Absent minded

Michael Kaegi, staff writer

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A change in the absence policy has led to a more difficult time to complete missing work if a student was absent, and it was counted as unexcused. This change will negatively affect students by making them unable to make up work if their absence was unexcused and will inevitably cause their grade to lower if there was any work assigned.

An absence is considered excused if it is either an illness, a doctor’s appointment, a family emergency, or a religious holiday. It has to be contacted through the attendance phone line within 24 hours after the absence has started. If the absence fits under the qualifications of the ones listed above but is not called in, it will still be unexcused.

The previous absence policy allowed two days for every day missed in class to complete the missing work, no matter if the absence was excused or not. However, starting this year, it was changed to students only being able to make up work for excused absences, which is causing issues among students to get their work completed.

With the changed policy, students will now have a harder time completing the work that was assigned. Students will then be less likely to review and learn the topics they missed in class since there will be no incentive for completing the work which will, therefore, be hurting their grade in the class all because their absence was deemed unexcused.

This will then hurt their test grades in the long run because they were not able to make up the work and fully understand the specific topic they missed. With the lack of credit comes the lack of knowledge and understanding of what was taught, and being able to get credit for making up work on an unexcused absence can benefit the student greatly.

With no credit for making up work, it does not give enough motivation for students to go to all their teacher’s office hours to catch up on what was missed. It would help to maximize a student’s learning of the subjects and make sure they would understand the content if it was given on a test.

While the school is trying to make sure no one is trying to ditch and still be able to make up the work, it still doesn’t mean they should make unexcused if a student was out for a week because of an occurrence like this and it was considered unexcused, then their grade would suffer because they would have no opportunity to make up the work. For a valid excused absence, such as those, it would still be difficult to complete any assignments on time let alone not being able to at all.

What could be done to show that students need to make up work even if the absence is unexcused, is to explain to the teachers that it will affect the grade in their class if it gets counted as a zero.  With enough people struggling because they can’t do their work, it could show the heads of school that with being able to complete work comes better overall performances in class, which then leads to better AzMerit and final exam scores at the end of the year.

The excused absence policy has led to many changes starting now and into the rest of the school year on how students will get their absent work done and how they will get help on the topics, they missed and are struggling on. Without being able to complete the work, the fewer students will succeed and excel with the subjects they missed and will perform weaker on tests and quizzes.