Open Campus for WHS Seniors to Start next Year

Thursday, February 27, 2014
By John Lynds

The Winthrop School Committee has voted to allow seniors at the High School to have open campus beginning next school year–a development that has Principal Eileen Belastock excited

“I didn’t think it was going to happen but I’m excited that the school committee decided to give our seniors this privilege,” said Belastock. “It will be a one year pilot program but I hope it continues once we have our new facility.”

Winthrop High seniors have not had open campus since the 1970s. Belastock said with the High School combining with the Middle School next year during the construction of the new High/Middle School building the seniors will be centrally located in the Town center.

“While high schoolers won’t have their own building for the next two years open campus gives seniors something that is just for them,” said Belastock. “I worked at schools that had open campus policies for seniors and it teaches them how to manage their time, have a little Independence and freedom and prepares them for the college campus experience.”

Most seniors only need to carry a six class load schedule in order to graduate which leaves one slot during the school day open.

“The seniors have a rotating schedule so they may be able to come in late one day, or leave earlier, or leave campus to get lunch or do community service so there are a lot of possibilities,” said Belastock. “Seniors can also use the time to study, receive tutoring on or off campus and do some extracurricular work.”

With the seniors being located right in Winthrop Center next year the open campus policy could be a boost to the local economy.

“You will have students being able to go to coffee shops or the restaurants in the area so it will be good for business in the square,” said Belastock.

Seniors are expected to be on their best behavior while off campus and act appropriately while out representing Winthrop High.

“This is a privilege that can be taken away,” Belastock warned. “It may be a temporary loss of the open campus privilege and there will be guidelines but I’m confident our seniors will be responsible and act appropriately while off campus. They really are a good group of kids.”

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