during these periods. There’s also a Senior Lounge in room 267 that is available. It provides television, couches and desks. 

“It’s a very cozy, yet quiet place for people who may live far or don’t have a car, and I think it gives everyone an opportunity to utilize their unassigned period for the better,” senior Brynna Reynolds said. 

Ashcraft occasionally goes to room 267 to see what seniors are up to. He believes that this room is a great resource and hangout spot. 

“They study, they hangout, they talk about books, they drink coffee, they play video games,” Ashcraft said. “I’ve come up there a couple times and have gotten to see that.”

 There are certain qualifications that seniors need to obtain before earning an unassigned period.  

“Doing the basic requirements of having good attendance, having the right GPA or high enough GPA, and no discipline results in having an unassigned period,” Ashcraft said. 

To get an unassigned period, seniors filled out a paper and online form once the new school year started. They then had to wait for approval from administration. Once they received approval, a sticker was placed on their student ID lanyard, which permits them to leave the school during this period.

Senior Peyton Cheatham finds unassigned periods helpful when he wants to get some extra sleep. According to Very Well Health, sleep plays a crucial role in reducing stress levels and improving memory. 

“I have unassigned first period on white days, and I usually sleep in and come to school second period,” Cheatham said.

Ashcraft doesn’t mind students getting extra sleep either. He even recommends napping once throughout the school day, especially during unassigned periods. 

“Take a 15-20 minute nap because I know that you guys are working really hard and many of our seniors are taking multiple honors classes or AP classes,” Ashcraft said. 

 Reynolds enjoys resting too, but she believes that work comes before play. She insists on getting homework done during this spare period. 

“Don’t treat it differently from study hall, homework wise,” Reynolds said. 

Senior Biak Par uses unassigned periods mainly as a resource. She gets help from teachers, hangs out in the student lounge, and does her homework. She is keeping up with her work, but she wishes she could be doing something else to help the community and her future career. 

 “I would rather be doing an internship or volunteer work,” says Par. 

SHS seniors are expected to use this period wisely, in hopes that it is beneficial and prepares them for the future.

“We’re just giving our seniors a little taste of college,” Ashcraft said.