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Reagan’s New Attendance Policy

Reagan administration is introducing a new attendance policy this year

Attendance+secretary%2C+Nancy+Futrell%2C+writes+an+excused+absence+slip.+Students+are+able+to+get+the+slips+in+the+office.
Attendance secretary, Nancy Futrell, writes an excused absence slip. Students are able to get the slips in the office.

Attendance secretary, Nancy Futrell, writes an excused absence slip. Students are able to get the slips in the office.

Attendance secretary, Nancy Futrell, writes an excused absence slip. Students are able to get the slips in the office.

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At the beginning of the year, school administrators announced a new attendance policy that is somewhat different than that of previous years. The new policy states that students who accumulate six or more unexcused absences in a class are in jeopardy of receiving an administrative “F” for that course.

Principal Brad Royal said there were some concerns that unexcused absences were keeping students from doing as well in school as they should be.

“The goal is to improve the students’ attendance,” Royal said. “There is a direct correlation between attendance and grades.”

The hope is that if students improve their attendance, their grades would improve as well. The creation of the new policy was a long process that took place last year and over the summer.

“We had an attendance committee made up of teachers from all over the school that met numerous times,” Royal said. “The committee looked at other schools’ attendance policies and tried to point out what was good in their policies and what was bad. They looked at what would work here and what wouldn’t work and then they put something together that we felt like fit what we were looking for here at Reagan.”

Some students have concerns about the attendance policy and its effectiveness.  

“I doubt it will affect many people because it’s not hard to get an excused absence,” said junior Payton Kota. “I think if kids want to skip class, they’re going to, no matter what the attendance policy is.”

In addition, the tardy slip patrol has also taken a step back in the hallways. In previous years, teachers would stand in the hallway and write tardy notes for students that were late for class.Administration reviewed the tardy slip patrol process and decided to change the way tardiness was recorded.

“It is important to reexamine what you do to make sure what you’re doing is working,” Royal said.

It was then decided that teachers would now be in charge of tracking the tardiness of students in their classrooms.

“They are doing everything they’ve always done except for writing you a note to class,” Royal said. “What purpose did the note really serve?”

Although teachers will no longer be writing the tardy notes, they are still encouraging students to go to class. There are mixed opinions about the new attendance policy but, administrators believe it will help the students in the long run.

“We really have this desire: we want all of our kids to have the preparation to be able to go college,” Royal said. “You can’t get into college, or the military, or the workforce without good attendance. Part of our responsibility as high school teachers is to make sure we are preparing students for the steps beyond high school.”

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