The student news site of Harwood Union Middle/High School in South Duxbury, Vermont

Common Ground

The student news site of Harwood Union Middle/High School in South Duxbury, Vermont

Common Ground

The student news site of Harwood Union Middle/High School in South Duxbury, Vermont

Common Ground

The Struggle to get an Open Campus Harwood

Have you ever wanted to get a run in during the school day? Or have lunch someplace other  than school? Having an open campus would let you do that! Many students feel that Harwood should be an open campus because of the freedom of being able to leave and come back to school. However, there are several safety concerns such as Harwood being in a rural area which means driving to places students want to visit during school hours.

The Benefits of an Open Campus

There are many benefits to an open campus. Eve Berinati, who attended an open campus when she was in high school, says “It was nice to just walk down the street and go to a cafe or even go out for lunch. It just felt really easygoing, and it felt like we were there for school, and the rest of the time was our time.” 

. When asked about an open campus, a senior said, “I think that if the school were to become an open campus it would be a lot better if you want to leave the school, it wouldn’t be breaking the rules. I leave school, I go to the Moretown store and get myself lunch, and then I come back responsibly. But the irresponsible part is I’m not supposed to be doing that.” 

Many seniors with uptime could also run errands that they need to do or other activities during those blocks. These abilities would also be supporting local businesses around the Harwood area.


 The Concerns of an Open Campus

Although the benefits are many, there are also several concerns that spring up if Harwood were to become an open campus. The most glaring is that Harwood is in a rural area, which forces students to drive places if they are to get back during the free time they have. This is a safety issue, because of the risk of car crashes.

Another issue is that students might leave school and not have the motivation to come back for the rest of the day. Middle School principal Duane Pierson says, “I just get so worried about a kid getting hurt… Sometimes it’s kids not making mistakes but adults who are drivers will run into a kid by accident. It all revolves around safety and liability for me, but mostly safety. That’s the key word, I want people to be safe.” So while the benefits of open campus are many, Harwood’s location feels like an area that would be unsafe to have one.

Could Harwood Ever Become an Open Campus?

Harwood becoming an open campus is quite unlikely, unless many things happen. The largest of which would be for businesses and restaurants to open close enough to the school for students to walk to them. So, while an open campus at Harwood would increase the satisfaction of students, the concerns far outweigh the advantages in the eyes of the administration.

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