Do you get free periods in 11th Grade (US High Schools)?



In my high school, we had what was called a “zero hour”, and it was something available for juniors and seniors (or, in rare cases, sophomores).

With approval from a guidance counselor and if you were well on track to graduate, a student could dual enroll, or take classes at the local community college (be it online or in-person courses) and potentially have credits from the courses transfer with you to college.

They had it set up where the list of classes we could chose from would be evening courses, therefore fall outside of school hours. So, rather than make a student take 6 courses during the day plus the extra college course, that student could choose to drop any period during the day.

For example, I dual enrolled my senior year, both semesters. I chose to drop first period both semesters (because I wanted to sleep in lol), so I didn’t roll up to school until second period. I knew of other people who made zero hour their last period so they got to leave school early, or after lunch so they had an extended break… really just depended on your schedule/which high school class you were willing to drop.

There was also an odd case one year where the juniors/seniors specifically in AP Statistics all received a zero hour. The teacher of the course was coach for girls basketball and had some sort of schedule conflict, so they spoke with the school board and stuck a deal with their students (it was a very small class so everyone agreed) to attend the class before school hours and in exchange get a free hour during the afternoon, the original slot which the class was scheduled.

So yeah, it’s defintely possible but depends on the area. If it matters, my school was fairly small/rural and not very competitive.


wow you can’t even go to the library, that’s almost discouraging studying. Shame about the issue with fighting though


wow your school sounds unique. I’ve never heard of anywhere doing odd and even days. I’ve never heard of PAT either but I just looked it up and apparently is stands for Portable Appliance Testing.

Well done on passing with flying colours! Must be nice that you don’t need to stress about graduating.

So if your first class is at 7.20, what time does school actually start for you?


wow you get to learn about aviation, that sounds really cool. Your schedule was mostly made up of electives right?


do you mind telling me which state that is?


^ Is that a compulsory thing in every school?

Thank you for all the info you’ve given me!


My story is actually set in California so this is really helpful, thank you!


ooh okay, that’s not as late as I thought it would be. I always had lunch at 1.30pm but I only had 5 classes in total and lunch would be after my 4th class. But I also had a 25 min break after my second class.


I my school we had 7 classes and our school started at 7:45am. We had a study hall, and Seniors had the choice of either arriving late and skipping first class or leaving early and skipping the 7th class if you had work. We didn’t have a free period, but we had “study halls” that no one used for studying.


Woah 4000 kids :hushed: my school had approximately 800 and something :joy: but thank you for the information, it is helpful :slight_smile:


Wow that sounds so flexible, I never imagined a school would actually allow students to be in control of their own schedule. Sounds like sport is super important to the school and something they’re really proud of.


Haha great choice.

So what time would you have to be in school for?

Thanks for all the info!


haha I can imagine. You just take any opportunity you can get to do whatever


Well our teacher didn’t really watch us. She let us do whatever we wanted, and most of us used the Study Halls to become “Teacher Helpers” and we used it as a free period for the most part lol


Teacher helpers?? Sorry I don’t exactly know what that is


Like assistance to teachers. We helped them if they needed some extra work to be done; like papers taken to the office or help grading them.


oh okay, that makes sense, and sounds nice for the teachers


They didn’t really execute that much, it was more of a relaxing thing for the students haha.


My school went from 8AM—3PM, so I didn’t have to be there until 9AM, when second period began for everyone else. I loved it lol

Once in a great while, if I had a club meeting or the school had an assembly, I’d show up to school the same time as everyone else. But otherwise, I exclusively arrived “late”, took the time to make myself breakfast, work on my DE (dual enrollment) homework at home, get a coffee from the gas station and just chill in my car in the parking lot before second period lol


Depends on the schedule and the school. You have to have so many credits to graduate, but it’s usually up to the student how many they take in a semester, with a minimum required.

In eleventh grade, I took entirely English classes during one semester. I think I had four, and the rest were study halls.

So, it really depends what you mean by ‘free period’. They generally require you to be somewhere, usually study hall if you don’t have a class. My study hall teacher was pretty okay with writing passes so we could go to student services. She was pretty aware that I ended up at McDonald’s (only a block away) since I liked to bring things back for her. Senior year I went to the bakery and brought her back desserts.

So, depends on the school and depends on your teachers and the amount of credits you’ve already accumulated that judges your schedule.