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Attendance Policy

Mandy Bishop, Reporter

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We’ve all been there; 7am on a weekday, battling what seems to be a near death experience known more commonly as the flu. The choice between going to school, risking spreading this contagious virus or staying home to regain one’s health seems like a no brainer, but when the student has already exceeded the five day maximum for absences, they have no choice but to go.

Every semester, Buncombe County high school students must attend a minimum of eighty-five days, allowing a maximum of five days to miss due to any number of reasons. This allotment may seem like a fair amount, but a student with a doctor’s note that is excused is still required to make up that day if the total exceeds five. In fact Laurel Sales, a senior at Reynolds high, suffered a violent concussion, “but [she] still had to go to school even when [she] couldn’t focus on any of [her] work”. She was instructed to stay at home to get rest, “but [she] had already missed five days and could not make up the absence” (Sales). Students are being wronged by their very own administration by not considering their physical and mental health but rather focus if they show up or not.

Once a student has missed more than five days of school they must attend after school makeup attendance. This allows students to make up “one class period per hour for a fee of $3” (Buncombe County Schools). In this afterschool session students must work on school assignments or sit and remain quiet. On the contrary of making up the material missed in a class while absent, makeup attendance forces students to sit still and stay quiet even if they do not have any work. Tallulah-Rose Cloos recalls one afternoon session of makeup attendance when “[she] really had to use the bathroom, but the teacher would not let [her] go” because of the strict no moving rule. Cloos had nothing to work on that afternoon except to stare aimlessly at the clock on the wall until it read 4:15pm (Cloos). This wasted time and suppression of nature’s call could all be prevented if the attendance policy were to be revised.

One solution senior Olivia Pistor proposed is to keep the five day maximum for absences, “but if a student has an illness or injury,” that hinders their learning, along with an official doctor’s note, “that absence should not be counted toward the five day limit” (Pistor). This proposal prevents other students from potentially becoming sick and allows the student to regain their health before returning to class. Schooling should be about the work and effort one puts in rather than the amount of class they attend.

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The student news site of A. C. Reynolds High School.
Attendance Policy