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The Debate Over Senior FITs

Sofia Almeida | salmeida19@dtechhs.org | September 4, 2018

As d.tech students are getting their schedules for the 2018-19 school year, an ongoing conflict between seniors and staff has been brewing over how they should be allowed to use their FIT time which, for many seniors, can span multiple periods every day. Seniors who have found themselves with minimal classes this year have been requesting to leave school early if they don’t have actual class at the end of the day. The staff, however, have asserted that seniors must stay at school unless they have a valid reason to leave, such as concurrent enrollment.

One of these students is senior Matthew Silverman, who has three FIT periods. This is because he has a community college class that requires him to leave school early two days a week. Describing the process of arranging his classes, Silverman said, “It was a lot of finagling to get my schedule to actually work”. Although Silverman was eventually able to add all of the classes he needed, he also ended up with a ton of FIT time every week.

Senior Taline Kevranian found herself in a similar situation. She is also taking a daytime concurrent enrollment class and only a few classes at school, which means she has three consecutive FIT periods, three days a week. Kevranian expressed her frustration about the fact that seniors are expected to stay for the full school day saying, “I just can’t work in an environment that I’m constantly in for three hours”.

The staff has addressed some student complaints by pointing out that they could use their extra time for extensions or curiosity projects, since one of d.tech’s main beliefs is that students should feel that they can make an impact on the world. Director of Student Operations Melissa Mizel explained, “One of the biggest things we are really trying to fulfill this year especially with the seniors is [instilling in them] the mission of the school.” However, not all seniors are on board. Kevranian says,  “Yeah, we should be changing the world, but it’s hard to be changing the world inside the school when we can’t really leave it.”

Mizel had a different take on the issue. She explained that she doesn’t believe the seniors are approaching the situation with the right mindset. Regarding student complaints, Mizel says, “This sort of notion of ‘I’m done, I’m gonna leave,’ I totally get it, but I look around and I see so much opportunity and we want to try to instill that in you guys.” She also emphasized the fact that this is the final year of high school for seniors and their time at d.tech is quickly running out saying, “We want to try to help you guys maximize your opportunity while you’re here.”

Although the seniors and administration are coming from two very different sides, hopefully, they will eventually be able to find common ground.

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