Positive Impacts For DPS High Schools Through The Implementation Of Open Campuses

An ongoing controversial topic that has constantly affected both staff and students at DHS this school year would be the fact that our high school is a closed campus that has been established by the district, Dearborn Public Schools. This essentially means that students are not permitted to leave the building for any matter, excluding empty class hours or parental requests. However, the possibility of becoming an open campus has definitely been a thought floating in many brains, mainly students. If the district were to establish an open campus for each of the three high schools, it would allow for a higher budget being implemented towards educational resources and would also force students to have a stronger sense of responsibility.

Implementing an open campus all through the three high schools would provide an opportunity to create a larger budget regarding educational purposes and resources. With only the 2021-2022 school year, Dearborn Public Schools had set an $11,399,478 budget in regards to food service as shown in the 2021-22 Budget Resolution Board Meeting. Having an open campus during lunch hours would allow for students to obtain lunch from other locations, which would allow for a lower budget in the food department. Lowering the budget in regards to food service would allow the board to implement a higher budget in other areas where deemed necessary, as stated by Executive Director of Business Services and Operations Thomas Wall. The additional funds being added to the budget could go towards academic supplies, athletics, salaries, or any other educational factor that has been disregarded or hasn’t been completely focused on in the eyes of the district.

An open campus policy would also create a stronger sense of responsibility for the students. According to a survey done by the Association of American Colleges and Universities, only 55% of high school students from the United States feel comfortable entering the ‘real world.’ Although that would apply to more than half of the students, every student should feel confident with leaving high school and moving on to the next chapter of their lives. School should prepare students for adult responsibilities that can come out of being a student at an open-campus school. By implementing an open-campus environment in DPS High Schools, these said schools are forcing students to perfect their time management skills. Students still need to be on time and in class in order to receive all class credits, which would give the students practice on time management skills.

Some would argue that the reason this policy could not be established is due to the responsibility the schools have on students who are minors. Regardless of it being lunchtime, if minors are outside of the school building during school time, they are still under the school’s authority. However, exceptions are made for students who take any classes at the Michael Berry Career Center or dual-enrollment classes at a nearby college. A large number of students who take these classes are both juniors and seniors. Many students have time gaps in between the transition of high school classes and classes in other buildings. High schools are aware of this interlude given to students and are remaining to give it to students, without the specific details of where students are during that time. This would be the same case, if not better, as high schools’ administration would know where specific students are at what time. Students who have classes in different buildings not only have shown that they’re responsible enough to be out of the school building during school hours, but also that they are able to do so safely. Changing the current campus policy would only impact juniors and seniors and would also abide by regulations that are already set in place and maintained.

Moving forward, it’s important to keep in mind both the wants and the safety of students if the district does truly stand behind the motto of “students first.” An open campus policy at the three high schools would allow for the continuation of both these things, along with more. The school board should consider carrying out these practices when they’re presented at meetings and discussions in order to achieve positive outcomes for the students, staff, and the school community.