Juniors React to New Schedule Rules for Senior Year

Rachel Lichtenwalner, Managing Editor

Hoping to take it easy their final year, rising seniors may expect to leave school early to head to Starbucks, take a nap, or meet up with friends for lunch. 

But their hopes are now dashed. 

Until now, seniors have been allowed to take fewer than six classes. As long as they were on track to graduate with a minimum of 23 credits by the end of second semester, they could head home early. 

This luxury will no longer be offered effective in the fall, a move made by the Fulton County Board of Education, said counselor Virginia White. 

For the past few weeks, White has held meetings with the juniors to review their schedules for next year and discuss college-related concerns. 

During these conversations, she’s had to break the “bad news,” as she calls it, informing juniors that now, every class period must be filled. Students have not responded well, she said. 

“A lot of them feel like they’ve worked so hard to get to the point where they can relax their senior year and have an abbreviated schedule because they’ve seen that happen in the past, and then things changed,” said White. 

Junior Caley Wilson is one of these disappointed students, deeming the policy unfair. 

Even though she does not need the credit to graduate, Wilson planned on continuing with yearbook. However, the only required courses she needs to take are another literature course and economics. 

Now, she must spend her time on “classes that weren’t necessary,” she said. 

One of them is online mythology, which she said she is not interested in but put on her schedule because the class period had to be occupied with something. 

If she did not have to have a full schedule, Wilson said she would have spent the extra time in her day working on college applications and getting a job. 

Junior Samanta Schultz is ahead is many of her required credit areas, but she knew she wanted to keep up her rigor, so she originally planned on having five classes instead of six for senior year. 

Although the new policy does not affect her initial agenda too much, she still thinks “it’s kind of stupid.” 

She said an advantage of having that free period at the end of the day would allow her to focus more on preparing for college. 

White said that despite the frustration rising seniors may feel, this situation is “good practice” for “accepting circumstances you can’t control.” 

White said students should not let county policy interfere with enjoying their senior year. 

“You’re still going to have fun regardless,” she said.