January trial examines restoring complete senior privileges


Shun Graves

Cars sit in the parking lot in February 2023. Seniors could see expanded exit privileges after a pilot program over two weeks in January.

By Adeline Newby

With a trial in January, Branson spent two weeks “testing out” allowing seniors to drive off campus, then return, marking a potential return to complete senior privileges.

Senior privileges have been greatly affected by the new traffic restrictions imposed by the Town of Ross to accommodate an increase in the student body.

“Historically, what has happened with seniors is that we gave them permission to leave campus if they were free, they could leave campus and come back,” said Gisella Petrone, the senior class dean.

In previous years, seniors could leave school with their cars during lunch, free blocks and flex blocks after signing out at the front desk.

As of this year, their privileges drastically changed. All cars are only allowed to enter and leave campus once a day.

Scooters have been a new addition to senior privileges after the cars were restricted. Seniors can use the scooters if they want to leave campus during free blocks, flex blocks and lunch. So why is adding back the privileges a possibility? 

“We are well below the 912 [car trips] that we are allowed [on campus] per day by the town,” Transportation Director Todd Bickel said.

Because the school is below the allowable number of car trips on and off of campus, “there are opportunities where we can add more trips,” Bickel said. “So the next step was potentially adding something for the seniors.” 

That something is gaining back the full senior privileges. 

“I was looking forward to having senior privileges since the beginning of my junior year, and it was always a big part of senior year for me,” said Adeline Johnson, a senior.

From the data gathered during the two recent test weeks, the transportation department will come up with a plan moving forward on how to expand senior privileges.