Better late than never with new attendance policy


Senior Joe Holtzer and Security Officer Mr. Alestock pose for a late student arrival reenactment.

A new attendance policy is in place this year to address discipline issues relating to students skipping one or two periods a day and not being punished under previous policies set by school administrators.

The new attendance policy now tracks absences by each period of the day missed, instead of the previous attendance system where if a student missed three or less periods in a day they would only end up with a tardy.

“We found some students were skipping one or two periods and not being punished for it, this new policy hopes to cut back on that,” Dean of Students Mr. Rardin said.

The more unforgiving nature of the attendance policy has also led more students to choose to come to school when potentially sick instead of staying home. The new policy seems to be working as intended by the administration which is dealing with a pandemic-induced and deteriorated sense of duty when it comes to being in school on time.

“I have missed less school but I come to school when I’m not feeling too well. If I am not bedridden I tell myself I must come in because I don’t want an absence under the new rules,” senior Marisa Wajda said.

The policy has had an impact on student stress levels and mental health as well. If a student misses more than seven periods of a specific class unexcused in a semester they only receive a credit for the class, which reflects performance poorly on transcripts.

Junior Gabrielle Grdina plays at a late school arrival under the strict new code.

“It feels like they [the administration] value school over our mental health with this new policy. The stress to come in each day is greater than past years,” senior Ella Pelland.

It seems to have had the largest impact on the senior class. Many seniors are of the opinion that grades do not matter as much their final year. This leads them to feel even less motivation than other upperclassmen and the lowerclassmen in the school.

“There hasn’t been a huge change in attendance this year, but senior attendance seems higher than it would have been other years” said Mr. Marquard, an English and religion teacher.

Although the administration has established this policy which is more strict than in past years, they are still understanding and know that often times exceptions must be made. They make these exceptions on a case-by-case basis and in such a way that it can still be enforced broadly.

“I have missed a ton of school because I was seriously sick, the administration was willing to work with me regarding my absences” said Leo Delprete, a senior who has missed more absences than technically allowed by the policy.

A careful reading of the new attendance policy details the excused and unexcused causes for absences. Most reasons for excused absences are the same as in the past which should be helpful. While academic consequences occur after eight or more absences, the main points of the policy have not evolved into some draconian system of justice. The main point the new policy looks to address is the abuse on the part of those missing one or two periods a day in the past and not being held accountable.

“I think the new attendance policy has really hurt the student-administration relationship because of how strict it has become now,” senior Thomas Beiry said.

Page 7 in the new student planner is another place to get all the details on the new attendance policy.