District gets new attendance policy

By Amy Pacas

Photo by Amy Pacas

Managing Editor

This year in the district, there is a new attendance policy. The new policy is almost the same as last year, only now the district has gotten rid of time-for-time, and attendance is being linked directly to student grades and ability to do make-up work.  

Time-for-time is a policy that the school used to help students earn back time they missed when they were absent. A student would sit in a two-hour detention doing make-up work, homework, reading, or whatever they needed to get done, and earned back credits that they were missing.  

The new policy states that a student can miss up to nine days of school each semester and not receive a penalty on their grades, but for the 10th absence and beyond, all make up work from the days a student was absent can only be worth 60 percent of the grade earned. For example, if you were gone on the day of a test and that was your 11th absence, and you made it up the next day and got an 80 percent, then it would be entered in the grade book as a 48 percent.  

South Principal Charlie Belt said there is an appeals process for students if something happens such as a family crisis, medical issue, hospitalization, or anything outside of the norm. To complete this process, a parent or student would have to go to that student’s assistant principal and have a conversation requesting an appeal form to fill out. After filling out the form, it would be turned back into the assistant principal. Then the assistant principal would share the general circumstances of the student with the appeals committee that is made up of a few administrators from Blue Springs High School and a few from Blue Springs South.  

The administration decided to change this policy because they felt like time-for-time was not benefitting students or increasing attendance rates, Belt said. The Administration hopes that the new policy will make students care about the grade and getting the credit in their classes to graduate, so they will come to class.  

The goal for this policy is to help students to come to school so that they can achieve better grades and be the most successful, Belt said.