New Senior Attendance “policy”

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Luke Swift, Reporter

DHS has struggled with victims of senioritis for many years, but it seems the school district has found a cure. With the problem that the administration faces with senior attendance, the creation of a set policy was much needed to secure the academic future of students and the satisfaction of walking across the graduation stage. According to the DHS student handbook, this new policy states “Seniors who do not attend at LEAST 80% of classes will not be eligible for the graduation ceremony.” However, to some, the detail of the policy may strike some questions regarding student schedules.

According to members of the administration, this policy would only apply to certain students who would have a very large number of unexcused absences.

“The way I look at this is basically a senior can still miss over two hundred and thirty classes and still walk at graduation,” said assistant principal Darren Tarshis.

To some DHS graduates, their idea of what walking really means completely differs from these types of students.

As a graduate of DHS, walking is one of the best memories I have and to think some kids are willing to give that up just to not go to class,” said 2018 DHS graduate Jocelyn Earl.

Even though a student would have to miss a large number of classes, some students are raising questions about the specific details of the new policy.

“I was a little worried when I read the new policy, I had a chat with Deb [Mendenwalt] to explain to me that it does not include excused absences, so definitely that the fact that I had to have that explained to me shows that it’s somewhat confusing. I mean, 80% that’s very vague, that can mean a lot, ” said Sr. Quinn Griswold.

However, students did comment on how the policy should be a little more structured, communication wise.

If DHS really wants to stop having kids ditch as much as they do, they must find a way to track the students and when they have been increasing their unexcused absences must be talked to and understand the consequence of what not walking really means,” said Earl.

“They could have a percentage scale, like 5% of absences get a call home, but having that relationship from school to home is what is really important so families know where their kid is,” said Griswold.

Usually we can see a specific group of students who are choosing to skip class, however some teachers who are familiar with the senior attendance problem don’t see that group pattern in the senior class.

“It’s a strange problem because it’s not low achieving students… It’s rich students, it’s high achieving students who are prioritizing or finding something better to do with their time. I can realize that kids are just trying to do what they need to do, but it does get frustrating when you have to re-teach something when someone is always absent,” said Sr. Government teacher Dave Weisfeldt.

The need for a new attendance policy that is more structured towards seniors allows for the school to get certain students back on track and make them realize the importance of being at school. But to some it may seem that this new policy should be  phrased better to alleviate some stress that these seniors are put under by the vagueness of the new policy.