By: Kenna Beech
Work study is an amazing opportunity for qualifying seniors at Attleboro High School (AHS). Those students, who have enough credits to graduate at the end of the year, don’t need extra classes, because they have already filled their extracurricular graduation requirements.
During the school day, different for each student depending on their schedule, students can spend time off of the school’s property and can use this time to pick up extra hours at their jobs, take college courses or catch up on school assignments. Students who are granted a work study have to hold down a steady job and must keep that job until the end of their work study.
Spending time out of the building to pick up extra hours and catch up on assignments is great, but work study can also make school more stressful and less stressful, all at the same time. The process to be granted a work study is long and painful.
Seniors must first see their guidance counselor and ask if they have any free blocks that they don’t need for graduation so they can sign up for a work study. Students who have failed classes during their time at AHS may not be able to do a work study because they have not earned enough credits. Once this is complete, students must fill out a form and attain a parent/guardian’s signature.
The approval form is then returned to the guidance counselor, who fills out the other half. Once this is done Experiential Learning Coordinator Ms. Rebecca Richard makes the final decision. Richard calls students’ jobs and speaks to managers to make sure that her students are holding down a job position. She also asks any other question/s needed.
Once this is all set, she may even call a student’s parents/guardians to go over the process. This can take weeks depending on how busy Richard is, how long it takes for a manager to return her call, or how many others have signed up for work study.
Students should begin the process at the beginning, or at the latest, the middle of a trimester before the trimester in which they want to take the work study.
Another downer about work study is that students who take all year courses such as AP, CTE, or Journalism can’t opt out of these classes for a work study.
Work study is great for qualifying students, who don’t need to be in school for the normal 6 hour and 45 minute period. Some students may only need to come to school for two periods. This freedom and independence can do wonders for those who feel limited during the normal school schedule.
This time can also help with those who suffer from disorders. Anxiety in the classroom is an ongoing problem for many students. This opportunity gives students a chance to breathe and spend time in atmospheres where they are more relaxed and at ease.
Overall, work study has its ups and downs but can serve as a fantastic preparation for college. Since it requires students to be a lot more independent, it helps a lot with time management. AHS still mandates the MCAS and the new PARCC testing so students need to be certain they arrive on time and leave promptly due to the changing test schedules.
For more information, visit school guidance counselors or see Richard in the LMC-6.