Ten-day absence policy in effect

Owen Taylor, staff writer

The “10-day policy,” that was put into place during the 2018-2019 school year by the AZ Dept. of Education, is now being enforced at Cactus Shadows; However, it is more complicated than it appears at face value.
Due to a lack of awareness, teachers and students alike are confused on the guidelines and what violating those guidelines means for students who fail to meet the attendance requirement.
“I think the policy is silly because it doesn’t allow for exceptions. People can get sick or have a family emergency. It doesn’t allow for the students to be accountable,” said Ben Sheps, a senior.
The Cactus Shadows student handbook says that if a Students reaches eight absences or tardies in one or more classes during any semester, thes student will automatically be placed on academic probation.
Academic probation is a warning of sorts that says that the student on probation can’t break any school rules without getting in trouble with the dean of students. It could be something relatively small such as a short term suspension, or worse depending on the severity of the rule break.
Academic probation can be taken away after the student has completed a semester of school with less than 12 absences without any tardies, suspensions, or truancies.
In the student handbook, it mentions when a student has 5 absences the attendance office will warn the student and make sure they don’t lose credit.
“After the warnings at the 5th and 8th absence, the 10th absence is when the attendance committee sets up a conference with the students parents to discuss the reason on why the student was away from school and if it was a legitimate reason,” said Cristy Pine, attendance administrator.
The handbook says, “High School students may lose credit for any class in which they accumulate 13 absences or tardies during a semester.”
The supposed 10 days that a student is able to miss before credit is taken away in a class is in fact 13 days within a semester.
Az dept. of Education will report excess absences of a student after they have missed 10% of the instructional days, which is 18 days out of the school year as an unexcused absence regardless of absence reason.
Also stated by Az dept. of education if a student has made up 18 absences and 10 additional consecutive missed days then the student will have to be withdrawn and re-enrolled.
Even if the absences are called out by a parent or legal guardian the absences will still be counted to the total absences under the student.