Peekskill High School juniors and seniors will continue to be allowed to leave the campus during the coming school year if they are in good standing and have submitted a parental waiver, the Board of Education decided Tuesday night.
Freshmen and sophomores may leave the building but not the campus.
The policy, a continuation of regulations adopted on a trial basis last November, is effective through June 2013 unless modified at the discretion of the school district. The split Nov. 15 vote capped more than two months of sometimes-passionate discussion about safety, security, student privileges and responsibility, a nearby deli and the quality of food in the school cafeteria.
About 100 students were cleared to leave the campus during the 2011-12 school year. Superintendent of Schools James Willis, while remaining “professionally and personally opposed” to students leaving the campus for any reason during the school day, said there had been no experience during the past school year that would warrant tightening the policy. Willis has repeatedly cited accountability concerns in favoring a closed campus.
Willis and Joseph Mosey, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, said staff time monitoring waivers and student status was not an issue once the policy was in place for a few weeks and everyone got used to it.
Incoming high school Principal Frederick Hutchinson noted several reasons why even students eligible to leave might be inclined to remain on campus this year, including the upgraded
senior lounge and more balanced scheduling of student lunch periods. The policy will be explained in detail during orientation, he said.