Open Minded, Open Hours

Students at Prior Lake High School should be allowed to leave school during their open hours.

Maddison Van Cleve, Contributor

At Prior Lake High School, students must stay in the building during their open hours. According to the Prior Lake High School Student and Parent Guide, “During the open periods students will be required to be in the terrazzo first floor commons area, media center, career center, computer labs, or with a staff member.”

Students are not allowed to be located in the halls unless they have a pass. If students leave the building without permission, they will be considered truant and will not be allowed to come back.

Although Prior Lake High School does not allow students to leave the building during open hours, research does show that leaving and moving around during school allows the brain to learn better. According to “Real Mom Nutrition,” movement turns on the brain. In fact, studies demonstrate that the part of the brain that allows for better learning lights up after movement.

Students who stay at the high school during open periods will likely find a place to sit for an hour and work. If they leave, it is more probable that they will go places and be more active. Once they leave the school, their movement will increase which will spark the part of their brain that enables better learning.

As stated by “Teach Like Finland,” after short breaks students become more focused in class. If students do better when they have short breaks, then they should be allowed to leave the school. Students need space for a little bit to refocus so that when they come back to school they are more motivated.

Many administrators and parents may be concerned that the students might not come back to school and will skip more classes. If students at Prior Lake High School decide to skip school, they suffer consequences and are held responsible. The same will apply to kids skipping after leaving for an open hour.

A possible solution to administrator and parent concerns could be only allowing students who have passing grades to leave school. Students who are failing will not be allowed to leave unless given permission by their parents.

If parents are worried about their students leaving school, there are solutions to these concerns. For example, a permission slip could be created.

Students at Prior Lake High School should be allowed to leave school because movement increases a student’s focus. The part of the student’s brain that enables learning is activated once movement occurs.