Attendance policy reinforced to improve attendance
This year the administration has made a more strict attendance policy. Students receive an orange warning slip if they are tardy once, and after two tardies they receive 30 minutes of detention after school.
Stillwater had the third most absences in Minnesota last year, which is the main reason for the new attendance policy. Every student should be at school, unless they have a valid reason for why they cannot attend that day. Their goal is to raise attendance and have all the students here everyday so they can get a complete education. By reinforcing the policy, students have a purpose to be in class on time.
There are three types of absences: excused, exempt and unexcused. A tardy is also considered an unexcused absence if students are not in class within ten minutes of class. There are consequences for not showing up to class if students are not excused.
An unexcused absence includes babysitting, missing the bus, oversleeping, transportation problems or if there is no reason at all. Consequences for not showing up for school result in students getting their parking privileges taken away, they might have to take the bus instead of driving to school, parents will have to have the nurses approve the excused absence if they are sick, students could receive detention, they could get a county referral or they might have a meeting with parents and the school’s administration.
Assistant Principal Matt Kraft said, “Students are being held accountable for missing class without a lawful excuse. The first unexcused absence is a warning and each one after that until the fifth is a thirty minute detention. After the fifth unexcused absence, students are assigned to a day in YCAPP.”
Excused absences are a college visit, appointment, court appearance, family vacation, family emergency, funeral or personnel illness. If students have left school for an excused absence they are required to make up the work that they were gone for within two days of when the assignment was assigned.
Our goal is for students to be in class, engaged in learning and advancing towards their post-secondary goals.
— Matt Kraft
Junior Cameron Ligday said, “I missed school because I was sick and wasn’t feeling good. A couple days later I came back and I had to figure out what I missed by talking to other students or looking on the board. Then had two days to complete it and turn it in.”
The school nurse and assistant principal will help students make a plan to work with the physical or mental illness they have if they are absent for seven to ten days due to illness. The whole idea of the new attendance policy is to improve the attendance here and help the student be successful in school.
Junior Summer Jack said, “I think it’s fair, but sometimes you can’t help being late to class. Sometimes things happen and you can’t get there on time. It gives you an incentive to get to class and not have detention.”
Overall, the attendance this year has already shown improvements from last year Kraft said, “Our goal is for students to be in class, engaged in learning and advancing towards their post-secondary goals.”