Saturday school sessions receive low attendance by BHS seniors

Saturday school sessions receive low attendance by BHS seniors

With the recent sunny days on Bainbridge Island, this past winter’s lousy weather may be a distant memory.

Especially, it seems, for many of the seniors at Bainbridge High School.

Officials with the Bainbridge Island School District decided recently to schedule three school days on Saturdays for 12th-graders so they could make up the time they missed during the no-class snow days earlier this school year.

The response from many seniors: forget it.

On average, less than a quarter of Bainbridge’s senior students have been attending the Saturday school make-up days, according to BHS officials.

Bainbridge High School Principal Duane Fish hopes the last make-up day will be better attended than the April 15 and April 22 sessions, which saw only 82 and 60 (respectively) of the 316 seniors enrolled at Bainbridge and Eagle Harbor High Schools. For the most recent make-up day, that’s an attendance rate of less than 20 percent.

Fish said that there were a lot of factors at play for why so many seniors weren’t in attendance at the April 15, Saturday school.

There was the holiday weekend, scheduled sports activities and excused absences, he said.

But after even lower attendance at last Saturday’s make-up day, the principal said it seems to be “less about weather, more about prior plans.”

“We’re aware that when you’re talking about Saturday school, there will be things that families already have scheduled that get in the way of that,” Fish said.

The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction requires all districts to make up the days of instruction that are missed due to inclement weather. Saturday, April 29 will be the last of the three sessions scheduled to get BHS seniors caught up before their graduation on June 10.

Fish stated that while he understands that Saturday school sessions are equally unappealing to seniors as they are to the teachers, it’s not the worst alternative.

Some districts, Fish said, were making the days up by requiring seniors to return to school after graduation — a prospect the principal regarded as highly unlikely.

Fish said he hopes the final session on April 29 will be better attended, especially due to the fact that the sessions are offering a chance for students to get in some necessary review time for the fast-approaching AP exams. He remains adamant that the school district will continue to offer engaging, educational and community-service-oriented activities to the students who are in attendance at the April 29 session.

“We’re doing our level best to provide value to these days and students continue to attend in preparation for AP,” Fish said.

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