While freshmen, sophomores and juniors are taking the ACT exam on Tuesday, March 1, Manual will be holding its first senior service day, providing 12th graders the opportunity to be excused from school to give back to their communities.
According to Assistant Principal Mr. Greg Kuhn, administrators decided to offer a service day option due to historically low attendance rates among seniors while the other three classes are participating in standardized testing.
“People have often said that seniors get out early at other high schools, and we’ve never done that, but we’ve always thought if we could have a way to do something like that and make it worthwhile and legitimate that would be a great thing to do,” Kuhn said.
Seniors who would like their March 1 absence excused must have turned in a completed Educational Enrichment Form by Monday, Feb. 22. Per the guidelines listed on the form, students must submit a one page, portfolio quality reflection about their experience to the attendance office within three days of their return to school.
Twelfth graders who decide to attend school on March 1 will spend their first two blocks in the large gymnasium while freshmen and sophomores are administered the practice ACT and juniors take an official ACT exam.
Breya Jones (12, J&C) is planning to participate in the service day and has chosen an activity close to home—assisting her mother at Waggener High School.
“My mom is a counselor at Waggener,” she said. “She set up for me to go there and work at the College and Career Center.”
Savannah Simpson (12, YPAS) said that she plans to help clean at local nursing home Wesley Manor.
“I think [senior service day] is a good idea,” Simpson said. “If we didn’t have it, then seniors would just be sitting at home doing nothing.”
Kuhn said that he predicts the majority of seniors will take advantage of the opportunity to perform meaningful work in city.
“I think it’ll be great,” he said. “I don’t foresee any problems. People could easily say ‘well, I’ll stay home and do something around the house’ or what have you, but I’ve heard a lot of students talking about what they’re planning to do. People are calling different offices … looking to volunteer, so I think people are taking this seriously.”