I had a free period but shortly after I graduated, they changed my school so that no one could have a free period.
It’s an important part of the community, the basis for it’s economy. But it’s outdoor and winter sports, not so much team sports like football or basketball. Although hockey is big. Our high-school football team wasn’t very good, probably because the top athletes were in other sports.
Nice. You made it mutually beneficial
Thank you for the info!
Gotta keep your teacher’s happy. She got lots of free food.
I hope she was! I bet, if you did it often enough, she would be waiting for you turn up with the food and be disappointed if you didn’t.
Just about. Not every student will get a study hall, though, if the school as one as a class.
If you have any other questions, I’d love to help out. c:
Thank you! I actually just thought of another few questions because my American High school knowledge is very limited.
How do schools figure out your GPA?
When do you have important exams? Like is there a specific exam week?
Ages ago I read in a story that a student did ‘community service’ as like a form of punishment if you did something bad- is that an option in every school or is that quite specific?
Probably. I was pretty accommodating though. She knew when I was leaving the building. On occasion I would just go and spoke out the back door (a pretty quiet area during a time when they didn’t have cameras all over the place). But I’d still go to McDonald’s to get her something to it looked like a left for a different purpose than just illegal activity.
Depends on the class schedule or school. In my school, when I was in eleventh grade, I had one period with no class in it so it became my study hall, or “free period”. It depends on the school too, but it’s totally possible. If you want your character to have a free period, then do it, because it’s def a possibility.
Grades are F(0),D(1),C(2),B(3),A(4). The numbers are added and divided by number of credits. Some classes are 3 credits and some are 4. Usually credits relates to the time per week spent in class. So a 3 credit class is 3 hours per week. Usually exams deadlines for papers are at the end of the semester. Ugh. It’s miserable because teachers don’t coordinate and so the amount of work multiplies beyond what students can do.
This all varies by state and by school district. Districts fund the schools usually through property tax and they are run by an elected school board. The school board makes policy decisions such has discipline will be handled. Much of the high school experience is determined by what the community is able and willing to pay. This is a major problem in my state and the rest of the US with factions that don’t want to pay taxes whatsoever.
Sorry to touch on politics, but the community attitude toward taxation will have a big effect on the school shown in your story. My high school that had an open campus and modular scheduling was in community willing and able to put a lot of money into education.
No problem. c: And if you do have more questions, don’t hesitate to ask.
They don’t necessarily tell you your GPA. It’s more of how you (personally) calculate it. How to do this is by going through your grades and seeing which number you need.
A = 4.0
B = 3.0
C = 2.0
D = 1.0
F = 0.0
You take the number (of the grade you got from the class) and multiply it with how many credits you received from that class. So, for an example, let’s say in History, you got a B. So you got a 3.0 GPA in that class. And you got a credit for it (because if you pass a class—which in most schools, you will always pass unless you ended the year/semester with an F—a D or above is considered passing). This means that you take 3.0 and multiply it with 1.
You do this with all of the classes, and then by the end, you add up the scores (on the grade side).
So, for an example:
History = 3.0 - 1 credit
Science = 2.0 - 1 credit
Math = 3.0 - 2 credits
English = 4.0 - 2 credits
French = 1.0 - 2 credits.
This means it’ll look like this:
Then, you add up the amount of credits you received, which… for this example… is a total of 8 credits earned.
Now, you add the class numbers which would be a total of 21. Now, you divide the class number by the credits (21 divided by 8). Which then gives you a GPA of 2.62, meaning that this is a C average student.
It differs on the school and time. There are many times when exams are given. I went to a school where we had four classes a day, and one of my classes switched every sixteen weeks (every term). So the entire school had a mid-term exam during that eight-week mark. All of our classes had one. Then, you get the final exam when the class is finished. So this happened every term and semester because you had term-long and semester-long classes.
But, then there was also other kinds of exams as well. The major one is a state-wide exam. This differs on the state because not every state does it and those that do have it named differently. For example, in Ohio, it’s called the OGTs. In California, it was called the CAHSEE.
The OGTs, for example, is a week-long exam that happens before spring break (or somewhere during the spring—particularly March). You’ll take one exam a day, which is nice, though. But it’s a two-hour thing and it revolves around everything you’ve ever learned in school (though mostly between middle and high school). There are a total of five tests. Reading, writing, math, science, and social studies. The state exams are a requirement for graduating. You start taking them by sophomore year, and have a chance to ace them for those three years (between 10th-12th grade). If you ace some, but fail at others, you just have to retake the ones you failed. You get the score in the mail, unless you’re a senior. If you’re a senior, you get your score before graduation so the school knows if you’re graduating or not.
That depends on the school and what the heck you did. Most schools don’t do community service unless you damaged the school property or you’re a serious naughty noodle. Have you ever seen the movie Santa Clause 2? You know, the Disney movie? There’s a scene where the kid is vandalizing school property. This will be where you’re doing “community service” as in cleaning it up.
But, most often than not, nothing like this truly happens if you got in trouble. There’s a few forms of punishments though.
Lunch detention is on the low end of the spectrum. This is something like getting caught with your phone in class when you weren’t supposed to. If you get this type of punishment, there are two ways it’s handled. The first way is when you get your lunch (generally after everyone else gets it) and then go to a separate room to eat in silence. The second way is when you get your lunch (also after everyone gets it) and then go to a specific table in the cafeteria which is isolated. It’s kept open for those with detention, but this also means your friends can’t sit with you.
After school detention is the next set of punishment. This is more serious because instead of going home and playing video games or whatever, you get to stay after school for an hour longer in complete silence. Whether that’s doing homework or reading. You get this if you were caught cheating or had multiple warnings, but continued being bad.
Saturday detention is one of the worst sets of punishments. This is because instead of sleeping in on Saturday, you get to wake up early and go to school to be in a silent room for a few hours. I’ve had teachers that threatened this punishment on us if we didn’t finish our homework assignments. Particularly ones where we had a few days or a week to complete.
Suspension is the final and worse punishment you can get. You can get suspended if you get into fights, vandalizing things, skipping school, and more.
Otherwise, if the school can’t tolerate you, they expel you. xD
Definitely depends on the school/grade. Every grade in my school has an ‘activity period’ which is really a twenty minute extension of lunch. So our lunch is technically forty minutes, and we can have meetings and walk around the school and stuff.
I have never, ever in the entire K-12 years of public schooling, ever heard of anyone having a “free period” outside of TV shows/movies/books. I was pretty sure it was some sort of myth or something that was a thing before my time, but reading through some of these responses, I guess I was wrong. I’m from northern California, if that means anything.
Our high school only had six periods, though everyone at some point had to take 0 period driver’s ed to graduate. It was before all other classes, and only lasted 6 weeks. We didn’t actually do any driving- we just went over everything that would be on the permit test and also had to watch videos of car crashes and the dangers of drunk driving and all that fun stuff. There were also optional 0 period classes. I never took them, but I think they involved prepping for college. I can’t remember though. I think it was only seniors who took them. Maybe juniors too. But aside from the required driver’s ed, I never had more than 6 periods.
Students are usually let in as earliest as 7:00. Sometimes I’m able to sneak in earlier. The first class of the day starts at 7:20 marking it as the start of school. Everyday, except Wednesday, normal students get out at 2:23. Wednesday it’s 1:50.
For me with just one class, I don’t usually pay attention to what time I get out. Normal days for me I get out at 8:05. Wednesdays I get out at 8:50. Thursdays I don’t even have to go.
Depending on the situation, like if there’s a sub or my teacher is busy with paper work, or we just get done earlier than usual or we’re having a party day, I typically skip out of class early since it won’t affect me because I’m not on roll. It’s easy to get away with this kind of stuff since it’s an orchestra class. Most days with subs I just don’t come since they don’t have a clue as to what to do in an orchestra class.
A lot of the time I’ll go chat with one of the teachers I know who I once had as a teacher before cutting most of my classes. It’s good to be on good terms with your teachers. The more they understand you and get to know you, the more leeway you can get when getting into a tough situation. I’ve learned that lesson much too late into my high school life.
that’s okay, I understand that it will vary. My story is set in Oakland, California and I’m not entirely sure how well funded the schools are over there but my fictional school, in my imagination, gets decent funding and support, has a good reputation and is in a nice area. A lot of the students are generally in financially-stable families as well.
Thanks so much for writing all that out and explaining everything so clearly. I just took away an hour of your life that you’re not gonna get back (so sorry as well but thank you).
I looked up CAHSEE but apparently as of 2015, they don’t do that one anymore. I’m guessing there isn’t a replacement?
Unfortunately I haven’t seen it but I think I watched the trailer at one point. Tbh, I’ve only watched like, 5 Christmas films in all the years I’ve lived (not an accurate estimate but basically, I haven’t seen many) and I think at least two of them are Home Alone films.
I suspect that Oakland has low school funding. You might want to look into that school district and talk to people who live there. Here’s the Oakland School District website https://www.ousd.org/ This probably has information on High School scheduling.
Here is an article on the budget situation in that district. https://edsource.org/2019/oakland-school-board-cuts-20-2-million-from-budget-including-100-jobs/609483
If the story needs a district that is well funded with a good reputation look into Palo Alto School District.
7:45? Wow. I’m jealous. I have to be at school and 7:20.
I think they changed it to later, but yeah it’s always been 7:45am at my school at least.
Honestly, even if they don’t have them, it’s sort of a necessary weasel in high school stories because classes are usually boring as shit to write about. I feel like people’ll be forgiving about this issue, in general, because most adults don’t remember high school quite that well and most high schoolers will just assume you’re writing about one that isn’t like theirs.