Early dismissals cut both ways for student-athletes

School sports are a source of pride for student-athletes, but the early dismissals from school can entail stress.


photo by Kate Gilliland

Along with missing school students can fill out an absence excuse form which can be picked up at the attendance office.

Kate Gilliland, Staff Writer

It’s no secret that sports are a big deal at North Allegheny. Sports seasons often begin moving quickly when the school year starts and games, meets, and matches often start shortly after the school day ends.

This means that student-athletes are sometimes given an early dismissal from class to go to their sporting event. These dismissals can range from 15 minutes early to hours before the final bell, resulting in absence from class. 

Junior cross country runner, Sophie Kollitz, knows the routine well.

“The earliest we have gotten out so far is 12:00, but on Friday we are leaving at 10:00.”

Along with lengthy games and hours of practice, making up multiple class periods of work can be a struggle. Some may think students join a sport to easily get out of class, but really it is quite the opposite. Missing class is a sacrifice student-athletes must make in order to play on the school team.

Junior Emily Wincko is on the varsity tennis team, which can get multiple early dismissals a week, resulting in missing a lot of time in certain classes. Naturally, having to make up full class periods of work on top of having a sport to juggle can be challenging.

“Missing class can get really overwhelming and can feel like a lot of pressure to balance your athletic and academic aspirations,” said Wincko.

It can be hard to balance sports and school. Sometimes there just is not enough time in the day to get all the make-up work done and a whole eight hours of sleep.  

I feel like sometimes it is nice to miss classes and have a break from school, but at the same time it can add stress

— Elena Fleming, Cross-Country senior

This feeling of stress is common throughout NASH. Senior Elena Fleming is on the cross country team, which has one meet per week and sometimes additional meets on the weekends.

“I feel like sometimes it is nice to miss classes and have a break from school, but at the same time it can add stress,” said Fleming. “Even though getting out early can be fun, I normally have makeup work to do, which can be stressful.”

Far away meets often have cross country athletes arriving home late. However, they still have make-up work to do, so they are often forced to prepare for long nights on meet days. 

Although some athletes see missing class as a negative, junior Katie Rose Rankin is on the varsity golf team and feels otherwise.

“Missing class for a sport is 100% worth the extra work,” Rankin said. “It gives students the chance to work with a team and meet other people from schools around Pittsburgh.”

The extra time spent outside of school with a sports team allows athletes to grow closer and can lead to more wins.

“Other than [making up work], I enjoy it because it allows me to spend more time with my teammates and have more time to warm up, making my sport more relaxing and enjoyable,” added Fleming.

As the school year continues, there will be more sports seasons and more early dismissals. Though these dismissals have pros and cons, they will inevitably continue to happen.

For Rankin, it’s a welcome tradeoff.

“The work you missed in your last period class will still be waiting for you when you get home, so go and represent black and gold!” she said.