Thursday, February 21, 2008

Unexcused absences and tardies

Unexcused absences or unexcused tardies are down this year.

However, we have policies to motivate students to get to class, stay in class and be responsible about owning up to being unexcused tardy or absent.

Those policies dictate that if you get three unexcused absences in one class you can be dropped from that class. Policy also dictates that if you have three unexcused tardies they turn into an unexcused absence.

Any form or truancy is a classic example of an unexcused absence. You skip out of the last block class or decide to go to another classroom for the whole period. Both of those instances will get a student an unexcused absence AND extra detention/Saturday school time for truancy.

Another way students can earn an unexcused absence is if their parent does not call them in absent the day they miss and we can't get a hold of the parent that day AND they do not send a note in with the student the next day. We will not call the day the student returns. We have informed students and parents as we talk to them and it's been effective.

An unexcused tardy is simply a student not being in the room at the bell without good reason.

Students who receive an unexcused tardy or absence were given a slip of paper taped on their locker to talk to Mrs. Meyer and to set up a detention.

Serving time for either one made the absence or tardy "non-permanent" or soft. Meaning it wouldn't move the student towards being dropped from the class.

Now some students may say the system is flawed because some slips were taken from lockers before the students got to see them. Now it's unfortunate that some students find enjoyment in messing with the slips, but the student who missed should know what their responsibilities are when they miss. We go over these procedures early in the year and communicate them every opportunity that we can. Not getting the slip of paper doesn't absolve the student from the absence and being accountable for where they were.

So letters have now gone home to parents of students who have moved towards 3 unexcused absences in a class or several classes and are giving students multiple opportunities to serve their detention time.

Because if students don't serve their time by March 14th (one week after the end of the 3rd quarter) their 3rd quarter unexcused tardies and absences will go permanent. Any student with more than 3 in a particular class will be called in with their parents and dropping that student from those classes will be discussed.

Students who had time to serve for other teachers or for receiving blue slips were also sent letters. These students must serve the time or they will receive Good Conduct Policy violations fore insubordination. Students with absence or tardy detentions may also be cited for Good Policy violations if detentions are not served.

This means no Prom, no activity or athletic participation for the violation.

Any student with 2 unexcused absences in a particular class the student's parents will be called and if they have one unexcused absence a letter will go home.

This policy is located in the board policy book on the school website if you are curious and a list of all unexcused absences are located in the student-parent handbook. If you would like a copy of it have your student stop in the office or email me and I'll send you an electronic version.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Mid-term, eligibility, attendance and prom

Half-way through quarter number three. Grades and progress reports have been mailed and eligibility, more specifically ineligibility lists have been compiled.

Normally eligibility affects only those students involved in activities. Those not involved really face only the wrath of home pressures and consequences there.

However, CAM High School does use eligibility as a criteria for being able to attend prom. The past years we have used the end of the third quarter to determine if students are eligible to attend prom. We will do this again this year.

Prom is Saturday, May 3rd and the end of the third quarter is March 7th. Juniors and seniors who are eligible are invited to prom. However, many sophomores and freshmen are asked as dates and each of the past two years we've seen students who are ineligible asked unexpectedly only to be disappointed that they couldn't go because of grades.

There isn't much a student can do once March 7th passes and a student is ineligible.

There also are issues with unexcused absences or habitual attendance violators. Unserved detentions will keep a student from being eligible to attend prom.

I would encourage everyone to be aware of their situation and that things get taken care of sooner rather than later. Pass your classes and get to school and class on time.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Where did Quasemoto go?

We missed the bells.

For two weeks the halls of CAM High School were quiet. Well, quiet from the interruption of the hall bells telling students, teachers and everyone it's time to move.

Our "Quasemoto" blew an amp, a system as old as the original "Hutchback of Notre Dame". Brought from the former high school, it was gutted of it's wires, dust, transistors and all that remains is a brand new amp. Combined with the new phone system we have more power, features and capabilities in 1/4th the area.

The bells will sound different, weird, almost wrong. But they will sound.

It was interesting watching everyone, drifting from class to class. Personally I think everyone did a good job considering our clocks have their differences. Our five minute passing period was more like 10 and I'm sure the number of "tardies" decreased as our kind hearted staff couldn't hold students who were a minute or two tardy...they may have been released late.

It's funny. The kids that would be tardy in 6 minutes were tardy after 11. What's the saying about giving an inch?