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Senior Skip Day (What, When & Ideas)

Senior skip day is a common tradition in most American schools, where the senior class skips a day of school.

It is, however, only done in some schools. You also have the option to participate in it or not. If you don’t feel like skipping that day, you don’t have to.

This article delves into the concept of skip day, what it entails and how to successfully have one.

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What Is Senior Skip Day?

Senior skip day, or Senior Ditch Day, is one day out of the whole school year when seniors in high school plan to not attend or skip school. They use the day to do something fun with their friends before they graduate.

Although the history behind Senior skip day or ditch day is unclear, it goes back to the 1930s. The 1986 film Ferris Bueller’s Day Off was a catalyst for several students to arrange a skip day in their senior year. In the movie, Feris realizes that his life will change drastically when he leaves high school, spurring him to have one last duck-out before graduating.

What Is Senior Skip Day

High school plays a significant role in building students’ character and who they will become. Going through the years, facing all the challenges, and finally becoming a senior feels like an achievement they should be proud of.

Knowing that once they graduate, they will probably not get to see all their friends further fuels the need to spend a day having fun with them before it’s time for college or they go off to pursue other things. The national skip school day is meant to be a day off for seniors to take a break for some much-deserved down time.

Even though not recognized as an official holiday, teachers and the school administration from many schools give the seniors some leeway to give them a break.

Although this isn’t the case for all schools, some teachers are lenient and do not go out of their way to penalize seniors who ditch the day. There is an understanding that seniors are focusing on life beyond high school.

Senior ditch day is one of the few high school experiences you would probably want to experience.

Watch the trailer for the Senior Skip Day movie below:

National skip school day though not official, is tolerated in most schools however repeated absences from school are not acceptable on other regular school days. That is unless you have a legitimate reason that would prevent you from going to school. 

Missing too many days in school might get you into trouble or be charged with truancy. School rules allow a certain number of absences per semester. A high number of absences will surely cause the school administration to react.

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When Is Senior Skip Day?

Senior skip day usually occurs when no other significant school events have been planned. The seniors decide what day would be best suited for the ditch day. 

In some schools, it takes place after homecoming, while in other schools, it might be held on the Monday after senior prom or toward the end of the term. Students are usually informed by the student body when their ditch day is planned through class group messages. 

When is senior skip day

So be sure to check your class group message, so you don’t miss out:

Is Senior Skip Day Excused?

Senior skip day is not officially excused in most schools, mainly because students must attend a certain number of school days within a year. In spite of this, many schools have realized that it has become a right of passage for many seniors. 

In some schools, it is seen as a prank pulled by seniors on either the whole school or on other grades who show up to school and realize that the entire senior year is not in attendance. 

The tradition has become accepted by many schools (but not all), and they plan classes and tests accordingly to accommodate the seniors on their day off.

Is Senior Skip Day Excused

It is meant to relieve some of the tension that comes with being a senior. You get the chance to relax, socialize and spend quality time with your friends before everyone moves on to other chapters of their lives.

Students should be aware that some schools may require parents to excuse their children from school, as schools cannot officially allow students to skip school unexcused. 

You should also be aware of how many days you have missed and be sure that your attendance is high enough to graduate. 

Before participating in skipping school with your classmates, you should probably know the following:

  • What is your school’s policy regarding Skip day?
  • How many days have you missed, and are you still within the acceptable number of days?
  • What are the consequences if you skip school that day?
  • Will your parents be informed?
  • Do you have any important classes or tests scheduled that day? This is often an important consideration for AP classes.
  • Are your grades good enough, or are you failing classes?
  • Are you prepared to accept the possible consequences if you skip school that day?

Senior Skip Day Excuses

The whole point of Senior skip day is that it is not an excused day off school but an unofficial holiday that high school students take without permission. 

However, many students do ask their parents to excuse them in order for them to avoid attendance failure and risk not graduating.

The fact that it has a longstanding tradition, many schools allow it unofficially.

Senior Skip Day Excuses

Some parents might be against it, but one excuse that most students use is “everybody in my class is skipping, and the teachers know.”

Other excuses you could use to convince your parents include:

  • It’s tradition.
  • It’s a mental health day.
  • It’s my last opportunity to meet up and enjoy some downtime with my friends before graduating, moving on to college, etc.

Senior Skip Day Ideas

There are many fun things that teens can do on the day they ditch school. I’ve listed some ideas below for you to choose from. For more cool activity ideas, you can also read 100 fun bucket list ideas for teenagers.

Senior Skip Day Ideas

Beach day

Head to the beach and have some fun. Make epic sandcastles, play beach volleyball, and take photos. If, for some reason, you cannot go to a beach, have a pool party instead. Take many pictures to document and remember this special day.

Movie day

Go to the movie theater or drive in and enjoy watching movies with your friends. You can also binge-watch tv series at home or have a movie marathon outdoors. Make sure you have enough snacks to take you through the movies.

Make it a game-themed day

Have a little friendly competition by planning fun games for the national skip school day. You can include indoor games or outdoor games like a Scavenger hunt, depending on the weather. Prizes can be given to teams or players with more points than the rest.

Have a picnic

Pack enough snacks and drinks and a picnic blanket, and head to the park or beach for a fun-filled picnic.

Shopping day

Indulge in a bit of shopping at bargain stores or thrift stores. You can also window shop for stuff you will need when in college. Another great place to go shopping would be the flea market.

Go to the carnival

When at the carnival, do as much as possible, play arcade games, ride the wildest roller coaster, and eat cotton candy and carnival food. Have lots of fun with your friends, and make memories that will carry you through college when you are away from each other.

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Go bowling

A bowling alley is a great place to relax and have a great time. If you and your friends enjoy bowling, consider squeezing it into the day with the other numerous activities you participate in on national skip school day. 

Go to the ice cream parlor

Indulge your sweet tooth and pass by the ice cream parlor to cool down and enjoy some sweet treats. Experiment and try out different flavors that you would typically have.

Football game

If your skip day falls on a day that there is a football match, you can watch and support your favorite team. Earlier in the day before the competition, you can make placards that you bring to the game to show support to your team.

🤓 Suggested read: How Long Is A High School Football Game?


If someone is throwing a party, make sure you attend; this will probably be one of the few parties you will go to with your entire senior class before you go to college.

Don’t forget some great party music like Mac Miller’s Senior Skip Day:

Create a time capsule

Write your thoughts, worries, or a message you want your future self to know. You can also write letters to your friends or teachers. If you do it collectively as a class or as friends, agree on when you can come back to check on the time capsule. You can include other keepsakes like friendship bracelets or photos of you and your friends.


Go to a bonfire event if there is one. Roast smores and marshmallows tell stories and relieve your high school memories with friends. You can watch the sunset if you get to the venue just before it gets dark.

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Even though it will be for only one night, it will feel more than that because you will get to spend the night with your friends. Camping provides an excellent opportunity to stargaze and watch and experience the sunrise in the great outdoors.

Roller rink

If your town has a roller rink, you can go to one—a great time to learn how to roller skate if you don’t know how to do it. If you have no roller rinks in your neighborhood, you can roller skate at empty parking lots or concrete backyards with smooth surfaces.

Bond with family

Spend time with your family. Once you go to college, a lot will change, and they will also miss you. Do something fun as a family. You can have a family movie night or a game night.