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High Schools giving MIckey the skip
High school seniors give Mickey the 'skip'
By Raja Abdulrahim
May 11, 2007
Now that Jessie Rumpf is old enough to get into some New York City clubs, Mickey Mouse just fails to excite.
The Goshen High School senior, like a growing number of students, is skipping the annual class trip, once a rite of passage that falls somewhere below prom and graduation on the school-event pecking order.
Schools across the region have reported a gradual decrease in the number of students attending trips with destinations from Disney World to Virginia Beach to Boston.
At Valley Central High School, interest was so low — about 30 out of 300 — the trip was canceled. This was the second time in 12 years it was dropped; the first time was after Sept. 11, 2001.
In Chester, the school board toyed with canceling this year's trip because of low attendance and changing the policy to require 50 percent or higher participation. But after parents complained, the board abandoned the idea and instead changed the policy to encourage a destination for maximum participation.
"No one seems overly excited," Rumpf recently wrote in an article called "Disney Trip! "¦ who cares?" for the school paper, The Goshen Spectrum. "One has to wonder, has the school finally grown out of this?"
In years past, the class was more homogenous, the 18-year- old said, and it was easier to find one destination on which the majority of students could agree.
Rumpf said as the diversity of the school has grown, that has become a harder task.
Some high schools, like Monroe-Woodbury, never had a senior trip, said senior class adviser Greta Cohen. "There never seemed to be any interest," she said.
And with a senior class of 550 students this year, it would be even harder to find a common destination choice. The class, like previous years, will have a picnic at Orange County Park.
Minisink Valley High School senior class adviser Lynn Distefano said students at her school, where 65 out of 400 seniors are going on the two-day trip to Boston, don't like the idea of one more school-supervised trip.
"Why go on a school trip and follow school rules, if you can have the day to yourself?" said Distefano.
Rumpf, and others, have suggested money may also play a role in limiting the number who choose to go.
Costs begin at around $150 for local and shorter trips to the Poconos or Boston and can run as high as $700 for a four-day jaunt to Disney, a popular spot for schools.
"Seniors, they have so many things going on, it's hard to afford it," Washingtonville High School Principal Michael Rossi said.
When Rossi's daughter graduated from Washingtonville in 2003, she didn't go on the trip because she didn't want to miss work.
Distefano said at least two students have told her they would like to attend, but can't afford to skip work.
"Now they have a car, they have cell phones, they have so many bills to pay," she said.
Students also recognize they need to save up for college, Rossi said.
Seniors have many chances to fund raise to offset the cost — some schools begin as early as freshman year — but candy and concession stand sales cover only so much of the final cost.
Not all schools have seen a decline.
After two years of going without a senior trip, 80 out of 120 Liberty High School students are going to Colonial Williamsburg. And at Warwick Valley High School, 93 out of 400 are going this year, up from 40 last year, said Principal Randall Barbarash.
"They love the idea of going to Disney."
Well, they're not as popular in Florida anymore either.
Most of the area high schools here go to the Grad Bash at Universal instead of Grad Nite at WDW.
Last edited by wdw4us2; 05-12-2007 at 12:02 AM.
Ummm I will fill in for any student that does not want to go!!!!!
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i will too.. my niece did her trip but they went to the beach somewhere in FL i cant remember where thats been like 3 years ago!
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I think the whole idea of a senior trip is a little odd. Then again, I graduated from a school that never had one, so maybe it's just a foreign concept to me. However, if my school was leading a trip to WDW, you know I'd be there!
I'm right there with you.
Originally Posted by Justin M
However, I can appreciate not being able to afford to go. Had my high school offered a class trip to WDW or anywhere really, I wouldn't have been able to go anyhow...
always plotting, planning, and looking forward to our next adventure...
Our school had an amazing turn out for grad nite tickets. There was a "waiting list" before tickets went on sale!
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No one really went on our senior trip either. It was to Cancun or something like that, but wasn't funded in any part by the school, so it cost the students like $700+ a piece! I was fortunate enough to be able to take my own "senior" trip to Cancun with my Grandmother (sounds worse than it is) and cousin during the summer of my junior year and a WDW trip with my family after my senior year.
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Grad nite has been going on for several Saturdays this month, and there doesn't seem to be a shortage of people attending.
My high school had a senior class trip to New York and Washington DC. Each student had to pay their own way. I would have much preferred a trip to WDW, but it wasn't built then.
We did Grad Nite, but never really a "senior trip." But Of a class of about 750, I know we had at least 10 buses seating 40-someodd people each. One of the most fun Disney trips I can remember. I love going with my family, but it was something different and I actually got to know quite a few of my senior classmates better just hangin out at the World.
my family and i are going to WDW for my grad from high school and my bros from 8th i would jump at the chance to go to grad night with my classmates!!! so if anyone from that school doesnt want to go they can give me a call!!!
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My high school marching band was slated to play before the parade during april 2002, but after 9/11/01, parents started pulling their children off the trip, not wanting them to go. With less and less students attending and sharing the cost of the trip, the individual cost for the remaining students was climbing steadily, to the point where it got to be unreasonable, and the whole trip was scrapped.
I did get to spend the better part of a day there with the band two years prior, but that wasn't a designated Disney trip. It was a trip to Jacksonville to perform in the Gatorbowl festivities, and it just so happened that we had one spare day worked into the trip where we were able to make a daytrip to the Magic Kingdom.
But as for senior class trips, we didn't do anything too extraordinary. For us It was a one-day party at some sort of an all-inclusive country club type of thing with a swimming pool and basketball courts and softball and other organized games. And then there was the "free" food and ice cream (I say free because it was all paid for in advance within the cost of attending), the paddle boats and arcade games and a dance floor and all sorts of neat stuff. It was a lot of fun, but it was only a day trip, and only a short bus ride to get there. I would have loved one of these 4-day jaunts to Disney some of these kids are turning down.
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I just got back from WDW and we inquired about a Grad Nite t-shirt for someone who was with us. They said they sold them out in record time and that they didn't have enough for the demand of students who attended. The CM said they had record amounts of seniors this year.
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I did grad nite when I was in HS and loved it! Hands down my best Disney memory!!
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My HS never did a senior trip, but we did have "Senior Service Day" where they would take us downtown and we would help clean up the city for a few hours with a picnic afterwards. But, if you were involved in the performing arts department you were almost guaranteed a trip at some point in your 4 years. The bands and choirs are always going somewhere, My junior year we went to Disneyland so I still got my Disney trip!
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