by Mackenzie Armstead | staff writer
With the second semester coming to a close, students are assessing their absences and how they will affect their academic record.
“The district guidelines for being tardy is that if you are five minutes or more late to class, your teacher can actually mark you absent,” attendance clerk Marylu Bjornson said. “A lot of kids think that if they are 5 or 6 minutes late, they are tardy, [when really] you are technically absent from the class,” Bjornson said.
However, if you have a practical reason for missing school, excusing the absence will not be a problem. Making sure that all of your reasonable absence are rightfully excused is helpful to maintaining a decent attendance record.
“There’s lots of ways you can excuse an absence…the first way is to have a parent note come in and depending on what that note says, we’ll be able to parent-excuse. Depending on the reason, we may not be able to excuse it.”
There are more ways to excuse a day that a student has missed, other than a parent’s notes.
“Other ways to excuse an absence that are always going to be [for] your benefit, is to bring us a doctor’s note, a dental note, any source of appointments that you have. We love to get notes because those are actually going to outweigh the effectiveness of a parent note, most of the time. College visits too are a great way to excuse an absence…they don’t count against juniors and seniors at all,” Bjornson said.
It is best to understand the importance of attendance. Not only speaking of absences, but a student’s learning as well. The attendance office can’t stress enough that by skipping school and ruining your attendance record, can actually harm your chances of getting a good opportunity in your future at school.
“By having too many tardies or absences you’re actually missing information in the classroom…your presence is important for learning.”
Bjornson also warns students of the consequence of too many absences/tardies to your credit.
“That does affect your credit as well. If you get into the danger zone, missing too many times, can cause some issues for you and might require Saturday school.”
It’s not exactly a bad thing if you have one or two absences, excused or not, but when a student acquires too many of them, it creates problems. Students risk events like graduation and college acceptance. Also, Saturday school is not something students would want taking up their free time.
“If a student has too many absence and tardies, definitely with the absences, that can affect your graduation. What you don’t want to be doing is Saturday school the spring of your graduation year, trying to go across that stage.”
If a student continues to neglect their overindulgence of absences, they can risk their college opportunities.
“Another thing that I think students overlook, is that colleges can spot check you and see how your attendance is and how your grades are…even though you might be accepted to your college, they might to a spot check on you before graduation,”Bjornson says.
A student’s best bet in maintaining good attendance is to practice getting to where they’re going with good time and mapping out ways to get around the school fast with time to spare. The attendance clerks have recommended a few ways to avoid tardies and absences to help student with this issue.
“Good planning is gonna help you avoid tardies…don’t dawdle around in the halls…just know where you’re supposed to be…especially for first period, make sure you’re budgeting your time in the morning.”
Knowing and following the rules of attendance is important and as long as a student is aware of their absences and tardies, they can reap nothing but the benefits of a good attendance record.
“The more you are in school, the more it is going to benefit you.”