Absences to be enforced
By Mari Kanagy, publishing editor
Before the start of the school year, students and parents were informed via email that the absence policy would be changing. The policy change initially sparked confusion among students and teachers alike about how exactly the policy would be different from previous years.
Currently, the student handbook states that students who accumulate more than 10 absences, excused or unexcused, within a semester may not earn credit for their courses. This policy, however, has not been enforced for approximately the past seven years.
“Students were being denied credit and then they were being given an appeal process,” principal Danny Rock said. “Over time, the school was just increasingly granting the appeals to the point at which [the process] wasn’t making sense anymore.”
The school’s new policy now states that students who have more than 10 absences within one quarter may lose credit for that quarter, which lasts 45 school days.
“I’m very comfortable with saying that if you miss more than 20 percent of the class, then you shouldn’t be eligible to get the credit,” Rock said.
This policy, according to the administration, will be more strictly enforced in order to cut down on frequent student absences.
“What we’ve noticed is that we’re increasingly having students who are having trouble attending school regularly, but they are otherwise capable students who, if they could attend, would be doing well in their classes,” Rock said.
Additionally, the administration wanted to counteract the expectations placed on teachers to make learning materials readily available for students who are frequently absent.
“What they’re asking the school to do is to essentially have teachers create parallel learning experiences,” Rock said.
The administration is currently working to produce a specific procedure regarding the new absence policy and appeals process, which they predict will be published in mid-October.