Opinion: Gap periods, let’s talk about it


Gap periods can have some beneficial aspects but there are also many downsides that need more attention at Ventura High School. Graphic by: Kendall Garcia

Kendall Garcia

 Ventura High School switched to a block schedule this year, which means students can have 100-minute blocks of time without class throughout the day

Students at Ventura High School are not allowed to leave campus during their gap periods. With the new block schedule in the 2022-2023 school year, periods are 100-minutes long. Students are forced to stay the entirety of their gap period throughout the day. They are supposed to report to the library and sign in. 100-minutes is a seemingly long time as VHS students are not allowed to leave campus. 


Gap periods can be beneficial. They can give students more time to work on classwork and homework or just give kids a break throughout the day.  However, some students don’t have any homework or classwork to catch up on. When students don’t have anything to catch up on, the gap period can seem like a big chunk of wasted time. 


Jaliza Diaz ‘26 said, “I like the gap period and being able to catch up on my work or just sit down and eat, but I feel like not being able to leave campus is you know [a negative factor]. When I don’t have anything to do, it’s pretty eh.”


To me, it seems silly that kids can’t leave during their gap periods. I mean they are allowed to leave during a thirty minute lunch period and expected to be back on time, but not a 100-minute gap in the middle of the day. Not to mention that third and fourth period gaps are directly after break and right before lunch, which means students go from 10:10 a.m. to 12:40 p.m. with nothing to do. That’s two and a half hours of free time that

A note on gap periods is listed at the top of every VHS student’s schedule telling them to report to the library during gap periods. Photo by: Kendall Garcia

could be used for going home, getting food, getting outside tutoring and more.


Alanna Myers ‘23 said, “[My gap period isn’t a waste], because I have time to do homework. It can be a little irritating. I would’ve been able to go home or go get food if I wasn’t able to go get it at lunch.”


Students aren’t allowed to leave during their gap periods but upperclassmen are allowed to leave at lunch if they have off campus passes. So, an idea of a compromise would be to make off campus passes specifically for students with gaps. 


If we made the special off campus passes students would be able to leave during their gap periods, and it could be monitored each quarter. Tardies that are not excused in the class following the gap period could add up as strikes. Theoretically, after three strikes, students could have their special off campus passes taken away. 


These gap periods throughout the day are lengthy. They carry both ups and downs. Some may consider the time to be empty and lengthy while others consider the time to be important for homework and studying. Students can be spending their time in many different ways, so why not let them off campus?