Friday, June 1, 2018

Senior Ditch Day


It was Friday, day two of a two-day assignment. The teacher had been out all week. (Another sub got Monday through Wednesday. I only covered Thursday and Friday.)

There were three periods of AP geography, one period of AP psychology, and one period of AP government. (If you aren't familiar with the terminology, here's a link to what an AP class is.)

The fact that the whole schedule is AP is significant. See, the AP tests were from May 7-18. The students work hard to prepare for that test. Once they've taken the test, they're done for the year.

Yup, a whole day of students who were done for the year.

But I wasn't stressing. The teacher had left movies for them to watch.

Second period was the government class. Seniors.

Passing period. One student walked in.

"I'll be the only student here today. It's senior ditch day."

I laughed. I told the boy that there would be other students, but now my expectations for attendance went way down.

In case you're not familiar, senior ditch day is an unofficial tradition where the senior class decides to not attend school one day. It's usually in the spring, near to the end of the year. And it's usually a surprise as they don't inform administration. (The administration tries to discourage it.)

I rarely hit senior ditch day. The one day I did (years ago now) where I had senior classes, about half the students attended. If the teachers know about it, they're not going to miss that day. It's like a mini vacation for them.

In the end, I was right. Shortly after the boy, three other students arrived. That's four total students in a class that has 37 enrolled.

Alas, that was my only senior class of the day. The psychology class had only four seniors total (the rest were juniors), and the geography classes were all freshmen.

26 comments:

  1. I never heard of Senior Ditch day but i would have been all for it.

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    1. Oh, these are huge. And the schools try so hard to thwart them.

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  2. I can't remember if my high school did senior ditch day. If they did, I was probably good and didn't ditch.

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    1. I found out about mine after. No one clued me in. Then again, I didn't notice a drop off in attendance on any day, so maybe my senior class dropped the ball on this. (Figures. There's a reason I haven't been to any reunions.)

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  3. At our school they have to have parental permission to miss school. I never gave permission. School is out soon. They shouldn't be skipping so close to the end. I have never been to any of my class reunions. It will be 50 years next year!

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    1. They're supposed to have parental permission to miss school here, too. Many do get that.

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  4. We didn't really have anything like that, although the seniors did have a picnic day where most of them just never went back to class. I did, of course. Not because it was "good" or anything, but because I really, really wanted to be able to skip taking my physics final and showing up to class was the only way I'd know.

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    1. They have a whole senior week here. They take their finals a week early, and finals week they get to play.

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  5. Nothing like Senior Ditch day in my era or in Midwest world. What will you do this summer?

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  6. I guess now I wonder when and who start senior ditch class.
    Coffee is on

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    1. Someone who had a major case of senioritis ;)

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  7. We called it Senior Sneak Day at our school way back in the 1960s/70s. Most seniors went on a school sponsored and chaperoned field trip to the beach and amusement park in Santa Cruz. The chaperones went their way, while the students went crazy all over.

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    1. We never had a school sponsored ditch day. That would have been cool.

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  8. I think I mentioned this before, but I didn't participate in my senior ditch day. My mom was cool in allowing us a day or two here or there if we didn't want to go to school and give her permission to stay at home. I didn't feel senior ditch day was one of those days to miss so I was only one of a handful of seniors there, which was okay because it was basically a free day anyway since so many classmates were gone. Son was on probation at the time of his senior ditch day so he had to go to school unless he let his probation officer know and there was no way I was going to give him any type of permission to miss a day of school. He survived. Now that he's a parent, he'll have the "joy" of deciding what to do when his son is a senior in the many years ahead.

    betty

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    1. Sorry you missed yours. The seniors I had in class spent the period on their phones. Naturally.

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  9. I played along in senior skip day twice....haha...once as a jr and then as a sr. Gotta love being young.

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    1. As a junior, eh? They let you get away with that?

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  10. So, senior ditch day is all over the country. I can't remember for sure if my son participated or not (in upstate New York). I can see where teachers would consider it an unofficial holiday. Alana ramblinwitham.blogspot.com

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  11. What a strange tradition. Must be lovely for the teachers though!

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    1. It's strange. When the teachers know it's coming, they can plan for it. When it takes them by surprise, they're left scrambling.

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  12. Glad to hear you got an unexpected break. When I was in school, I remember my teachers planning tests for senior ditch day to discourage it. lol.

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    1. I think that's what ultimately happened with mine. But I only heard a rumor that it was the day on the day (and I had a big AP English test that day).

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  13. Don't have anything like that here. I'm surprised that staff aren't aware of it - I mean, if it happens every year surely they'd be expecting it?

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    1. It's under the radar. Someone in the senior class decides on a day. The rest of the seniors agree. And then they all ditch. The day changes from year to year, so when it hits is a surprise.

      They expect it, but they don't know when to expect it, if you catch my drift.

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