With the arrival of May this week, students, parents and teachers begin to prepare for the last days of school.
Area students will finish school by the end of May this year. The last student day for Cloverdale schools is May 28. Graduation is at 4 p.m. on Saturday May 24.
Greencastle students are out on May 23 and graduation will be at 7 p.m. that evening.
North Putnam students will go to school until May 27. Seniors are out on May 23 and graduation is May 24 at 11 a.m.
South Putnam students last day is May 22 and graduation will be May 24 at 1:30 p.m.
Making sure students attend the last day of school can be tough for county school officials. It appears the best guarantee is to have final exams on the last day. All four county schools have at least a few finals scheduled.
North Putnam, South Putnam and Cloverdale schools have finals scheduled on the last day of school and do not anticipate any issues with attendance because students missing finals will also receive a percentage off their grade.
Greencastle High School still offers "an opt" out program for students on exam days.
A policy was instituted last year which allows students who have two or less absences and less than one tardy to opt out of final exams.
Many of the students who qualify for this are taking a job shadowing day, performing community service or visiting a college, and will not be at school on the last day of the year. Those who are taking finals could have up to three exams on Friday.
Principal Jim Church put the Opt Out program in place at Greencastle High School last year.
"This program enables kids to make choices but they must do certain things," Church told the BannerGraphic last year after instituting the program.
"Those students who are opting out on the last day of school had to sign a form stating what they would be doing that day and have parental permission," he added. That policy still stands this year.
Students at GHS who are not eligible for the Opt Out program and who are absent from final exams will either fail the course or lose 20 percent of their grade.
Normal semester grades are determined on a 40/40/20 standard with final exam grades counting as 20 percent. Student grades for those who can opt out are split on a 50/50 basis and do not include a final exam grade.
Church, who was principal at Northview High School in Brazil two years ago implemented a similar program there. Northview discontinued the program the year following Church's departure from the school.
Alas, for some kids school won't really end, as summer school classes will begin in June. Please contact individual schools for summer class schedules.