The after school-stayers: Campus after 3:05

As the last bell of the school day rings at 3:05pm, students at DePaul College Prep gather up their materials and exit their classrooms, flooding out into the hallways toward their lockers. Once finished packing up their belongings into their backpack, most students move towards the Commons space, where they spend a few minutes socializing and making plans with their peers before heading out. Some individuals might even stop by the Dining Hall, which is open for half an hour after school, to grab a quick bite.

However, after most students and faculty members leave the school, what happens? That is a complex question only the after school-stayers can answer.

Ms. Zara, a security guard at DePaul College Prep, arrives at school at 2:00pm and stays until 8:00pm to 10:00pm, depending on what events occur that day. With this job comes a wide perspective on what occurs after school on a daily basis.

“There’s been concerts here, there’s book clubs, there’s parent association meetings, there’s plays, there’s fundraising events, there’s dinner and lunches for sports teams,” she revealed. “There’s just so many different things that go on here that take place…mostly in the Commons, but some in Corboy Hall and some in the Dining Hall, as well.”

During the time immediately after dismissal, Ms. Zara explained, “Most children hang out here in the lobby, unless of course they have some sort of after school event or they’re part of a sports program, until their parents can pick them up.”

On average, during the first hour after 3:05pm, she notices 50 to 60 students in the lobby. As time passes, that amount slowly begins to decrease, with most students having exited the building by 6:00pm. 

Harper Jordan, a freshman at DePaul College Prep, is busy after school on Thursdays with her Academic Bowl practices, led by Mr. Petersen, the Dean of Student Activities. These 70 to 85 minute practices help prepare members for their future competitions. 

Freshman Deren Bilgin often spends her time after school, for thirty minutes up to an hour, because she enjoys watching and taking part in the activities that ensue. Some of her observations include the work of cleaning staff, who are responsible for upkeeping the school building, whether that be in classrooms or bathrooms. Bilgin has also taken note of what students may dread most: detentions. 

After school detentions are conducted by STEM teacher Mr. Maseman, Mondays through Fridays, with the biweekly exception of Vincentian Days. During this 45 minute period, Maseman puts up a slideshow with directions for students, which include no talking and the completion of a reflection.

“There’s usually at least two or three [students]. Some days, my biggest day, was twenty-five,” he explained.

Afterward, he spends his time grading assignments and preparing for the next school day. Since he dedicates the majority of his after school hours to detention, Maseman has not made many other observations, besides noticing a few teachers in the West Wing helping students, and on November 30th, an exciting track practice.

The track team began practicing during November in preparation for their upcoming Spring season. Sometimes their practices are outside on the football field, located on the North side of campus, and at other times, when it’s colder outside- inside the school building.

“They’ve actually been doing their training, their track training, in the hallways. Jumping over hurdles, things of that nature. Running in circles around the building,” Ms. Zara stated. These exercises occur on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, from about 3:05pm to 5:30pm.

“At first, it’s a little weird,” Mr. Maseman admitted, but then added that their practices look fun.

Though track isn’t the only group of athletes preparing for their upcoming seasons, many athletic teams have been spotted in the weight room after hours.

“I’ve seen that with the football team, and now that’s transitioned to the basketball team. So now the basketball team is weight training,” Ms. Zara said.

Bilgin, too, has noticed different student athletes on differing days in the weight room, which appear to be a daily occurrence. Some of these teams besides basketball include freshman football, baseball, softball, and girls’ soccer. A few faculty members workout in the weight room after school, as well. 

In the fall, when it was warmer outside, Ms. Zara observed athletic teams practicing on the football field daily, like football or soccer. In fact, DePaul Prep’s stadium was rented out by a middle school soccer team on Tuesdays and Thursdays. But as it got colder and the fall season began to end, most athletics transitioned inside.

Overall, many activities occur at DePaul College Prep after school, ranging from clubs to athletics, with an overarching theme of efficiency.

“The things that are done here are specific to the events that are occurring…it’s very organized and orderly,” Ms. Zara explained. “You always know what’s going on.”