Staff hopes changes to policies will help improve attendance, overall communication


Rylie McKinnon, Journalist

    The high school has implemented new policies to try and stop tardies and unverified absences. These tardy and attendance policies were implemented at the beginning of the second trimester to reduce the overall numbers. 

   The new attendance policy states that if students have an unverified absence, they will not be permitted to make up their work unless a parent or guardian calls in to verify it.

   The new tardy policy states that they will be assigned supervised lunch detentions after a student’s third tardy. On their fourth and fifth tardy, they will get a half day of ISS (in-school suspension); if they receive a sixth or more tardy, they will get a full day of ISS.

   “The attendance team was tasked with creating and implementing an attendance policy with the goal of improving overall attendance,” said Christy Raczkowski, attendance coach. “The secondary goal was to improve communication between parents and NW in regard to absences.”

   After only of few weeks, many students have started to listen to the policies more, along with trying to limit their tardies and absences, but it is hard to tell with some others.

   “It’s too soon to tell if there has been any improvement,” said Raczkowski. “We will be able to analyze some data at the end of Trimester 2 and obviously as time goes on.”

   The communication between Northwest parents and the school used to be very limited and short, but with the new policies, communication has improved.

   “There was an immediate increase in communication from parents,” said Raczkowski. “The secretaries have reported a large increase in phone calls and students bringing in doctor’s notes.”

   Some students feel that these policies are “useless” or a “waste of time” because if they really wanted to, they would be tardy or skip school anyways, although others like them because it helps them stay in line and force themselves to focus on their education.

   The staff has implemented these policies to help the communication, absences, tardies, and other affairs between Northwest and the students and parents they serve.

   Sophomore Josey Hackborn has expressed her thoughts on these new policies.

   “Students are not tardy very often anymore, and if they are, it is usually because of the bathroom lines,” said Hackborn. 

   These new policies have had both good effects and bad effects. 

   “In some classes, it’s easier to make up work than in others,” said Hackborn. “The teachers stress the policies a lot, and it can be really stressful for students depending on their situation.”

   Many students have parents or guardians who call in to verify their absences, but some others may not.

   “I have pretty good attendance, but when I am unable to make it to school, whether I’m sick or if something happens, my parents call in to verify it,” said Hackborn.

   These policies were created to have a noticeable effect, but until the end of the trimester’s data comes in, students and staff can only speculate on its success.