What’s best – open campus, or closed? | VailDaily.com

What’s best – open campus, or closed?

Cindy Ramunno

Due to a recent change in policy, only seniors are allowed to wander off campus during the 30-minute lunch periods – and if they are late to their classes after lunch, they lose the privilege. In the past, however, all students were allowed to leave campus for lunch.

Last year, students from Battle Mountain High School approached Assistant Superintendent John Brendza about the changes. Those students were upset with the “closed campus” philosophy. Their arguments were heard, but the new policies remain in full force.

Eagle Valley senior Everett Minett says it was nice as an underclassman to be be able to each lunch elsewhere.

“(But) with open campus, there were too many disruptions in class after lunch because of late students,” he says.

Eagle Valley senior Steve Serba says he believes high school students are responsible enough to effectively utilize the open campus privilege; but he agrees with Minett that with a closed campus, “you are less likely to ditch after lunch and you make it to class on time.”

“As a parent, it’s safer and it keeps kids at school – where they should be,” says one Battle Mountain parent.

Parent and Eagle Valley teacher John Ramunno says he agrees.

“I used to cringe when I saw kids leaving the parking lot for lunch,” he says. “It’s more work for staff members now – but well worth it. It’s a safer environment for kids.”

At Battle Mountain, the staff has opened the gyms and the library during the lunch periods so that kids who are finished eating have something to do with their extra time. Gail Eaton, head secretary at Eagle Valley, says having a closed campus is a big improvement.

But some students disagree.

“Open campus gives students options of where to eat and makes students manage their time so they can be back to school before class starts,” says Senior Danielle King. “I liked the open campus”.

“Open campus teaches responsibility to students who are getting ready for the real world or college,” adds a fellow senior, Dan Rivera. “But I think closed campus could be good for underclassmen.”

If you have questions or comments about this policy – or any policy – call Battle Mountain High School at 328-2930 or Eagle Valley High School at 328-8960.

Support Local Journalism